The World Health Organization calls anti-vaxxers one of the top 10 health threats in the world.
Pinterest decided to do something about misinformation being spread by anti-vaxxers. You can no longer search for vaccines on Pinterest and get any information, pro or con about vaccines.
You’ll get a message, “People have reported Pins from this search. Let us know if you see something that goes against our policies.” And “Sorry, we couldn’t find any Pins for this search.”
Pinterest’s policy prohibits “This includes promotion of false cures for terminal or chronic illnesses and anti-vaccination advice.”
Pinterest is disabling search for vaccines while it finds a better solution to allow material that is appropriate. Users should report pins that are against Pinterest’s policy.
There are ways to get around the general search terms. Type in measles. Fortunately, many of the pins are helpful and promote ways to avoid the measles, namely vaccines. With tons of search variations, there’s almost no way to prevent all misinformation.
The company has publicly urged other social networks to join them in this effort to combat anti-vaxx misinformation. But will they follow suit?
Search Google for the measles vaccine and the search engine provides good information for the most part. The first 10 results when I searched were from legitimate sites, the CDC, WebMD, vaccines.gov and the Mayo Clinic. On Facebook, it’s far less clear if the results from a search are coming from authentic, legitimate sites or anti-vaxxers.
CNBC reports that Pinterest’s ban on vaccines and its determination to stop the spread of misinformation pertaining to public health could put pressure on other companies to do the same. Bloomberg reported that Facebook is “exploring additional measures to best combat the problem.”
Tech companies do have an obligation to provide quality information. But given the problems with fake news on Facebook, I think it’s safe to say that no matter what these companies do, people are going to try and continue to find ways to share bad information.
It’s easy to be deceptive on Facebook and other social media sites. Many people continue to be fooled by fake news posts and phishing emails.
Does Pinterest’s move constitute responsibility or is it censorship that could be a slippery slope? Time will tell.
For now, question everything. Use your critical thinking skills to verify information. Maybe someone will come up with a solution to stop online hoaxes, but then the hoaxers will just find new ways to bend the rules.
Facebook hopes to get yeety fresh with a new meme maker
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook has a whole new team to create new apps to keep up with the likes of Tik-Tok and instagram, but who wants them to?
The tea is Facebook, triggered by its basic label, is tired of Taking L’s and wants clout and is ready to be on fleek with some yeets from Gen Z.
What this means, is Facebook launched a new app called Whale, which lets users make and share memes in a super simple way. Right now, Whale is only available on the Canadian App Store.
Tik-Tok, a video-focused app, has quickly risen in interest and grabbed the attention of the younger set. In an effort to boost its market share with competition from Snapchat and Tik-Tok, among others, Facebook is using its New Product Experimentation (NPE) team to develop apps that will be of interest to users, The Verge shared. Whether it is able to find its way into their cold and possibly stunted hearts is yet to be seen.
A Pew research study, published earlier in 2019, shared that half of American teens use Facebook, which The Next Web pointed out is not its largest demographic of users. Instead, seven out of 10 adults use Facebook, with 75% visiting daily, according to the research study.
The app arrived on Nov. 15, 2019, according to App Annie. With one, five-star review to date, the app is said to be easy to use to create and share memes. But, not very unique in a market where making memes has become “lit”.
The app allows users to take or select from their camera roll or browse the apps’ stock images to create easy to share memes. Users can also insert text, use filters and effects, according to Tech Crunch. Users have the option to make their own stickers and even draw freehand.
As Facebook’s NPE team comes up with new apps, Tik-Tok, is on its way to 1.5 billion users. But, not without some controversy, since its Chinese-owned and U.S. lawmakers have become concerned about the security of user data.
As Tech Crunch explained, the Canadian launch allows Facebook to test out the app in a market similar to the U.S. but with a smaller user-base, in case it should take off and require it to scale quickly.
Social media site by Wikipedia founder – lofty goals, limited functionality
(SOCIAL MEDIA)Wikipedia founder has created a news social networking site to help people escape from the shady practices of other sites, but is it all that good?
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced the launch of WT:Social last week, a social network sprung from the WikiTribune project. In addition to creating the global encyclopedia that your high school teacher won’t let you cite as a source, Wales is also behind the Wikimedia Foundation and the Jimmy Wales Foundation for Freedom of Expression.
WikiTribune is a volunteer-driven platform focused on delivering “neutral, factual, high-quality news.” (There’s a lot that could be said about the ethics and logistics of trying to “fix” news by paying reporters even less/nothing, but that’s another article.)
Springing a social network out of a news site means that WT:Social’s focus is largely going to be on fixing what’s wrong with Facebook’s news. They’ve drawn criticism over the last few years for their news policies.
Among other things, despite theoretically banning white nationalist content, their list of “trusted” news sources includes Breitbart, a site whose founder has called it a platform for the alt-right. (The alt-right itself is a self-avowed white nationalist movement, among other things) Zuckerberg has also (as we’ve pointed out) claimed that politicians have the right to lie in advertisements. Refusing to hold advertisers to any sort of standard of truth is deeply concerning, to say the least.
So WT:Social is out to improve the way that people consume and share news. But is that enough to make it succeed as a social network? After all, people looking for FB or Twitter alternatives aren’t just looking for news. They’re looking for a less toxic platform.
Facebook and Twitter have both received criticism for how they handle user experience and advertisements alike. Both have problems with bubbling extremist movements, and both have struggled with public perception in the wake of persistent allegations that their moderation systems are under-resourced, and tend to side with abusive users over the marginalized people those abusers were targeting. For their part, Twitter has overtly stated that people who violate their terms of service regarding harassment or threats will not be banned for it, so long as they are sufficiently newsworthy.
This might have something to do with the fact that they see some of those same TOS violators as enough of a draw to their platform to feature them in advertisements. And of course, Twitter kept conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars media company on the platform despite rules violations until he confronted CEO Jack Dorsey in person.
One theoretical point in WT:Social’s favor is that they’re planning on being donation-supported, rather than ad-supported. Which is fantastic from an end-user standpoint, but raises issues on buy-in from others. And that’s not the only potential stumbling block in WT:Social’s path.
As yet WT:Social hasn’t really stated a particular interest in competing with Facebook and Twitter on the social aspects of social media, and so far, that lack of interest comes through on the site. This writer signed up for the social network (looking, as ever, for a Facebook alternative) and was greeted by a number of baffling things.
First, my attempts to log in were greeted by a notification that I was “number 65538 on the waiting list,” and that I could send invitations to get earlier access to the site, to make posts.
Then, I made posts.
But now I can’t find them?
Beyond that, I’m not sure what the waiting list is actually for. On top of the mysterious queue, there’s a place where I can subscribe! But once again, I don’t quite know what I would be subscribing to, and $12.99/month is a lot to ask for a service that’s completely undefined. I suppose that I could track down other sources to explain this to me, but if the user experience is so confounding from the outset that I need to learn about it secondhand, do I really want to pursue the site further?
A friend and I, both eager for a Facebook alternative, started writing on each other’s walls to test the service out. But in lieu of any kind of notification system, we found ourselves writing on each other’s WT:Social profiles, and then returning to Facebook to let the other person know that we had done so.
It’s not an auspicious beginning.
But at the same time, something needs to happen. With Facebook’s reputation for promulgating fake news, Twitter’s notoriety for abuse, Reddit’s haze of toxicity, and content hubs like YouTube and Tumblr cracking down on adult content (and seemingly defining the existence of LGBT people as inherently “adult,”) people are looking for some kind of life raft. The person who creates a robust social network that commits to rooting out toxicity could have quite the business opportunity on their hands.
Twitter’s crackdown on deepfakes could insure the company’s survival
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter is cracking down on manipulated and misleading content—will other social media platforms do the same?
Twitter isn’t renowned for things that other social media platforms lay claim to—you know, setting trends, turning a profit, staying relevant—but the oft-forgotten site finally has something to brag about: cracking down on deepfakes.
Oh, and they also finally pulled out a profit this year, but that’s beside the point.
Deepfakes, for those who don’t know, are videos which have been manipulated to portray people—often celebrities or politicians—saying and doing things that they never actually said or did. The problem with deepfakes is that, unlike your average Photoshop job, they are extremely convincing; in some cases, their validity may even be impossible to determine.
Unfortunately, deepfakes have been used for a variety of unsavory purposes ranging from moderate humiliation to full-blown revenge porn; since ruling them out is difficult, the long-term implications of this type of video manipulation are pretty terrifying.
You wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that all social media platforms should address deepfakes as a serious issue, but the fact remains that many platforms have taken decidedly lackadaisical approaches. Facebook, for example, continues to allow content from producers who have histories of video manipulation, the dissemination of misleading information, and flat-out false advertising—something that has been generally glossed over despite being heavily addressed by media.
This is where Twitter is actually ahead of the curve. Where other social media services have failed in the war against “fake news”, Twitter hopes to succeed by aggressively labelling and, in some cases, censoring media that has been determined to be manipulated or misleading. While the content itself will stay posted in most cases, a warning will appear near it to signify its lack of credibility.
Twitter will also remove manipulated content that is deemed harmful or malicious, but the real beauty of their move is that it allows people to witness first-hand a company or service purposefully misleading them. By keeping the problematic content available while making users aware of its flaws, Twitter is increasing awareness and skepticism about viral content.
Of course, there is room to criticize Twitter’s approach; for example, some will point to their act of leaving deepfakes posted as not doing enough, while others will probably address the tricky business of identifying deepfakes to begin with. Luckily, Twitter’s policy isn’t set in stone just yet—from now until November 27th, you can take a survey to leave feedback on how Twitter should address these issues going forward.
As Twitter’s policy develops and goes into place, it will be interesting to see which social media platforms follow suit.
Apple loses money on repairs, critics cry foul on the entire process
Google tries social again by finding the best places to go or whatever
Facebook Ads Manager MIGHT suck less this Black Friday
Pointed out I was the only person of color at work, was told ‘Yes, but you pass’
Facebook hopes to get yeety fresh with a new meme maker
Brutally honest list of reasons you didn’t get the job interview or job offer
10 inspirational print brochure examples
Serial procrastinator? Your issue isn’t time management
For meetings that should be an email? There’s an app for that
Millennial women share about how they spend (and save) money
Anti-surveillance mask – creepy, ingenious, or potentially illegal?
Amy’s Ice Cream founder on Austin’s business risks and rewards #WhyAustin
Turns out a lot of people are in between introverted and extroverted
P. Terry’s founder on the booming economy in Austin #WhyAustin
Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. National Anthem
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