Media myth busted: Suicides do not increase at holidays

Media myth busted: Suicides do not increase at holidays

Half of recent news reports about holiday suicides spread disinformation that suicides go up over the holidays: Summary: Despite media claims that suicide rates increase dramatically over the holiday period, researchers report the average daily suicide rate during the holidays remain among the lowest rate of any period of the year. Source: University of Pennsylvania The holiday-suicide myth, the false claim that the suicide rate rises during the year-end holiday season, persisted in some news coverage through the 2021-22 holidays, according to…

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Social media: “Everyone’s Over Instagram” is probably true

Social media: “Everyone’s Over Instagram” is probably true

Instagram is seeing a rapid decline in usage. Still photos have been replaced by short form video (see TikTok). Users are abandoning IG as fewer and fewer post photo updates, and even fewer have their posts seen by others thanks to “The Algorithm” that decides what gets shared and what does not get shared. The result is fewer and fewer “likes” and comments, leading to less engagement, leading to users asking, “Why am I spending time with this anymore?”

Meta (Facebook, IG) is not doing so well anymore.

Ultimate in fake news: BBC documentary used deep fakes to hide interviewees faces

Ultimate in fake news: BBC documentary used deep fakes to hide interviewees faces

Filmmakers used an AI to swap the faces of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong for those of actors to protect the protestors’ identities while maintaining their facial movements and emotional expressions Source: BBC documentary used face-swapping AI to hide protesters’ identities | New Scientist Once you start this process – the video equivalent of National Geographic re-arranging the Great Pyramids for a cover shot – confidence in your reporting goes to zero. It becomes impossible to know what is true,…

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The asymmetry of “Freedom of speech”

The asymmetry of “Freedom of speech”

Academics have long maintained they have a “freedom of speech” to pursue whatever they want to pursue in terms of research; this freedom extends to political opinions. In my state, all public sector workers have protection on their off-the-job speech. Private sector workers have no such protections and may be fired or receive negative performance reviews for their off-work speech. Which means when it comes to speech, some have more freedom than others, and that means, for example, that viewpoints of academics and public sector workers could be more influential because others may not be able to counter their comments.

Spin: Why misinformation didn’t wreck the midterms

Spin: Why misinformation didn’t wreck the midterms

Two years ago, we were told by multiple “sides” that misinformation and disinformation on social media threw election results. Two years later, oddly, everyone is pretending the same misinformation and disinformation no longer is an issue – which is not very believable. And then spin: “The amount of content we saw that you could call kind of election disinformation was actually larger than what we saw in 2020 — but overall, the effects were much more muted,” Source: Why misinformation…

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How not to conduct a propaganda campaign

How not to conduct a propaganda campaign

Climate hypocrites – they travel about the world with wild abandon while telling us we should not travel. This is how not to run a propaganda campaign and their hypocratic behavior, and not believing in what they are preaching, falls flat on the rest of us.