#12
single distill image banner

  • Farewell from public editor (#4)
  • WhatsApp restrictions (#17)
  • Spies and death counts (#10+20)
  • Steak-umm the misinfo watchdog (#23)


Selection and ranking powered by

deepnews logo


Story Source
South China Morning Post

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s retweet of an article blaming the US for infecting Wuhan with coronavirus went viral, viewed 160 million times within hours. But where did the story come from?


Editor’s Note:


The New York Times

On Feb. 27, two days after the first reported case of the coronavirus spreading inside a community in the United States, Candace Owens was underwhelmed. “Now we’re all going to die from Coronavirus,” she wrote sarcastically to her two million Twitter followers, blaming a “doomsday cult” of liberal paranoia for the growing anxiety over the outbreak.


Editor’s Note:


Daily Pioneer

During this lockdown we need to keep our spirits up and not be bogged down by the fake news being spread by scaremongers


Editor’s Note:


NPR

Years ago, when I worked at the New York Daily News, I had a busy day: two stories about CBS on the front page. They ran under a single headline that was, in my opinion, a very witty play on the title of the 1950s thriller, “Bad Day at Black Rock.”


Editor’s Note:


An interesting perspective on the world of facts and fake news is from a public editor, responsible for looking at her own outlet’s coverage and seeing how it can be better. Here NPR’s Elizabeth Jensen writes about the world we live in, and the news’ place in it, as she leaves her post.

Boston Globe

I remember thinking it was an odd plot structure when I read it last year. This is not how sci-fi plots work in Western literature. The bad guys (the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese or just the aliens) do bad stuff and then the good guys (they speak English) save the world. One of the many things I learned from reading “The Three-Body Problem” is that, in this respect as in so many others, China is different. It’s OK for China to cause a global disaster in order to save the world.


Editor’s Note:


The Star (Malaysia)

EARLY Sunday morning, I received a forwarded voice message on WhatsApp, cautioning people to separate their mail for at least 24 hours.


Editor’s Note:


First Draft News

Online courses, crisis simulation training, resources, collaboration and a global ‘highlight’ tipline are planned for the coming weeks and months.


Editor’s Note:


VoA

Malaysia has arrested more than 4,000 people for violating virus lockdown orders, marking the toughest law enforcement action in Southeast Asia after the Philippines, where the president encourages police to shoot offenders.


Editor’s Note:


The Conversation

Over the past few weeks, misinformation about the new coronavirus pandemic has been spreading across social media at an alarming rate. One video that went viral claimed breathing hot air from a hair dryer could treat COVID-19. A Twitter post touted injecting vitamin C to the bloodstream to treat the viral disease. Other threads hyped unfounded claims that vaping organic oregano oil is effective against the virus, as is using colloidal silver.


Editor’s Note:


The New York Times

Intelligence officials have told the White House for weeks that China has vastly understated the spread of the coronavirus and the damage the pandemic has done.


Editor’s Note:


The Atlantic

Two weeks ago, French doctors published a provocative observation in a microbiology journal. In the absence of a known treatment for COVID-19, the doctors had taken to experimentation with a potent drug known as hydroxychloroquine. For decades, the drug has been used to treat malaria—which is caused by a parasite, not a virus. In six patients with COVID-19, the doctors combined hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin (known to many as “Z-Pak,” an antibiotic that kills bacteria, not viruses) and reported that after six days of this regimen, all six people tested negative for the virus.


Editor’s Note:


CNN

A vacuum of knowledge about the origins of the new coronavirus ravaging the world has provided fertile ground for all manner of theories — from the fantastic, to the dubious to the believable.


Editor’s Note:


Venture Beat

In a study published this week on the preprint server Arxiv.org, Microsoft and Arizona State University researchers propose an AI framework — Multiple-sources of Weak Social Supervision (MWSS) — that leverages engagement and social media signals to detect fake news. They say that, after training and testing the model on a real-world data set, it outperforms a number of state-of-the-art baselines for early fake news detection.


Editor’s Note:


One of the things we are interested in at Deepnews is of course AI, and whether it can be used to fight fake news rather than fact-checkers relying on the whack-a-mole method of debunking one conspiracy at a time. Here Venture Beat reports on a new study involving Microsoft.

CircleID

As widely reported, and not surprising, the internet is swimming in COVID-19 online scams. Criminals, accustomed to rapidly grabbing online territory during times of crisis and profiting from public fear, are working overtime in the face of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, ICANN’s failure to enforce its minimal WHOIS and DNS abuse requirements has resulted in delayed mitigation efforts at a time when swift responses are needed to protect the public from COVID-19 scams.


Editor’s Note:


Politics Home

In response to this problem, I have launched a new service called Infotagion, enabling people to check information they see that doesn’t look right.


Editor’s Note:


Poynter

Thirteen fact-checking organizations around the world have two reasons to celebrate this April 2. It is the International Fact-Checking Day and their projects have been selected to receive flash grants to help fight misinformation about COVID-19.


Editor’s Note:


London Evening Standard

Scams and fake news are having a great time during the Covid-19 panic, from misinformation about cures to the denounced conspiracy that 5G caused coronavirus.


Editor’s Note:


Rappler

In the novel The Plague by Albert Camus, Raymond Rambert is a journalist from Paris visiting Oran, a plague-stricken town. Longing for his wife, Rambert stubbornly appeals to the authorities, and then eventually resorts to illegal smugglers, just to break quarantine. At the night of his negotiated escape, however, he finally releases his desire to leave, and affirms that the plague is not a hell to escape from, but a world to live through. He decides to stay in town to help in dealing with the plague.


Editor’s Note:


Deutsche Welle

Even as Egypt’s coronavirus infection rate has continued to climb, the country has cracked down on journalists at a time when reporting on COVID-19 is crucial for maintaining public health. The Arab world’s most populous nation currently has 865 cases according to the country’s Health Ministry. The infection rate is rising daily, a steady and ominous climb since the first case was discovered in mid-February. The head of the Egyptian cabinet’s Crisis Management Chamber said the country will soon break 1,000 cases as it likely enters the community transmission stage, making infection harder to control.


Editor’s Note:


Part of misinformation is also press freedom. Here Deutsche Welle reports about the plight of journalists in Sisi’s Egypt and arrests for “fake news.”

Stuff NZ

New Zealand spy agencies say they’re monitoring screeds of information from around the world, as debate intensifies on whether some countries are being truthful about coronavirus case numbers.


Editor’s Note:


Reuters

ABUJA – Governments across Africa are teaming up with technology giants including Facebook and WhatsApp to fight misinformation about coronavirus on social media platforms that could propel the pandemic on a continent with shaky healthcare systems.


Editor’s Note:


Inter-Press News

All over the world, journalism is going through an era of uncertainty. It is not yet clear what the business model for the news field will be, and this is happening precisely at a time when information is a central issue in every person’s life.


Editor’s Note:


WSJ ($)

During a crisis people turn to many different places for advice, wisdom and comfort. During the global coronavirus pandemic, many are tapping an unlikely source: a processed-meat brand.


Editor’s Note:


Columbia Journalism Review

As the coronavirus spreads with unsettling speed across the world, so has press coverage of hoarding. Food. Medical supplies. Toilet paper. Panicked citizens with frustratingly little control over a pandemic are instead seizing upon one thing they can do, which is stock up for what feels like an apocalypse.


Editor’s Note:


Snopes

As governments fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Snopes is fighting an “infodemic” of rumors and misinformation, and you can help. Browse our coronavirus fact checks here. Tell us about any questionable or concerning rumors and “advice” you encounter here.


Editor’s Note:



($) = This source has a hard paywall. You will need to suscribe to view this article.