Coronavirus -- The politics of disinformation and outright lies

DIY-HP-LED

Well-Known Member
When DYI started posting I watched a few of his videos . The only good ones were Stephen Colbert . I never watch the other because they are horribly boring. But he can be funny sometimes and makes me laugh . Most of his posts are spam with absolutely no personal input and and way to long so I scroll right through them hoping he has a good post but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

I can totally see why you are concerned about him and thanks for the warning. It has crossed my mind he could be a Russian troll. I myself and others have asked the supervisors at the Russian Troll factory numerous times to send better more sophisticated trolls so maybe he is what they concider one of the better ones.
He certainly is motivated what ever he is trying to do for his thousands of followers out there who patiently await his every post. Lol... and what clever trickery pretending to be a Trump hater.If he is really a Russian Troll.

maybe his thread should be moved to the other section. what section would that be?
I did suggest a mental health section to @potroast once...
 

Fogdog

Well-Known Member
maybe his thread should be moved to the other section. what section would that be?
Spirituality, maybe? His posts really can't be said to be science and tech but it would fit with a lot of other posts that can be found there. I'd say flat earth thread but my bias would be showing if I said that.

Anyway, that's up to the mods and diy to decide.
 

DIY-HP-LED

Well-Known Member
Spirituality, maybe? His posts really can't be said to be science and tech but it would fit with a lot of other posts that can be found there. I'd say flat earth thread but my bias would be showing if I said that.

Anyway, that's up to the mods and diy to decide.
Other members will decide
 

Fogdog

Well-Known Member
I for one don’t care where you post your findings and musings. It’s one of a thousand threads and it’s not like anyone is forced to read them. If I cared about it I would complain that Robs responses would be delegated to the insane fantasy section lol.
You are right. It's a ridiculous idea.
 

Fogdog

Well-Known Member
U.N. Chief Targets 'Dangerous Epidemic Of Misinformation' On Coronavirus

The world is facing "a dangerous epidemic of misinformation" about COVID-19 — and the only vaccine is to reestablish public trust, the head of the
United Nations said Tuesday.

"Around the world, people are scared. They want to know what to do and where to turn for advice," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.

The distortion and willful ignorance of scientific facts is a "poison that is putting even more lives at risk" during the most challenging crisis since World War II, Guterres said.

"Harmful health advice and snake-oil solutions are proliferating," the U.N. leader said. "Wild conspiracy theories are infecting the Internet. Hatred is going viral, stigmatizing and vilifying people and groups."

Guterres called the spread of bad and self-serving information a secondary disease; to some, it might seem more like an underlying condition of today's media landscape. To solve the problem, he said, "The vaccine is trust."

"First, trust in science," Guterres said, adding, "I salute the journalists and others fact-checking the mountain of misleading stories and social media posts."

The U.N. head called on social media companies to do more to root out harmful and bogus claims about COVID-19. He also said people must be able to put their trust in institutions that are "grounded in responsive, responsible, evidence-based governance and leadership."

And people must trust and respect each other even during a time of crisis, Guterres said, calling for governments to preserve human rights.

"Together, let's reject the lies and nonsense out there," he said.


The mountain of false and woo-woo sciency misinformation churned out and promoted by dupes (some with good intentions) sows confusion over the facts about this epidemic. For example the unrealistic expectation that there will be a vaccine by the end of this year will sets our society up for even more distrust when the vaccine is finally released. Trump has made the vaccine a political instead of medical issue. So, when it's released, people will doubt that it was tested properly. I admit that if the CDC says a vaccine is ready by then, I'll be completely skeptical of the safety without any reason other than the fact that Trump had his hands on the project. Meanwhile, some of the crap out there asks "will there be enough?". As if the invention is already a done deal when it's not.

The crap one sees on the subject of the vaccine is just one example. From the use of masks, how to behave when others don't socially distance themseves (@Rob Roy , lol) or when people remind others to socially distance are all trigger points for the anxiety we feel about the lack of confidence over the facts. That's the product of this infodemic, uncertainty, leading to confusion, anger, fear and doubt.
 

DIY-HP-LED

Well-Known Member
Science is a human activity conducted by humans and we all work pretty much the same way.
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With big talk and hurled insults, the gloves come off in the race for the coronavirus vaccine

(CNN)Ethicists and physicians are concerned that, amid a desire to put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, developers of drugs and vaccines have become overly enthusiastic about the chances their products will work.

While several vaccine developers have issued statements looking into the future -- setting possible timetables for study completion and vaccine manufacturing -- the ethicists and doctors say one group in particular stands out as being the most aggressive in painting the rosiest picture: the University of Oxford in England.

Oxford has recently walked back some of its optimism, but for months, it set a tone that its vaccine was the most promising, without any solid evidence that this was based in fact.

First, in a field fraught with potential failure, two Oxford researchers stated that they're "80% confident" that the vaccine will work, and that they might be able to complete large-scale clinical trials in just six weeks, a fraction of what some other vaccine companies estimate they can do.

Second, some experts have accused Oxford scientists of spinning results of their vaccine research in monkeys to make the vaccine look more powerful than it is, which Oxford denies.

Third, one leader in the Oxford team has gone so far as to denigrate other teams trying to get a Covid vaccine on the market, calling their technology "weird" and labeling it as merely "noise." Such name-calling is highly unusual and aggressive among scientists.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said he "sat straight up" when he heard one of the Oxford scientists talk about how well their vaccine is progressing.
more...
 

Fogdog

Well-Known Member
Science is a human activity conducted by humans and we all work pretty much the same way.
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With big talk and hurled insults, the gloves come off in the race for the coronavirus vaccine

(CNN)Ethicists and physicians are concerned that, amid a desire to put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, developers of drugs and vaccines have become overly enthusiastic about the chances their products will work.

While several vaccine developers have issued statements looking into the future -- setting possible timetables for study completion and vaccine manufacturing -- the ethicists and doctors say one group in particular stands out as being the most aggressive in painting the rosiest picture: the University of Oxford in England.

Oxford has recently walked back some of its optimism, but for months, it set a tone that its vaccine was the most promising, without any solid evidence that this was based in fact.

First, in a field fraught with potential failure, two Oxford researchers stated that they're "80% confident" that the vaccine will work, and that they might be able to complete large-scale clinical trials in just six weeks, a fraction of what some other vaccine companies estimate they can do.

Second, some experts have accused Oxford scientists of spinning results of their vaccine research in monkeys to make the vaccine look more powerful than it is, which Oxford denies.

Third, one leader in the Oxford team has gone so far as to denigrate other teams trying to get a Covid vaccine on the market, calling their technology "weird" and labeling it as merely "noise." Such name-calling is highly unusual and aggressive among scientists.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said he "sat straight up" when he heard one of the Oxford scientists talk about how well their vaccine is progressing.
more...
Yes, a good example of the kind of misleading if not false information that is being published. You opened your thread with a citation from the article that describes the climate around the research. It's highly competitive and fraught with uncertainty but the public and the politicians who answer to the public AND fund research don't want to hear that. So, we not only have the schoolboy jostling by some people who should know better but, more sinister is the outright DISinformation that these companies are publishing, such as this section from the same article you posted:

On May 13, Oxford scientists, together with researchers from the National Institutes of Health, posted a study on bioRxiv.org on nine monkeys who were intentionally exposed to the novel coronavirus. Six of them were vaccinated and three were not. BioRxiv.org is a pre-print server, meaning the articles have not been reviewed by other scientists and have not been published in the medical literature.

After the monkeys were vaccinated and then exposed to the virus, they were euthanized and examined for lung damage. According to the Oxford study, none of the vaccinated animals had signs of pneumonia or other lung problems, but two out of three unvaccinated monkeys did develop some degree of viral pneumonia.

"It certainly worked in monkeys," Oxford's Hill told CNN's Burnett May 15. "That was quite an impressive impact and that was our first try, if you like, with a standard dose, a single dose of vaccine."
"We were very excited by seeing that in the first try," he added


That sounds just dandy. He's saying it was "impressive" and "it worked". The problem is, the results they were so happy about did not show the vaccine can provide immunity to the virus:
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But William Haseltine, a virologist and former professor at Harvard Medical School, said Hill was being "misleading."
"In this interview Hill is like a magician who distracts the audience with one shiny object to detract you from the fact that his accomplice is picking your pocket," Haseltine told CNN in an email.

In an article published by Forbes on May 16, Haseltine said the fact that the monkeys didn't develop pneumonia is beside the point, considering that all of the vaccinated monkeys became infected with Covid-19. Also, he said the monkeys had just as much viral RNA in their nasal secretions compared to the unvaccinated monkeys, an indication to him that the vaccine didn't work and the monkeys could possibly spread the virus to others.

Thirdly, Haseltine pointed to neutralizing antibodies. A vaccine should elicit high levels of antibodies capable of disabling the virus and preventing it from infecting human cells. Haseltine said the level of these antibodies in the monkeys who received the Oxford vaccine was "extremely low."


the Oxford group is under the gun to produce results. They actually do believe in their work and believe it should proceed. In order to keep the funding pipe pressurized and the money flowing, they touted "good" results that were in fact irrelevant. It's the kind of misinformation that a novice would fall for. The novice should look beyond the glowing reports for criticism that will certainly be leveled by other researchers. As common folk who know practically nothing on the subject, this puts us in the rather idiotic position of trying to decide who is right when we know the least. Which is why novices and common folk like most of us might be better off if we pay this little attention until the later trials are completed.

As Bismark said about legislation, high stakes, leading edge technical research is like making sausage. The consumer might prefer the sausage if they did not watch it being made. That this research is being done in a fishbowl will likely result in a vaccine and a public reluctant to try it. The propagandists whoever they are, win.
 
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Fogdog

Well-Known Member
Not everybody who start and spread this crap are malicious. Some are. Most are either trying to be funny or helpful.


Coronavirus: The seven types of people who start and spread viral misinformation

The Joker
You'd hope no-one was fooled by a WhatsApp voice note claiming the government was cooking a giant lasagne in Wembley stadium to feed Londoners. But some people didn't get the joke.

The Scammer
Other fake texts claiming to be from the government or local councils have been generated by scammers looking to make money from the pandemic.

One such scam investigated by fact-checking charity Full Fact in March claimed that the government was offering people relief payments and asked for bank details.


The Politician
Misinformation doesn't just come from dark corners of the internet.

Last week President Donald Trump questioned whether exposing patients' bodies to UV light or injecting bleach could help treat the coronavirus. He was speculating and took facts out of context.

He later claimed the comments were sarcastic. But that didn't stop people from
phoning hotlines to ask about treating themselves with disinfectant.

The Conspiracy Theorist
All the uncertainty about the virus has created a perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories.

A false story of murky origins claiming the first volunteer to take part in a UK vaccine trial had died circulated in big anti-vaccination and conspiracy Facebook groups. It was fiction.


Also, this post is a good example of the kind of conspiracies posted on RIU. tribbin, is not malicious, just kind of lost in his own mind (or navel):
There are no other types of New 'novel' types of lifeforms (living complexities) of any kind being developed or created by the Universe, with one exception, the virus known as novel corona it has the ability to be New, and defy all other creation known to exist, for this very reason we must monetize (®) said virus for the betterment of humankind. Isn't that right Fogdog? $13k per person and $39k for any patient placed on a ventilator/iron lung.

This is perfectly normal in your opinion? Nothing unusual (?) about incentivization of a virus that is effecting less than 1% of the population and locking down (closing all travel and trade) the entire earth over it? They've even admitted the numbers were inflated several times, yet you all keep your eyes peeled to the numbers and charts as if there's really any significance to them, they are only partially accurate even if the virus does exist. This has been admitted and positively indicated to be a truthful inflating of the numbers, which have triggered peoples reactions to the virus a certain way and domain, the World is changing due to negligence of those authorized to count the numbers of deaths and infections, they admitted to it, yet they aren't going back to change various laws and ordinances that have been put in place, this is the (new) 'novel' normal, doesn't matter what the numbers were is all we are going to receive from them and this outcome, and from their lips no sincere apologies will be made.

It's all part of their vision on where a virus can take us as humankind remember? The great utopia that humanity has been waiting for all this time is a silver lining that has been gifted to us from a crown virus, aren't we just extra special, storytime everyone........
The Insider
Sometimes misinformation seems to come from a trustworthy source - a doctor, professor or hospital worker.

The Concerned Relative
That alarming voice note and many others went viral because they worried people, who then shared the messages with friends and family.

Another example from this forum is shown below. DIY is not malicious, he's concerned and want us to have all the "best" information "Anybody interested in possible treatments for Coronavirus have a look at this" even though his advice turned out to be not only false but harmful to some:

Anybody interested in possible treatments for Coronavirus have a look at this, in a dire emergency you can get a prescription for hydroxychloroquine or order it ahead of time online now for a DIY treatment. It's used for malaria treatment and is easily available in tropical countries and well tested in humans, this would be an off label use. Worth a shot? Look at the video and decide for yourself, it's the best thing I've come across and it looks promising, but there is little real science and no clinical trials, yet. If empirical observations are promising they will use it for treatment until a proper study is completed, it's an approved drug anyway and in wide use. This might reduce the load on the healthcare system, mortality rates and the numbers of people getting severely ill, an aid to survival and recovery. Doctors know about this now, if it shows promise in other places the word will travel fast and it will be in the treatment protocol soon.

If you can send the video to your doctor and ask them what they think, they might not know about this yet and would be interested, your doctor might even give you a prescription if you're at risk to take at the first sign. If it works they will be giving out pills at treatment centers for people showing early symptoms and who are at high risk and test positive etc.

See the previous video(s) in this series for more info on this and an explanation of how it works to get zinc inside cells where it stops the virus growing like penicillin does to bacteria.

This could be useful for people in poor countries
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Coronavirus Pandemic Update 35: New Outbreaks & Travel Restrictions, Possible COVID-19 Treatments

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 35 with pulmonologist & critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD of https://www.MedCram.com The World Health Organization has labeled COVID-19 a pandemic. There are multiple developments globally and in the United States where President Trump has banned incoming travel from most of Europe. Dr. Seheult discusses compelling data about hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), Zinc, and possible COVID-19 supplements such as quercetin.

Hydroxychloroquine


Quercetin is a non prescription herbal supplement, google it to buy it or get it locally (Caution: Non FDA regulated, you may not get any real medicine in it, shop carefully) if ya wanna try it, not much down side, except cash, maybe as an addition to a zinc supplement.

The Celebrity
It's not just your mum or uncle. Celebrities have helped amplified misleading claims go mainstream.

The singer M.I.A. and actor Woody Harrelson are among those who have been promoting the 5G coronavirus theory to their hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.


It's not a jungle, just a community. Mostly filled with people who mean no harm. A few do mean harm and they will thrive from being hidden in all the other crappy shit shoveled by well meaning shit shovelers. Though the well meaning ones are not harmless. These mostly well meaning shovelers of shit will cost lives. Just saying, this infodemic is not all fun and giggles.
 
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Fogdog

Well-Known Member
It's not clear what the propaganda storm unleashed by China, Russia and Iraq has accomplished. Right wing talk show propaganda is, at least, understandable. They support and defend Trump like no other. Doesn't matter to them if people die due to misinformation. In fact, they embrace it.

Right-Wing Radio Reaches Tens Of Millions. Its Coronavirus Conspiracies Are Out Of Control.
Talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh have spread wild misinformation about the virus as they defend Trump’s botched response to the pandemic.


Conspiracies, Anti-Vaxxers And Millions Of Listeners
Limbaugh is only the biggest name in an array of conservative talk radio stars who together reach tens of millions of listeners every week, and who have spent the pandemic downplaying the crisis, promoting conspiracy theories and sycophantically praising Trump. These hosts have created an alternate reality that exists largely outside the scrutiny of fact-checkers and mainstream press coverage, spreading unchallenged misinformation that threatens public health.

Scanning through top conservative radio hosts’ recent coronavirus coverage reveals a staggering number of falsehoods and facile arguments. Glenn Beck, who Talkers estimates reaches 10.5 million people each week on his radio show, interviewed a cryptocurrency investor falsely claiming to be affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine who touted an unproven coronavirus treatment as a miracle cure. Beck regularly rails against social distancing measures and has defended armed lockdown protests. “Even if we all get sick, I’d rather die than kill the country,” he said in late March. “Because it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country.”

Conservative radio host Mark Levin inaccurately likened the coronavirus to the flu in late April and listed how many people die each year from things like accidental poisoning and diabetes. (The comparison is nonsensical, since poisonings and diabetes cannot infect others or exponentially increase like a virus.) Levin is estimated to reach a cumulative weekly audience of around 11 million people, according to Talkers.


“One of the big roles of conservative media in the past 20 to 30 years has been doing the mediation between Republican office holders and the conservative base,” said Nicole Hemmer, author of “Messengers of the Right” and a research scholar at Columbia University.
When Republican voters have felt confusion or frustration with Trump’s reactions to the coronavirus pandemic, hosts have stepped in to reassure listeners and mend those rifts while validating their audience’s grievances.

“One of the roles of Rush Limbaugh is to bridge that distance, trying to convince listeners that either Trump knows what he’s doing or is being misled by those around him, but that he himself is not wrong,” Hemmer said.


So, basically, right wing radio hosts are clergy for Trumpism. They explain their leader's words to the masses. Makes sense. It takes clergy to interpret the wild and inconsistent Christian bible too. They don't take what's said in the bible literally or it may cause masses of people to turn away from the religion. It seems to work for Trump's believers too.

It's a strange world when people lie, people die from lies, and right wing radicals -- about 40% of the electorate -- just say "thoughts and prayers" as if it were an act of god.
 

hanimmal

Well-Known Member
https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-conspiracy-theories-media-misinformation-social-media-b7bb0ace8a617af733357f6ee15aca03
Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 4.32.45 PM.png
Major social platforms have been cracking down on the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories in the leadup to the presidential election, and expanded their efforts in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But Apple and Google, among others, have left open a major loophole for this material: Podcasts.

Podcasts made available by the two Big Tech companies let you tune into the world of the QAnon conspiracy theory, wallow in President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election and bask in other extremism. Accounts that have been banned on social media for election misinformation, threatening or bullying, and breaking other rules also still live on as podcasts available on the tech giants’ platforms.

Conspiracy theorists have peddled stolen-election fantasies, coronavirus conspiracies and violent rhetoric. One podcaster, RedPill78, called the Capitol siege a “staged event” in a Jan. 11 episode of Red Pill News. The day before the Capitol riot, a more popular podcast, X22 Report, spoke confidently about a Trump second term, explained that Trump would need to “remove” many members of Congress to further his plans, and said “We the people, we are the storm, and we’re coming to DC.”

Both are available on Apple and Google podcast platforms.

Podcasting “plays a particularly outsized role” in propagating white supremacy, said a 2018 report from the Anti-Defamation League. Many white supremacists, like QAnon adherents, support Trump. Podcasting’s an intimate, humanizing mode of communication that lets extremists expound on their ideas for hours at a time, said Oren Segal of ADL’s Center on Extremism.

Elsewhere on social media, Twitter,Facebook and YouTube have been cracking down on accounts amplifying unfounded QAnon claims that Trump is fighting deep state enemies and cannibals operating a child-sex trafficking ring. A major talk radio company, Cumulus, told its hosts to tone down rhetoric about stolen elections and violent uprisings or risk termination, although it’s not clear what impact that dictate has had.

Google-owned YouTube axed “Bannon’s War Room,” a channel run by Trump loyalist Steve Bannon on Jan. 8 after he spread false election claims and called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert. But podcast versions of Bannon’s show live on at Apple and Google. Spotify took it down in November, according to one of its hosts.

“Podcasts filled with hatred and incitement to violence should not be treated any differently than any other content,” Segal said. “If you’re going to take a strong stance against hate and extremism in the platform in any way, it should be all-inclusive.”

Apple, Spotify and Google curate lists of top podcasts and recommend them to users. Apple and Spotify are the dominant players in the U.S., with other players far behind, said Dave Zohrob, CEO of the podcast analytics firm Chartable. Despite its name recognition, Google remains a tiny presence.

Spotify said it takes down podcasts that violate its policies against hate speech, copyright violations or break any laws, using “algorithmic and human detection measures” to identify violations. Apple’s guidelinesprohibit content that is illegal or promotes violence, graphic sex or drugs or is “otherwise considered obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste.” Apple did not reply to repeated questions about its content guidelines or moderation.

Google declined to explain the discrepancy between what’s available on YouTube and what’s on Google Podcasts, saying only that its podcast service “indexes audio available on the web” much the way its search engine indexes web pages. The company said it removes podcasts from its platform “in very rare circumstances, largely guided by local law.”

X22 Report and Bannon’s War Room were No. 20 and No. 32 on Apple’s list of top podcasts on Friday. (Experts say that list measures a podcast’s momentum rather than total listeners.) X22 Report said in October that it was suspended by YouTube and Spotify and last week by Twitter. It’s no longer available on Facebook, either. It is supported by ads for products such as survivalist food, unlicensed food supplements and gold coins, which run before and during the podcasts.

The website for Red Pill News said YouTube banned its videos in October and that a Twitter suspension followed. The podcast is available on Apple and Google, but not Spotify.

Several QAnon proponents affected by the crackdown sued YouTube in October, calling its actions a “massive de-platforming.” Among the plaintiffs are X22 Report, RedPill78 and David Hayes, who runs another conspiracy podcast called Praying Medic that’s available on Apple and Google, but not Spotify.

Melody Torres, who podcasts at SoulWarrior Uncensored, self-identifies as a longtime QAnon follower and said in a recent episode that her podcast is “just my way of not being censored.” She said she was kicked off Twitter in January and booted from Instagram four times last year. She currently has Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts; her podcast is available on Spotify, Apple and Google.

X22 Report, RedPill78 and Hayes did not respond to requests for comment sent via their websites. Torres did not reply to a Facebook message.

Podcasts suffer from the same misinformation problem as other platforms, said Shane Creevey, head of editorial for Kinzen, a startup created by former Facebook and Twitter executives that offers a disinformation tracker to companies, including some that host or curate podcasts.

Creevey points out that it’s harder to analyze misinformation from video and audio than from text. Podcasts can also run for hours, making them difficult to monitor. And podcasting has additional challenges in that there are no reliable statistics on their audience, unlike a YouTube stream, which shows views, or a tweet or Facebook post, which shows likes and shares, Creevey said.

But some argue that tech-company moderation is opaque and inconsistent, creating a new set of problems. Censorship “goes with the tide against what’s popular in any given moment,” said Jillian York, an expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group. Right now, she said, “that tide is against the speech of right-wing extremists ... but tomorrow the tide might be against opposition activists.”
 
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