The Technology 202: Trump’s ‘Don’t be afraid of Covid’ post tests Facebook and Twitter

From Lena Wen, a visiting professor at George Washington University and emergency room doctor:

And former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden:

The companies’ hands-off approach to Trump’s posts undermines their longstanding promises to crack down on specific kinds of coronavirus misinformation.

Twitter and Facebook have promised to be vigilant about coronavirus-related posts that could pose a risk to people’s health or well-being. Trump’s posts were viewed by millions on both services, even as users warned they could lead to a false sense of security that might endanger people’s lives. 

Trump’s initial “Don’t be afraid” tweet garnered more than 275,000 retweets and more than 556,000 likes. On Facebook, the post was liked at least 1.2 million times and shared more than 100,000 times. 

Facebook and Instagram’s policies state the companies will remove covid-19 misinformation “that could lead to imminent physical harm.” Twitter meanwhile says it will remove

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Why We’re Afraid of Bats

a close up of a flower: Matt Huynh

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Matt Huynh

If you grew up in a land of potentially dangerous animals, as I did, much of your outdoors education might have entailed learning to recognize and avoid the settings in which you were most likely to encounter them. Dawn after a streak of hot, rainless, overcast days? Shark weather, according to the local wisdom. A smooth clearing in otherwise tangled bushland, its topside granulated like cane sugar? A telltale sign of Australian bulldog ants below, prickling with venom. The wisest way to flip a rock: Reach over and pull the farthest edge up toward you. Now anything coiled beneath it escapes in an away direction. Coming to understand oneself as, if not prey, at the very least a legible target for other creatures’ defensive instincts was a timeworn rite of passage. Still, shrewd (and possibly life-preserving) though it was to jump back

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