Social media use linked with depression, secondary trauma during COVID-19 — ScienceDaily

Can’t stop checking social media for the latest COVID-19 health information? You might want to take a break, according to researchers at Penn State and Jinan University who discovered that excessive use of social media for COVID-19 health information is related to both depression and secondary trauma.

“We found that social media use was rewarding up to a point, as it provided informational, emotional and peer support related to COVID-19 health topics,” said Bu Zhong, associate professor of journalism, Penn State. “However, excessive use of social media led to mental health issues. The results imply that taking a social media break may promote well-being during the pandemic, which is crucial to mitigating mental health harm inflicted by the pandemic.”

The study, which published online on Aug. 15 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, included 320 participants living in urban districts of Wuhan, China. In February 2020, the team

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Google attacks extreme ways of ACCC news media bargaining code

Google has continued its fight against Australia’s news media bargaining code, this time attacking the final offer arbitration process, known as baseball arbitration, that will be used.

In such a process, rather than parties agreeing to a deal, an arbitrator is presented with a final offer from each side and must select one of the offers presented. Google is arguing that Australia’s old media are asking for sums far in excess of what Google generates from searches related to news, which it says is around AU$10 million in revenue.

“Clearly, both sides have very different ideas of what the prices should be — and asking the arbitrator to pick a ‘final offer’ is an extreme way of resolving that,” Google ANZ chief Mel Silva said in a blog post.

“The reality is that baseball arbitration often fails and doesn’t produce quick outcomes. Independent economists have raised questions about its effectiveness.”

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Opinion | Social Media Needs an Election Declaration of Conscience

Such a united front wouldn’t just be symbolic. “If you had the platforms together making a statement of their values, then when they take action, it creates a permission structure for reticent platform executives to make difficult decisions quickly,” David Kaye, former United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, told the editorial board. Such a move would also be a strong public signal of the gravity of the moment.

There’s precedent for this type of collaboration. In 2016, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft came together to combat extremist content. The companies created a shared database using unique digital fingerprints to flag videos, pictures and memes promoting terrorist activity and ideologies. Domestic political disinformation poses different challenges than terrorist threats, but both are urgent matters of national security.

A public, transparent effort from the platforms would offer additional accountability for those spreading disinformation in the weeks and months

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Can Media and Tech Giants Avoid Becoming Russian Tools in 2020?

With the election just 39 days away, major tech and media organizations are wrestling with how to avoid a repeat of 2016. From mass bans targeting the Kremlin’s social media-bot networks on sites like Facebook, to news outlets like the Washington Post preparing its reporters to stay vigilant when receiving purportedly leaked information, there appears to be an attempt this time around to not become “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence,” as the New York Times once put it.

Facebook announced this week that it had discovered and shut down two separate disinformation networks run by Russian “military intelligence services.” The social media giant also took out a third network that had ties to the same internet troll farm that was involved in the 2016 election-tampering operations. “We removed 214 Facebook users, 35 Pages, 18 Groups and 34 Instagram accounts for violating our policy against foreign or government interference

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Tech Mahindra Recognised as Corporate Influencer at World Media Awards 2020

Acknowledged for ‘In the Future’ campaign in partnership with The trust – The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s Group

A custom-content program that brings together outlook from C-level executives on future-focused technologies and their transformational journeys

Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting and business reengineering services and solutions, has been recognised for its ‘In the Future’ campaign curated in partnership with The Trust – The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Barron’s Group at the corporate influencer at World Media Awards 2020.

The award celebrates creativity and effectiveness of cross platform, cross border, content-driven advertising and the winners provide leading examples of bold and influential strategies engaging international, influential audiences. The award jury comprised of independent international media and content specialists. The ‘In The Future’ case study illustrates on how Tech Mahindra utilized the platform for enabling dialogues with C-level executive leadership in curating collaborative thought leadership and leveraging

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Trump eyes ‘concrete legal steps’ against social media sites for alleged bias against conservatives

Such attacks aren’t new for Trump, who for years has charged that Facebook, Google, Twitter and other popular Web platforms limit the reach of prominent conservative users and news sites. He often has provided scant evidence for his claims, which tech companies vehemently deny.

But the president has ratcheted up his attacks in recent months, as social media companies increasingly take more active, aggressive steps to limit Trump’s most controversial tweets and posts — particularly out of concern they may seed doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election and in some cases carry the potential to incite violence.

The president delivered his broadside Wednesday alongside nine Republican state attorneys general, some of whom echoed Trump’s belief that technology companies exhibit political bias against conservatives. U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr later appeared to encourage the GOP leaders in attendance to take action, stressing that the federal government does not

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After boycotts, advertisers and social media giants agree on steps to curb hate speech

(Reuters) — Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have agreed on first steps to curb harmful content online, big advertisers announced on Wednesday, following boycotts of social media platforms accused of tolerating hate speech.

Under the deal, announced by the World Federation of Advertisers, common definitions would be adopted for forms of harmful content such as hate speech and bullying, and platforms would adopt harmonized reporting standards. The deal comes less than six weeks before a polarizing U.S. presidential election.

Three months ago, major advertisers boycotted Facebook in the wake of anti-racism demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd, an American Black man, in police custody in Minneapolis.

Advertisers have complained for years that big social media companies do too little to prevent ads from appearing alongside hate speech, fake news, and other harmful content. Big tech companies have begun taking steps to fend off calls for more regulation.

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Microsoft releases new technology to combat manipulated media

Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out two new technologies aimed at identifying and combatting the influence of manipulated media.

One, the Microsoft Video Authenticator, can analyze photos and videos and give a percentage chance that they have been artificially changed, the company said in a blog post.

The other includes technology helping creators add digital hashes and certificates to content made in Microsoft as well as a reader that can check those hashes and certificates.

Ideally, those two pieces would help users know the creator of content and be able to verify it has not been changed.

Microsoft also announced Tuesday that it is partnering with the nonprofit AI Foundation to make the new video authentication software available to news outlets and political campaigns.

The software company is also partnering with the BCC, CBC and The New York Times on a new project to test its authentication technology.

Lawmakers and experts

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