Covid: Most popular Facebook link in US spread vaccine doubt – BBC News:

The paper alleged the report had not been shared because of fears that it would “look bad for the company”.
The most-viewed link was an article published by a mainstream US newspaper reporting that a doctor had died two weeks after getting a Covid-19 vaccine. The link attracted nearly 54 million views.

The first quarter report also revealed that the 19th most popular page on the platform belonged to the Epoch Times, which has been accused of spreading right-wing conspiracy theories.

Apex Legends lead designer fired over old racist and sexist comments | Rock Paper Shotgun:

I don’t have a ton of pity for people in this situation… We all knew this kind of commentary was toxic 14 years ago, 20 years ago, and far beyond that. The only difference is that people are actually being held accountable for some portion of it now.

I think the best answer, if you know you have social-media-skeletons like this, is to make your own mea culpa – Before someone else airs that laundry for you, expose them yourself with an explanation of how you have grown past them and apologize for you actions before someone else has to bring them into the light.

I am having the same issue with James Gunn right now with his return to the spotlight over Suicide Squad… because I don’t feel like he ever actually apologized for his own toxic social media past, only for it being discovered and possibly affecting the people he’s worked with.

Daring Fireball: Apple’s New ‘Child Safety’ Initiatives, and the Slippery Slope:

All of these features are fairly grouped together under a “child safety” umbrella, but I can’t help but wonder if it was a mistake to announce them together. Many people are clearly conflating them, including those reporting on the initiative for the news media. E.g. The Washington Post’s “never met an Apple story that couldn’t be painted in the worst possible light” Reed Albergotti’s report, the first three paragraphs of which are simply wrong1 and the headline for which is grossing misleading (“Apple Is Prying Into iPhones to Find Sexual Predators, but Privacy Activists Worry Governments Could Weaponize the Feature”).

Not surprisingly, this is the first really good, non-hyperbolic summary of everything Apple announced they’re doing on the topic.

  • On-device, in the Messages app, neural analysis of images for possible sensitive content sent or recieved… If the user is under 12, parents can opt-in to recieve a warning, over 12 the user can be notified but parents won’t be… And none of this is ever reported to any kind of authories, nor is any content sent to Apple or anyone else.
  • Likewise on-device updates to Siri and Search around sensitive content, with the same kind of parental opt-in notifications for under 12 users, or just the users otherwise, similar to above.

  • Most misunderstood… CSAM image fingerprint comparisons. Not sending images, not even scanning content of images, but creating a verifiable hash of images which can be compared with fingerprints in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) systems… And if enough of those match the MCMEC system triggering a human review of those fingerprints for confirmation, before finally potentially raising further alarms. These cryptographic hashes, depending on the algorythm, should be entirely unique to any given image and so should be worse than lottery odds of ever creating a single false positive that a photo in your library matches a sensitive image in the NCMEC database, much less enough to trigger further action.

These seem to be exteremely well thought out, best compromise answers to really difficult problems and by far the most pprivacy forward answers of anyone in the tech world so far.

I’m sure that’s a good look – “WhatsApp – The platform that’ll protect your kiddy porn”

Facebook’s WhatsApp Takes Aim At Apple Over Child Safety Software Plan:

Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging unit blasted Apple’s plan to monitor sexually exploitative images of children on iPhones as bad for privacy, opening a new front in the battle between two of the world’s biggest tech companies. From a report: “This approach introduces something very concerning into the world,” Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, said Friday. “We will not adopt it at WhatsApp.” Apple a day earlier said it planned to release an update for U.S. users later this year designed to identify and report collections of sexually exploitative images of children, as part of a series of changes it is preparing for the iPhone to protect children from sexual predators.

WhatsApp’s position deepens the battle between Facebook and Apple about data. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has long bemoaned what he sees as too much power Apple has over the social-media giant’s business. Apple has made the protection of user information on the iPhones and some other devices a key part of its pitch to consumers and taken shots at Facebook for its data-collection practices. Tensions have intensified in recent months as Apple rolled out a new privacy feature for the iPhone that restricts Facebook’s ability to collect data. Mr. Zuckerberg said Apple was using its platform to interfere with how Facebook apps work. At the heart of the latest dispute is the question of whether tech companies can insert software that identifies inappropriate or illegal content without compromising privacy. Apple claims to have found a way to do this. WhatsApp, and Apple’s critics, liken this software to a surveillance system.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Boycotts Don’t Work, Do This Instead:

I disagree with the premise – Ask Papa Johns if a boycott can change company behavior… But the graphic does give good ideas on how to extend a boycott with wider behaviors… In particular, Atomic Mass (and by proxy Asmodee slash Fantasy Flight Games) mini games like Star Wars Legion or Marvel Crisis Protocol are really well worth the time.

Dear HR: What Skin Color Emoji Am I Supposed to Use? – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

Originally “Simpsons yellow” was clearly the safest choice. It signified the “everyman” of the emoji. But is this a cop-out? Does the yellow represent the cowardice of Homer (the cartoon, not the poet) and his people? Am I making a statement by trying not to make a statement? And what about Apu and Carl, why were they not yellow?! Where’s their statement?

This is just for white people, right? Like, if your name is Brock and you don’t want to get into trouble with other white people, you pick this? Like, you know what you did and you’re ashamed. But how white is this one? Dying-by-gently-coughing-blood-into-a-handkerchief white or detonating-thirty-gallons-of-gasoline-at-a-baby-gender-reveal-party white? Because those are two different kinds and that doesn’t seem fair.

He-Man fans hate the new series because it has too much Teela in it | Boing Boing:

But the fans hate it anyway, because the opening “Search for He-Man” plot arc features too much Teela and is too “woke”. The show’s been review-bombed online. Smith is reduced to denouncing He Man’s angry fans in Variety magazine.

The best way to fight back against crap like this is to watch it, praise it, and make sure the loudest voices in the room aren’t the childish conservative snowflakes.

I Had Stopped Masking—Until Delta – The Atlantic:

But the pandemic is once again entering a new phase that feels more dangerous and more in flux, even for the people lucky enough to have received their lifesaving shots. A more transmissible variant—one that can discombobulate vaccine-trained antibodies—has flooded the world. It’s wreaking havoc among the uninoculated, a group that still includes almost half of Americans and most of the global population. After a prolonged lull, the pandemic’s outlook is grimmer than it’s been in months. I am, for the foreseeable future, back to wearing masks in indoor public places, and there are four big reasons why.

I personally haven’t felt like I could stop with masks in public… Despite being vaccinated, one of my two kids can’t be for a while… So when the vacicnation rate among eligible people basically stopped with less than half done, I have felt like we can’t change behaviors as if the threat was resolved…

The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot – BBC News:

A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.

W.T.A.F… This presents one of the core issues with “citizen journalism” and the fuzzy state non-traditional “news” lives in… Because we only know this happened because a few people spoke up… But we don’t have any way of knowing who didn’t, or how many other campaigns there are like this for other topics.

jwz: Facebook is Killing People: