How to deal with infodemic amid COVID-19 crisis?
How to deal with infodemic amid COVID-19 crisis?

Few terminologies in today’s post-virus era should be understood fully so that people may really get to know about another or perhaps the real crisis the world is facing right now that is Infodemic. Yes, it is not COVID-19 pandemic but its infodemic.

What does that mean? In simple words it’s an availability of hell amount of misinformation in which you can’t differentiate which information is right and which is wrong. According to dictionary.com, infodemic is an overload of information, often false or unverified, about a problem, especially a major crisis. Quickly spreading in the news, online, and through social media, this information fuels fear and speculation, making the problem worse, not better.

According to WHO, infodemic is an uprising challenge as the popular use of social media and communication technologies is rising.

United Nations since the deadly coronavirus pandemic hit the world launched COVID-19 Communications Response Initiative to stem the misinformation about the use of disinfectants to combat the coronavirus.

The worrisome situation is misinformation comes from all sides when you really need to fix your problems in order to plan future course of actions. Remember in pre-virus era, scholars and populist leaders in the world were debating about the fake news and in fact they were actually themselves spreading the fake news. Now, this time, the situation is pretty awkward and you can sense the gravity of problem that now from everywhere you are getting fake news. The first misinformation you are getting it from your twitter feed with countless and endless twitter accounts claiming themselves as experts followed by endless articles and Youtube videos what to do and what you really should not to do amid the pandemic.

 

The scarcity of genuine information makes the situation worse and people are relying on the TV channels and more specifically on the digital platforms but to no avail, Youtubers are busy in asking such questions Is coronavirus real? Is this China and US bio-war against each other?

Interestingly, you are being surrounded with these kinds of questions or conspiracy theories most when you needed real and genuine information so you could store the ration, plan you days trips, to know which sanitizer is real and what are the fake brands in the markets.

United Nations said false claims like virus spread through radio waves and mobile networks and unreliable information is hurting the global effort to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

To rally forces behind this effort, the United Nations is launching a new COVID-19 Communications Response Initiative based on science, solutions and solidarity to fight misinformation.

“Fear, uncertainty, and the proliferation of fake news have the potential to weaken the national and global response to the virus, bolster nativist narratives and provide opportunities for those who may seek to exploit this moment to deepen social divisions,” said Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.

 

“All this threatens to undermine the international cooperation urgently needed to deal with the impacts of this crisis.”

Here are some examples of how the United Nations is tackling the spread of misinformation with producing and disseminating facts and accurate information, partnering with businesses, working with media and journalists, mobilizing civil society and speaking out for rights”

Few tips from the media studies scholars to avoid the infodemic of misinformation is not to believe on every information you are getting from social media and try to disseminate facts and accurate information only when you are sure about the information accuracy and by doing this both, you will be less harming yourself and would become a source to stem the misinformation.

Remember, the avalanche of misinformation is keep on rolling in this post-virus era but maintain consciousness and discouraging the false information and fake news, people can get away with the danger.

In a recent webinar conducted by Gabriela Gorjón, a public information officer in our Mexico, she said, “Reliable and critical information has always proven to be important. However, in this time of crisis, it has proven to be even more important.”

Facebook engineer resigns in protest of Zuckerberg’s bankrupt morality
Facebook engineer resigns in protest of Zuckerberg's bankrupt morality

While actions speak louder than words, sometimes a walkout just doesn’t cut it. 

At least two Facebook employees have apparently come to that conclusion, straight up resigning instead of joining their colleagues in a company-wide protest Monday. At issue was CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s defense of Donald Trump’s Facebook post threatening protesters with death. That, it seems, was finally a bridge too far. 

Timothy Aveni, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, has been a software engineer at Facebook since June of 2019, shared his motivation for quitting on both LinkedIn and Facebook. 

“I cannot stand by Facebook’s continued refusal to act on the president’s bigoted messages aimed at radicalizing the American public,” he wrote Monday on LinkedIn. “I’m scared for my country, and I’m watching my company do nothing to challenge the increasingly dangerous status quo.”

He was even more blunt in a Facebook post

“Mark always told us that he would draw the line at speech that calls for violence,” wrote Aveni. “He showed us on Friday that this was a lie. Facebook will keep moving the goalposts every time Trump escalates, finding excuse after excuse not to act on increasingly dangerous rhetoric.”

We reached out to Aveni to determine whether or not he hopes this message will inspire other Facebook employees to follow suit and resign, but have received no immediate response. 

We also reached out to Facebook for a response to Aveni’s very public resignation, but, again, have received no response. 

While Facebook may not have much to say, at least one other now-former Facebook employee does. Owen Anderson announced Monday that he, too, was leaving Facebook. Anderson, whose LinkedIn lists him as having worked at Facebook since July of 2018, wrote that he was “proud to announce that as of the end of [Monday], I am no longer a Facebook employee.” 

We reached out to Aveni to determine whether or not he hopes this message will inspire other Facebook employees to follow suit and resign, but have received no immediate response. 

We also reached out to Facebook for a response to Aveni’s very public resignation, but, again, have received no response. 

Bitcoin wipes coronavirus losses, passes $10,000 again
Bitcoin wipes coronavirus losses, passes $10,000 again

There’s a popular meme that shows Bitcoin on a perpetual rollercoaster. It’s true: The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap is a very volatile asset. 

But it’s not often that Bitcoin goes up past the  $10,000 mark. On Monday, it happened again, and this time it may carry special significance. 

The price swiftly rose from roughly $9,620 to $10,180 late on Monday according to CoinMarketCap, before settling down at about $10,100. Other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and XRP, are in the green as well, with the total value of all cryptocurrencies hovering around the $285 billion mark. 

The ten-thousand-dollar mark is always a big psychological milestone. But it’s worth taking a look of how Bitcoin got there this time.

Bitcoin wipes coronavirus losses, passes $10,000 again

In mid-February 2020, Bitcoin was happily trading above $10,000

with a pretty strong bullish momentum, but then the spectre of the coronavirus pandemic took down the stock markets and cryptocurrencies alike, with the price of Bitcoin hitting a low of about $4,120 in mid-March (again, that’s according to CoinMarketCap; the price went significantly lower on some exchanges).

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about Bitcoin halving

With the 10k milestone reached once again, however, Bitcoin has effectively nullified the effect of the pandemic, at least when it comes to price. And though it didn’t actually fulfill its promise of being a safe haven in times of crisis, as some predicted, it did recover faster than stocks

Notably, Bitcoin is currently trading at roughly half of its all-time-high price of about $19,700, which it reached in December 2017. But the bullish momentum is clear once again. 

It’s hard to predict what caused this latest, sudden price increase, with potential candidates including the recent Bitcoin halving event, U.S. protests against police brutality, trillions of dollars injected into the economy by the Fed, and reports of institutional buyers piling up Bitcoin. 

All of the above can be interpreted as positive news for the price of Bitcoin, which has a predictable inflation rate with fixed supply, and is outside of any one government’s control. Some notable proponents, including investor Mike Novogratz and Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss, have recently expressed optimism about Bitcoin’s price in light of these circumstances. As always, however, there’s no guarantee that the price will continue its current trajectory. 

Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.

Google Pixel adds bedtime features, safety tools to phones
Google Pixel adds bedtime features, safety tools to phones

Google Pixel owners can rest easy—literally. Google’s Android team this week unveiled new features that extend battery life, enhance personal safety, and help you disconnect at night. Every three months (since December), Google rolls out fresh tools like photo functions, automatic call screening, AR effects, and more display options.

As part of this third drop, the company upgraded its Adaptive Battery to predict when your Pixel’s power will run out and automatically reduce background activity to keep the phone running that little bit longer. The software already learns your favorite apps and pulls power away from those rarely used. And a better battery means more screen time, but Google wants to help curb those late-night scroll sessions with a Clock bedtime feature that “helps you maintain a consistent sleep schedule and strike a better balance with your screen time each night,” technical program manager Tok Tokuda wrote in a blog announcement.

Visit the Pixel Clock app to get a preview of the next day’s schedule, limit nighttime interruptions, and fall asleep to soothing sounds. Can’t put your phone down? “If you stay up … past bedtime, you’ll get a snapshot of how much time you’re spending awake and on which apps,” according to Tokuda. Google also added the ability to wake up to your favorite tune or with a gradually brightening screen.

Once you’re up, caffeinated, and ready for the day, tap into the Recorder app to start, stop, and search voice recordings via Google Assistant; a simple “Hey Google, start recording my meeting” or “Hey Google, show me recordings about dogs” will do the trick. You can even save transcripts directly to Google Docs for easy sharing.

“We’re introducing new safety features, too,” Tokuda said, highlighting a scheduled check-in after, say, a solo run or hike. If you don’t respond to the planned consultation, the app automatically alerts your emergency contacts.

“In the event that you need immediate help or are in a dangerous situation,” Google explained, “emergency sharing notifies all of your emergency contacts and shares your real-time location through Google Maps so they can send help or find you.” The ultra-cautious can also enable crisis alerts in the Personal Safety app to receive notifications about natural disasters and other public emergencies.

Amazon, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, news, gear
An Amazon Echo device.

Amazon Alexa users can now use the “Drop In” feature to talk with all of their Echo devices at once, Amazon announced on its blog. Previously, Drop In messages could only be sent to one other Alexa-enabled device at a time — a user with an Alexa device in the bedroom could “drop in” on a device in the kitchen and have a two-way conversation.

Now, you can use a device to send a message to all Echo devices in the house at once. This could be helpful with asking group questions like, “Does anyone want anything from the grocery store?” according to the Amazon blog. To start a group Drop In conversation, you can ask Alexa to “Drop In everywhere.”

A similar function has been added to the reminder feature. Users can now choose “all devices” when setting a reminder for the reminder to be played across all Alexa hardware. To enable the feature for all reminders, go to Settings in the Alexa app, then Reminders and opt into “Announce on all devices.”

T-Mobile offers 5G in all 50 states through a roaming deal
NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES - 2020/02/20: Customers at a T-Mobile store, with 5G signage. (Photo Illustration by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

T-Mobile has become the first carrier to provide 5G coverage in all 50 states… in a manner of speaking. The network now offers 5G in Anchorage, Alaska not through its own network, but through a roaming deal with GCI. It’s far from ubiquitous coverage as a result, but it should be helpful if you want a national provider with speedier data regardless of which state you visit.

The Alaskan 5G coverage could eventually expand to Fairbanks, Juneau and “other fiber-served communities,” T-Mobile said.

The news is no doubt meant for bragging rights when it adds just one city and is only usable with a handful of phones like the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 series. Still, this suggests that 5G is slowly moving beyond its earliest phases. Now, announcements are less about having any kind of 5G (no matter how fussy) and more about offering meaningful access that goes beyond a few cities. It’ll likely take a long while before you can simply assume you’ll have 5G in most areas, but this is a step in the right direction.

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