Water scarcity in a changing climate: will drought get worse with warming?
“The thing to remember is that drought is a very complex phenomenon. For one, drought is not just precipitation. Drought is also soil moisture and streamflow. This is an important distinction, because it means that other processes that may be affected by climate change (e.g., evaporation) can play a role in increasing drought, even if precipitation does not change.”
Shedding light on LinkedIn’s enforcement of health misinformation policies: A pilot study
Summary of findings The career- and business-oriented social media platform LinkedIn has been absent from the public conversation around the topic of health misinformation, as compared to more informal platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While LinkedIn’s policies state that it prohibits “content directly contradicting guidance from leading global health organizations and public health authorities”, anecdotal … Continued
Following the misinformation URL trail to identify key spreaders: A case study on Twitter
Introduction As social media platforms try to tackle the spread of misinformation, their first challenge is the reliable identification of which content breaches their misinformation policy. Like everything in the social media space, this has to be done at a very large scale if it is to have any meaningful impact. Once identified, such content … Continued
Assessing the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on mortality: a story of confounding factors and their role in COVID-19 misinformation
Introduction COVID-19 vaccines have been instrumental in our fight against the pandemic and our return to a normal life, thanks to their ability to reduce the number of cases, hospitalizations, and mortality. Their effectiveness against severe COVID-19 and death was proven in randomized controlled trials (RCT) that involved tens of thousands of people[1,2]. While RCTs … Continued
How sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic is influenced by climate change
“The decreases have accelerated since the 1990s and have been part of a consistent suite of changes in the Arctic, including rising atmospheric temperatures, melting land ice, thawing permafrost, longer growing seasons, increased coastal erosion, and warming oceans. Overall, it has been a consistent picture solidly in line with the expectations of the warming climate predicted from increases in greenhouse gases. In particular, modeled sea ice predictions showed marked Arctic sea ice decreases, and the actual decreases even exceeded what the models predicted.”
More than 80 fact-checking organizations call on YouTube to tackle misinformation
“The examples are too many to count. Many of those videos and channels remain online today, and they all went under the radar of YouTube’s policies, especially in non-English speaking countries and the Global South. We are glad that the company has made some moves to try to address this problem lately, but based on what we see daily on the platform, we think these efforts are not working“
Demonetization of climate change misinformation on Youtube: a quick check on the implementation of Google Ads’ new policy
Google announced that any content, including YouTube videos, that ‘contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change’ would not be able to earn revenue from Google ads. Our quick experiment shows that the policy is not systematically applied.
Marc Thiessen’s column in The Washington Post relies on incorrect and cherry-picked claims by Bjorn Lomborg; scientists provide needed context
Thiessen repeated a large number of Lomborg’s claims in his article without fact-checking or verifying these claims by consulting with scientists who actually have expertise on these topics. Unlike scientists, Lomborg writes books and social media posts about a variety of topics, but he does not submit scientific research on these topics to peer-reviewed journals. If Thiessen lacks the scientific knowledge to challenge Lomborg’s claims, he could have done what professional journalists do: reach out to experts to gain insight from them.
Infection-induced immunity versus vaccine-induced immunity: Weighing the benefits and risks
Introduction Multiple articles and social media posts have debated the strength of infection-induced immunity—commonly referred to as natural immunity—compared to vaccination when it comes to the best protection against COVID-19. Public health authorities like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended that previously infected people get vaccinated. But scientific studies have … Continued
Statements in Project Veritas video contradict public health authorities and experts’ recommendation for eligible children to be vaccinated against COVID-19
Introduction On 27 September 2021, the group Project Veritas published a video on several social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, containing claims that children don’t need to get a COVID-19 vaccine and that the long-term safety of COVID-19 vaccines is uncertain. The claims are based on an interview with two people identified in … Continued