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Social media firms make $1bn a year from anti-vax followers, report says

Conspiracy theorists at Hyde Park Corner on 16 May 2020 in London: Getty
Conspiracy theorists at Hyde Park Corner on 16 May 2020 in London: Getty

Social media platforms are making up to $1bn a year from people following anti-vaccine misinformation that could cause “tens of thousands” of coronavirus deaths, researchers say.

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said the number of people viewing pages and posts claiming that a Covid-19 vaccine is unnecessary or would pose a health risk had risen dramatically during the pandemic.

Despite pledges by Facebook and others to crack down on harmful posts, a report found that at least 57 million users now follow anti-vaxxers on mainstream platforms across the UK and US – up 7.7 million since the start of the outbreak.

A YouGov poll suggested that almost one in five British adults say they would refuse the injection if it becomes available, and a further 15 per cent are unsure.

The research suggested that people

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Will the Facebook advertising boycott force the social media giant to change? Not likely

Hundreds of advertisers say they won’t spend money on Facebook in July or beyond over concerns the social media company isn’t doing enough to stop hate speech.  But the exodus of spenders may not be enough to push CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make the level of change that critics are demanding. 

Critics have an initial list of 10 recommendations that they say would help Facebook corral hate speech and make civil rights a priority when moderating content.

Zuckerberg and top executives, who have agreed to meet with the civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate for Profit boycott this week, plan to release the company’s third civil rights audit, which Facebook says will address many of the activists’ concerns, as well as other policy changes that were already under consideration.

The pressure on Facebook seems intense, but it may not be as powerful as the headlines make it appear.

Brands

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Colleges Rescinding Admissions Offers as Racist Social Media Posts Emerge

The University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla., Feb. 26, 2020. (Eve Edelheit/The New York Times)
The University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla., Feb. 26, 2020. (Eve Edelheit/The New York Times)

A star high school athlete recruited to play football for Cornell University will no longer be attending the school after a Snapchat video of him using a racial slur went viral.

Marquette University revoked an incoming freshman’s admission offer because of a Snapchat post mocking the death of George Floyd.

And an honors student bound for the University of Florida now has to make other college plans after the university learned of an Instagram post in which the student declared she was “most definitely” a racist.

Amid a national accounting over entrenched and systemic racism after Floyd’s death in police custody on Memorial Day, at least a dozen schools have rescinded admissions offers to incoming students over instances of racism that circulated widely online, often after outraged students and university alumni demanded swift action.

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We signed up for Parler. Here’s what you’ll find on the right’s latest social media platform

Credit: Parler
Credit: Parler

A right-wing exodus from Twitter and Facebook following accusations of conservative censorship spiked a surge in downloads and new user accounts on Parler, which has branded itself “the free speech social network”.

Far-right figures banned from other platforms have found a new home on the app, where right-leaning or far-right users ridicule so-called “autonomous zones” and “safe spaces” while simultaneously revelling in their own.

Founded in 2018, Parler — describing itself as “unbiased social media focused on real user experiences and engagement” that allows “free expression without violence and no censorship” — has become an echo chamber of support for Donald Trump, whose campaign dominates a platform where conservative media personalities and outlets amplify his agenda.

The president is not on the app (yet), but his son Eric Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany are, along with his Republican allies like Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Matt

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Turkey determined to control social media platforms, Erdogan says

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey will introduce regulations to control social media platforms or shut them down, President Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday, pressing ahead with government plans after he said his family was insulted online.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, said on Twitter on Tuesday that his fourth child had been born. Following the tweet, some users insulted Albayrak’s wife Esra.

Users of 11 out of 19 accounts determined to have shared content that insulted Albayrak and his family were detained, Turkish police headquarters said in a statement on Wednesday.

Speaking to members of his AK Party, Erdogan repeated that his party would introduce new regulations to control the use of social media, adding that an increase of “immoral acts” on the platforms in recent years was due to a lack of regulations.

“These platforms do not suit this nation. We want to shut down, control (them) by bringing

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No social distancing or masks required for 4th of July event

AP
AP

For President Trump’s Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore, attendees will not be required to practise social distancing or wear masks, the state’s governor said.

In an interview with Fox News, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was asked about health concerns being cited as a reason to cancel Fourth of July celebrations.

“In South Dakota we’ve told people to focus on personal responsibility, every one of them has the opportunity to make a decision that they’re comfortable with”, Governor Noem replied.

“We will have a large event on 3 July. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing.”

South Dakota has recorded more than 6,700 confirmed coronavirus cases and 91 deaths, according to data from Johns

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South Dakota gov says ‘we will not be social distancing’ at July 3 celebration at Mount Rushmore

WASHINGTON — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the thousands of people who attend the July 3 celebration for Independence Day at Mount Rushmore with President Donald Trump will not be required to practice social distancing despite an increase in coronavirus cases across the country.

“We will have a large event at July 3rd. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we will not be social distancing,” Noem, a Republican, said in an interview Monday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

State officials have told the people of South Dakota “to focus on personal responsibility,” said Noem, adding, “Every one of them has the opportunity to make a decision that they’re comfortable with.”

Trump is expected to attend the celebration and

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Starbucks suspends advertising on all social media platforms, becoming the latest company to boycott Facebook

A Starbucks store sign is shown during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Valparaiso
A Starbucks store sign is shown during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Valparaiso

Reuters

  • Starbucks announced Sunday it will suspend all of its advertising across social media platforms as it conducts discussions “internally, with our media partners, and with civil rights organizations” about ending the spread of hate speech.

  • Facebook, in particular, has taken criticism for its response to hate speech on its platform and its decision to allow President Trump to make controversial posts, such as calling protesters “thugs” and writing “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

  • Starbucks joins Coca Cola in announcing an outright suspension on all social media advertising, while other companies have announced temporary bans on Facebook ads.

  • While the company is suspending its social media ads, it is not joining the #StopHateForProfit campaign bolstering the Facebook advertising boycott, according to CNBC.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Starbucks on Sunday announced it

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Starbucks suspends social media ads over hate speech

Starbucks has announced it will suspend advertising on some social media platforms in response to hate speech.

The coffee giant joins global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo and Unilever which have recently removed advertising from social platforms.

A Starbucks spokesperson told the BBC the social media “pause” would not include YouTube, owned by Google.

“We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online,” Starbucks said in a statement.

The brand said it would “have discussions internally and with media partners and civil rights organizations to stop the spread of hate speech”. But it will continue to post on social media without paid promotion, it said.

The announcement came after Coca-Cola called for “greater accountability” from social media firms.

Coca Cola said it would pause advertising on all social media platforms globally, while Unilever, owner of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, said it would halt Twitter, Facebook and Instagram advertising

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Starbucks latest to say it will pause social media ads

Starbucks is the latest company to say it will pause social media ads after a campaign led by civil rights organizations called for an ad boycott of Facebook, saying it doesn’t do enough to stop racist and violent content.

Starbucks said Sunday that its actions were not part of the “#StopHateforProfit” campaign, but that it is pausing its social ads while talking with civil rights organizations and its media partners about how to stop hate speech online.

The coffee chain’s announcement follows statements from Unilever, the European consumer-goods giant behind Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap; Coca-Cola; cellphone company Verizon and outdoors companies like Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and REI; film company Magnolia Pictures; jeans maker Levi’s and dozens of smaller companies. Some of the companies will pause ads just on Facebook, while others will refrain from advertising more broadly on social media.

In response to companies halting advertising,

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