The Daily Populous

Thursday March 31st, 2022 evening edition

image for Facebook fails to label 80% of posts promoting bioweapons conspiracy theory

Facebook failed to label 80% of articles on its platform promoting a fast-spreading conspiracy theory that the US is funding the use of bioweapons in Ukraine, according to a study released Friday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

The nonprofit disinformation research group studied a sample of posts from between 24 February and 14 March sharing external articles containing baseless claims about bioweapons.

It found Facebook in 80% of cases failed to label posts as either “missing context”, containing “partly false information” or “false information” outright.

“But we found that in the vast majority of cases, conspiracy theories are given a free pass.”.

The bioweapons theory began to spread in the early days of the war on Ukraine, among fringe QAnon accounts, ultimately making its way to larger platforms such as Fox News.

CCDH has called on Meta to more thoroughly enforce its “false information” and “partly false information” labels and expand the use of its existing “missing context” label.

Previous studies published by CCDH found Facebook struggled to enforce its own rules surrounding the labeling of state-sponsored news sources. »

Russia drafts 134,500 conscripts but says they won't go to Ukraine

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The order came five weeks into Russia's invasion, which has run into fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that none of those called up would be sent to any "hot spots".

Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special military operation to demilitarise and "denazify" the country. »

Quebec to ban declawing and other cosmetic animal procedures this summer

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The Quebec government is moving to ban the declawing of cats and other non-essential procedures by this summer, CBC News has learned.

"Like any development of draft regulations, the MAPAQ takes into account the latest scientific advances … to propose guidelines," it said.

Montreal animal health technician Alexandra Yaksich started working to get the Animal Welfare and Safety Act changed last year. »

More Republicans have died of covid-19. Does that mean the polls are off?

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In January, the Pew Research Center found that 33 percent of Republicans had not received a vaccine, compared to 10 percent of Democrats.

The Pew Research Center similarly found that more Americans died in counties that supported Trump than those that backed Biden.

“It’s a fair question,” said Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin and Marshall College, which polls Pennsylvania regularly. »

Breakaway Georgian territory of South Ossetia plans to join Russia

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The president of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia said on Wednesday that the territory would take steps in the near future to become part of Russia.

Moscow recognized the territory and the coastal region of Abkhazia as independent after fighting a war with Georgia in 2008.

The republic of South Ossetia will be part of its historical homeland – Russia.”. »