Facebook and Twitter, the Reluctant Gatekeepers

Ivanka Trump Violated the Hatch Act Eight Times in Just Over 48 Hours ; A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science ; and More Picks

Twitter, Facebook, election, misinformation, gatekeepers
The author writes, “Deciding who gets to say what online is a complex business in the best of times, and the 2020 election is showing social media platforms just how messy it can get. Balancing concerns over misinformation, hacking and foreign meddling against free-speech principles is already hard enough. Tackling it in real time in the middle of a political knife fight is almost certainly going to go awry.” Photo credit: Freestocks.org / Flickr
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Ivanka Trump Violated the Hatch Act Eight Times in Just Over 48 Hours (Dana)

From CREW: “Ivanka Trump has had more than her fair share of ethics scandals during the past three and a half years, but the past two days stand out even with her dubious history. The first daughter turned White House Senior Advisor has managed to violate a critical ethics law no less than eight times in just over 48 hours — on Twitter alone. The Hatch Act bars federal employees from using the power of their official positions to push partisan political outcomes. … Ivanka Trump using her @IvankaTrump account for political as well as government business suggests that she is using government resources like her time, title, and position to boost campaign messages. Many of Trump’s messages definitely cross the line when it comes to using her official position to push a partisan agenda.”

He Built a Trump Statue and Worshiped It. Then He Collapsed. (Russ)

The author writes, “In India, where throngs admire President Trump, one rural farmer worshiped him like a god, praying to a life-size statue of Mr. Trump in his backyard every morning. His village’s headman said that the young farmer, Bussa Krishna, had been drawn to Mr. Trump’s ‘straightforward ways and blunt speech.’ When Mr. Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, it devastated Mr. Krishna. … He stopped eating to show solidarity with his idol’s suffering from Covid-19, his family said. He fell into a deep depression. On Sunday, he died of cardiac arrest.”

Electrical Stimulation Makes Nerve Regrowth Five Times Faster (Mili)

From Technology Networks, “A University of Alberta researcher has found a treatment that increases the speed of nerve regeneration by three to five times, leading to much better outcomes for trauma surgery patients. … Peripheral nerve injury occurs in about three per cent of trauma victims. The slow nature of nerve regeneration means that often muscles atrophy before the nerve has a chance to grow and reconnect. That’s where conditioning electrical stimulation (CES) comes in.”

Future of Psilocybin Therapy Will Be Decided by Oregon Voters (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Oregon voters will decide this fall whether to approve and regulate psilocybin therapy for certain patients, putting the state at the head of a potentially groundbreaking movement. The ballot initiative, Measure 109, aims to make Oregon the first state in the country to legalize psilocybin – the chemical compound found in ‘magic’ mushrooms – for supervised therapeutic use.”

A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science (Dana)

From NPR: “For eight years, a box of Twinkies sat in Colin Purrington’s basement until last week when he finally opened them. Varying levels of mold had developed on the snack cakes, and he eventually sent them to two West Virginia University scientists to study the kind of fungus growing on them.” 

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