tech, twitter, disinformation, Musk
Photo credit: Anthony Crider / (CC BY 2.0)

Listen To This Story
Voiced by Amazon Polly

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

They’re Back: BBC Says Haters and Conspiracy Theorists Have Returned to Twitter (Maria)

The author writes, “Hundreds of accounts that were recently allowed back on Twitter have been spreading abuse or misinformation, a BBC investigation has found. In exclusive research, BBC Monitoring analyzed over 1,100 previously banned Twitter accounts that were reinstated under new owner Elon Musk. We found evidence of problematic content posted on the platform in over a third of them. Mr Musk says he is a ‘free speech absolutist.’ In November, he announced a ‘general amnesty’ to suspended accounts that had ‘not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.’”

Election Deniers Take Aim at Group That Helps States Maintain Voter Rolls (Russ)

The author writes, “At a time of hyperpolarization over voting and elections, Democrats and Republicans had largely managed to agree on one thing — that a little-known data-sharing consortium of more than 30 states has helped keep voter rolls updated and free of opportunities for fraud. But the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), as the consortium is known, has been straining lately under the weight of accusations and misinformation from election deniers.”

The Supreme Court Justices Deciding Whether to End Biden’s Student Loan Relief Program Paid an Average of $42,539 to Go to College. Today, They’d Have to Pay Around $320,531. (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The Supreme Court in the coming months will decide whether President Joe Biden’s student-loan forgiveness program can stand and potentially offer relief to millions of borrowers or keep them saddled with the debt. [Last week], the High Court heard oral arguments on the loan forgiveness plan, with the conservative justices, who hold the majority, questioning if Biden had the authority to enact widespread forgiveness. … Four of the nine justices graduated throughout the 1970s, a time when the average student loan debt was around $1,000, according to data from the research group The Education Data Initiative. By 2021, the average student debt at graduation was around $31,000, the group reported, citing federal data.” 

What CEOs Really Get Paid: Pay Packages Are Laid Bare in New Transparency Rules (Sean)

From NY Breaking News: “Public companies are disclosing how much money their top executives actually raised last year after factoring in their stock options, using an SEC-approved approach called ‘compensation actually paid.’ The new money meter was designed to provide a more accurate view of the pay disclosures for top executives of various companies, beyond the temporary numbers taken from a moment in time that inverters have been provided for years. The old approach, which is still in use by most companies, currently requires companies to only show top executive pay as valued when received.”

Parents Push Back on Allegations Against St. Louis Transgender Center (Dana)

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Explosive allegations made public last month about a St. Louis clinic that treats transgender children have flung parents into a vortex of emotions: shock, confusion, anger, fear. … Almost two dozen parents of children seen at the clinic, which opened in 2017, say their experiences sharply contradict the examples supplied by Jamie Reed, a case manager who left the [Washington University] center after being employed there for more than four years. Reed outlined her concerns in an article published online Feb. 9; her sworn affidavit, which included additional allegations, was released that day by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who is leading a state investigation.”

A Privacy Hero’s Final Wish: An Institute to Redirect AI’s Future (Al)

From Wired: “About a week before the privacy and technology luminary Peter Eckersley unexpectedly died last September, he reached out to artificial intelligence entrepreneur Deger Turan. Eckersley wanted to persuade Turan to be the president of Eckersley’s brainchild, a new institute that aimed to do nothing less ambitious than course-correct AI’s evolution to safeguard the future of humanity.”

NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity Sees Dazzling ‘Sun Rays’ Over Red Planet (Dana)

The author writes, “NASA’s Curiosity Rover has captured a dazzling image of rays from the setting sun at twilight on Mars. The image, which marks the first time sun rays have been viewed clearly over the Red Planet, was captured by the robotic rover on Feb. 2, 2023. The light known as ‘crepuscular rays’ from the Latin word for ‘twilight,’ can be seen illuminating a bank of clouds over Mars. The image came about as part of the Curiosity rover’s new mission on Mars: Observing clouds over the planet during its twilight hours.”

Comments are closed.