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 picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Twitter Bans Ads That Contradict Science on Climate Change (Maria)

The author writes, “Twitter says it will no longer allow advertisers on its site who deny the scientific consensus on climate change, echoing a policy already in place at Google. ‘Ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis,’ the company said in a statement outlining its new policy Friday. There was no indication that the change would affect what users post on the social media site, which along with Facebook has been targeted by groups seeking to promote misleading claims about climate change. The announcement, coinciding with Earth Day, came hours before the European Union agreed upon a deal requiring big tech companies to vet their sites more closely for hate speech, disinformation and other harmful content.”

Japan’s Shionogi Says COVID-19 Pill Shows Rapid Clearance of Virus (Sean)

The author writes, “An experimental treatment from Shionogi & Co Ltd (4507.T) has shown rapid clearance of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to new data, the Japanese drug maker said on Sunday. The pill, S-217622, ‘demonstrated rapid clearance of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus,’ Shionogi said in a statement, citing Phase-2b results from the Phase II/III clinical trial of the drug. The company has global aspirations for the antiviral pill, which is now being evaluated by Japanese regulators.”

Male State: The Russian Online Hate Group Backing Putin’s War (Mili)

From Bellingcat: “They were banned and designated as extremist by a Russian court in October 2021. But Male State — the online gang of racists, homophobes and misogynists Bellingcat investigated last year — has retained a significant following and managed to become a vocal and vile online booster of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. While Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has stated that one of the main aims of his country’s military action is the ‘denazification’ of Ukraine, vile anti-semitic posts and calls for Ukraine’s leaders to be executed are a regular feature on Male State channels.”

Amazon Union Could Face a Tough Road Ahead After Victory (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “In the aftermath of their hard-won labor victory, Amazon workers in the New York City borough of Staten Island popped Champagne, cheered their victory and danced in celebration. But their jovial attitude will be tested by a company that seems likely to drag its feet to the bargaining table. Among other things, the nascent Amazon Labor Union, or ALU, has said it wants longer breaks for warehouse employees, more time off and a dramatically higher minimum hourly wage of $30, up from just over $18 an hour now at the Staten Island facility. To achieve anything close to that, the grassroots union would need to negotiate a contract with Amazon that both sides, as well as union members, agree on. Doing so could prove difficult.”

Forget Gas Prices. The Billionaire Club’s Run on Cobalt Says Everything About Our Battery-Powered Future (Aline)

From Vanity Fair: “Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and other masters of the universe are betting big on Greenland as mining in the Congo gets too dirty for even Elon Musk.”

Saving the Sounds of the Early 20th Century (Gerry)

From Atlas Obscura: “The Mapleson cylinders are the prized possession of the New York Public Library’s vast wax cylinder collection, which comprises about 2,700 recordings. Only a small portion of those cylinders, around 175, have ever been digitized. The vast majority of the cylinders have never even been played in the generations since the library acquired them. But that’s all about to change. The library recently acquired a nearly $50,000 machine to create digital recordings of their wax cylinder collection. In the world of wax cylinders, innovations like this come about only once every 20 years, says Jessica Wood, the library’s assistant curator of music and recorded sound. ‘To be able to hear stuff that was recorded in the 1890s is pretty magical,’ she says.”

Washington Woman Rescued After Falling Headfirst in Pit Toilet Trying to Retrieve Phone (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A woman who accidentally dropped her cellphone into the hole of a pit toilet and fell in while trying to retrieve it had to be rescued by firefighters in Washington state. Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said the woman, who was at the top of Mount Walker northwest of Seattle, had been using her phone when it fell into the toilet on Tuesday, The Kitsap Sun reported. Manly said she disassembled the toilet seat and used dog leashes to try and get the phone and eventually used the leashes to tie herself off as she reached for it. That effort failed and she fell into the toilet headfirst.”