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Home / Health / Pinterest's work on public health shows what a smaller social network can do

Pinterest's work on public health shows what a smaller social network can do

By 2018, it was clear that Pinterest was suffering from a problem many of his colleagues had long dealt with. Since most people are vaccinated and do not spend their spare time creating pro-vaccine content for social networking, a search for "vaccines" on Pinterest revealed vaccine protection in 75% of cases. The consequences of adopting Pinterest and other major social networks through vaccine-related misinformation are not theoretical: Measles have experienced a fearsome resurgence around the world, and the World Health Organization cites vaccination reluctance as one of the top ten threats to global health. [1

9659002] While the other major platforms wavered, Pinterest took decisive action: no results were returned for the vaccine search. "It's better not to spread these results than to lead people to a recommendation hole," said Ipeoma Ozoma, Public Policy and Social Impact Manager of Pinterest, opposite the Wall Street Journal : Like me here wrote the time:

If you want to know what caring for your community looks like – if you want to know what the social responsibility for a tech platform looks like – then it looks very much like Ozoma says exactly there.

Today, Pinterest has taken another worthy step in the area of ​​social responsibility. It provides search results for 200 vaccine-related terms but provides results from credible public health organizations including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Vaccine Safety Net. Julia Carrie Wong explains the move in Guardian :

The platform will also block advertising, referrals and comments on these sites.

"It was really important that we make sure that this experience is not done. Do not let misinformation infiltrate," said Ifeoma Ozoma, public policy and social impact manager at Pinterest. "You will not get into a situation where you click on a trusted pin and the recommendations or comments are full of misinformation."

At significant congressional pressure, Facebook and Google / YouTube have taken action to reduce the number of anti-vaccine propaganda spread across their networks. However, public health experts say that no one has gone that far or will likely be as effective as Pinterest.

The action of Pinterest is only possible because its executives have made an editorial decision: that misinformation against vaccines are detrimental to their user base and the larger world. They took the view of the scientific establishment by consensus and acted in Mark Zuckerberg's terms as the "arbiter of truth."

The larger the technical platform, the more worrying it is when exercising editorial power. We probably do not want a service that has become our national communications infrastructure to support, for example, political candidates.

And yet the last few years have repeatedly shown us the consequences of neutrality in the sand. The debunking of human editors' platforms and the reliance on referrals in algorithms blessed poor actors of all kinds, from anti-vaccination zealots to foreign agents. There is clearly a place for editorial judgment – as a judge of truth – and social platforms are now looking for it.

It's probably no coincidence that the boldest action we've seen in vaccines so far starts from one of the smallest social platforms in terms of their user base and publicity. If you are Facebook or YouTube, any political decision is an act of international diplomacy. It's a negotiation with the press and the stock market. It is an electrified rail that can only rarely be touched with safety gloves.

But if you're Pinterest – well, nobody really knew what to expect on the political front. Outside the limelight, you can act with determination and moral clarity. (Especially Ozoma worked at Google and Facebook before joining Pinterest.) As the world is considering breaking the world's largest social platforms, Pinterest's public health stance today is a good argument for smallness.


Facebook makes new demands on political advertisers. That is a good thing. From my story in The Verge :

Facebook makes new demands on political advertisers, the company said on Wednesday, to make the platform more secure in the run-up to 2020 election. Before purchasing a political ad, advertisers must provide more information about their organization, including government-issued identification numbers. The move, which is due to come into effect in mid-September, is a response to some advertisers using misleading names in their disclaimers to disguise their identity.

"We saw that in 2018 Our disclaimer process could be abused," said Sarah Schiff, product manager on Facebook, to The Verge. "This is an attempt to strengthen this process."

Today's changes mark a development of Public Disclosure Requirements which Facebook introduced last year. Starting last spring, the company asked everyone who bought political advertising to verify their identity and location. Now they have to go one step further and prove that they are part of the organization they impersonate.

Democratic senators warn in a new letter to Facebook that Messenger Kids is not safe for children] in the context of the security deficiency noted last month. (Russell Brandom / The Verge )

The US government is attempting to block the construction of a submarine cable funded by Google and Facebook which will enable an Internet connection. The Ministry of Justice has voiced concerns about national security as the cable is in communication with the Chinese government. More than 13,000 kilometers of cable have already been laid. (Kate O & # 39; Keeffe, Drew FitzGerald and Jeremy Page / Wall Street Journal )

The German Supervisor is investigating Facebook's usage of people listening to users' audio recordings they improve language transcriptions. It's one of several companies that have recently been caught in a similar incident, usually with minimal disclosure to affected users. (Aoife White and Natalia Drozdiak / Bloomberg)

A Marine calls on technology company employees to work with the Pentagon to develop better technology. "Instead of pressureing their leadership to withhold support from the American service member, they could be pressured by technicians to include the equitable application of American power in their list of lobbying efforts to maintain full access to private data Including their fellow citizens and tightening their monopoly includes getting information under control, "writes Lucas Kunce. ( New York Times )

"Since the shootings on El Paso, police have arrested more than 20 people allegedly threatening to use violence in social media." (April Glaser / Slate )

Taiwan elects a president in January, and there are signs that China is trying to influence voting on social media platforms. (Stanford Internet Observatory)


Apple apologized for data loss in connection with listening to Siri records by human contractors to improve transcription. And unlike any other company that has recently caught this, Apple is making significant (and expensive) changes to Siri's pribacy policy:

Initially, by default, audio from Siri interactions will no longer be saved. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve.

Second, users can choose to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their needs. We hope that many people choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy policies. Those who decide to participate can unsubscribe at any time.

Third, when customers sign in, only Apple employees are allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to erase all records deemed to be an inadvertent trigger by Siri.

BuzzFeed has uncovered a network of foreign websites that mistakenly present themselves as Canadian news sources on Facebook and ] Google News for unclear reasons. They are led by accounts based in Kosovo, Israel and the US and have been used to spread false or misleading information. (Craig Silverman and Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed )

Linking your Facebook account to your Instagram account will not actually link your Facebook account canceled your Instagram account. (Paris Martineau / Cabled )

The notorious JMW notes that Facebook tests a clone of Squad an app to screen sharing that lets you View videos A friend's phone over your own. (Jane Manchun Wong)

If you're tired of raising your little child, YouTube Kids has now introduced a filtered version of the app for preschoolers. Does it feel like a strange time to introduce this number?

Gamergate tactics have arrived in the podcast industry and angry fans are now coordinating the bombing of podcast hosts with one-star ratings. (Ashley Carman / The Verge )

During the Libra founder, Telegram's "Gram" moves forward. (Nathaniel Popper / New York Times )

I have no idea what to do with this wild story about an Instagram influencer who may or may not be blackmailed by an anonymous content moderator in Tampa wrote about earlier this year. (Jesselyn Cook / HuffPost )

How Foursquare finally succeeded in giving up everything people once liked about it to become a surveillance marketing company. Your location data will earn $ 100 million this year. (James D. Walsh / New York )

And finally …

While Pinterest focuses on providing people with accurate health information about vaccines, Twitter … makes Twitter things.

Advertisers can not just say "vagina" on Twitter as a publisher learned the hard way this week when he tried to promote The Vagina Bible, a medical book on vaginal health by Jen Gunter. The publisher told VICE that it had been prevented from promoting a -Tweet in which an interview with Dr. Ing. Gunter on "vaginal health" and another with the language "The definitive book for understanding your vaginal health!" The book with the statement "It's time to separate the myth of medicine with everyone's favorite obstetrics!" was also removed.

Twitter prohibits promotional webs about "adult sexual products and services," but in a statement to VICE, a Twitter spokesperson wrote that "gender referrals" are allowed and some of the content advertised by Kensington Books was still confused, because of "human error and violations, including the use of obscenities and adult products"

. Whoops [19659049] Talk to me

Send me tips, comments, questions and factual information about vaccines: casey@theverge.com.

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