Journalism: Misleading headline of the day “Bodies of Covid-19 victims pile up in streets of Ecuador”

Journalism: Misleading headline of the day “Bodies of Covid-19 victims pile up in streets of Ecuador”

News media hype says bodies are piling up in Ecuador. There are 180 dead (as of this writing) in a country of 18 million. The problem is not what the headline implies – the problem is a tight curfew has greatly limited the hours during which funeral homes can pick up bodies. But who needs facts when you’ve got a scary headline?

Journalism: Incomplete illustration graphic

Journalism: Incomplete illustration graphic

AP is using a map graphic to show total cases per state. That presents an incomplete picture of the situation – they also need to include a map graphic showing “cases per million” or thousand population to present a complete picture.

Public health officials provably lied when they said public use of approved face masks offered no protection

Public health officials provably lied when they said public use of approved face masks offered no protection

Last week, public health officials lied when they said that use of approved masks “will not protect you”. This is directly contradicted by published research (see inside this post). Just 2 days after that quote, they reversed course and the CDC now recommends wearing unapproved face masks, of unknown design provenance, using random materials, constructed at home – because this will protect you. This is a public relations fiasco of major proportions. Never, ever lie to people as you lose all credibility.

Social media: Untrue post about #Covid19 in Czech Republic – That untrue post did not age well but became government policy

Social media: Untrue post about #Covid19 in Czech Republic – That untrue post did not age well but became government policy

One week ago, a fake Tweet spread like wildfire, then crossed over to Reddit. One week later, the fake and false information in that tweet has now become official US government policy for everyone to wear randomly designed, randomly built, out of random material face masks to protect against Covid19, even though there is not only no supporting evidence, there is a 2015 paper that found that cloth masks used by health care workers were likely worse than wearing no mask at all!

Social media: Facebook app being used to track people vis a vis Covid19 lockdowns

Social media: Facebook app being used to track people vis a vis Covid19 lockdowns

The researchers also draw on data tracked by Facebook showing reductions in movement as restrictions have been adopted. Facebook shares aggregate information with researchers based on people using its app with location tracking enabled. Source: ‘Strong evidence’ seen that Oregon’s coronavirus restrictions are working – oregonlive.com

Social media: Did 21 million cell phones really disappear in China?

Social media: Did 21 million cell phones really disappear in China?

A random “factoid” of vanishing cell phones has reasonable alternative explanations. Media reports love “factoids” – little snippets of items or numbers that add little to the story but enable them to pretend they’ve found something. Random correlations of X and Y are a favorite selection for factoids,

Coronavirus Hall of Shame, Part 2

Coronavirus Hall of Shame, Part 2

Young people have been engaged in reckless behaviors that are killing people, all for fun, of course, and to generate more views on their social media. Nest post will look at the “adult” covidiots who have done nearly equally idiotic activities.