Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

World

How to guard your social feeds against election misinformation

Published

on

Open Sourced logo

In this election season, misinformation seems to be everywhere. Concern about the state of the post office and absentee voting has fueled misleading, viral images of collection boxes. Racist conspiracy theorists have brought back birtherism to attack vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. President Donald Trump has continued to spread falsehoods about mail-in voting, hydroxychloroquine, and whether children can get Covid-19.

Under increasing pressure over the past four years, social media platforms have begun cracking down on various forms of misinformation. But an array of critics that includes politicians, the public, and activists say these companies’ efforts fall short. It’s still pretty easy to misinformation and conspiracy theories on the web.

“I wouldn’t rely too much on social media companies to do this hard work for us,” Sam Rhodes, who studies misinformation at Utah Valley University, told Recode. “They not only are they not up to the task; they don’t really seem that interested in it.” Rhodes added that social media companies seem to take action more often against specific examples of misinformation after they’ve already gone viral and grabbed the media’s attention.

Election Day is approaching, and you’ll likely have to use your own judgment to identify misleading or downright false content on social media. So how can you prepare? Plenty of outlets have written guides to spotting misinformation on your feeds — some great resources are available at The Verge, Factcheck.org, and the Toronto Public Library.

You can go beyond that by minimizing the chance that you’ll come across misinformation in the first place (though there’s no guarantee). That means: unfollowing less-than-ideal sources and taking steps to prioritize legitimate ones. It also means talking to friends or family whose feeds might be more vulnerable to misinformation than yours, so they can take the same steps.

Misinformation on your feed can take many forms

Links that lead to seemingly-normal-but-not news articles can contain misinformation, but that’s not its only source. A family member might share misinformation as a status update or through a text message. It could also come from a discussion in a private online group or in the form of an image or meme. Importantly, misinformation can switch from platform to platform, from format to format, and can jump from obscure sites into the mainstream discourse relatively quickly. And yes, misinformation can appear in political advertisements, as well as posts from the president of the United States.

In July, President Donald Trump hinted at delaying the election, which he does not have the legal capacity to do, among sharing other mail-in ballot misinformation.

But much of this misinformation won’t be deleted because social media companies don’t usually consider inaccurate information to be enough of a reason to remove a post. While Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube might remove a post if it could cause physical harm or interfere in an election, the platforms generally don’t ban misinformation itself.

Facebook, at least, does some automatic labeling of posts that appear to be about voting information, pointing readers to vetted sources. Social media companies also have broader fact-checking programs, but these are hardly a cure-all when it comes to preventing the spread of misinformation. Fact-checkers can’t easily find content that’s shared in private groups and messages, and the tools fact-checkers have to flag misinformation are limited. The purpose of Facebook’s fact-checkers, for instance, is to apply labels to — and reduce the spread of — misinformation; factchecking doesn’t itself lead to the content being taken down.

And they don’t label everything. A recent report from the activist nonprofit Avaaz found that just 16 percent of health misinformation on Facebook analyzed by its researchers carried a warning from fact-checkers. And Facebook has also removed fact-checking labels in response to pressure from conservative groups.

In Facebook groups, users might also encounter unfounded conspiracy theories. Here’s what one such post in a 5G conspiracy theory group that Recode wrote about earlier this year looks like.

Here’s what you can do to limit your own exposure to misinformation

Your social feeds are most shaped by who you follow, so following reputable sources of information and news is probably your best bet. Unfollowing known sources of misinformation, even if that includes close friends and family, is probably worth considering as well. If you want to get ahead on fact-checking, you might consider following factchecking organizations directly, ensuring their fact-checks are in your feed. You can check out this list of organizations that have signed on to the fact-checking principles established by the International Factchecking Network, or this list of US-focused fact-checkers from American University.

There are also media-trust tools, which can help flag known disreputable sources. NewsGuard, for instance, provides resources for tracking particular sources of misinformation on the web.

Something to watch out for: If you keep seeing the same claim from a bunch of different sources that generally support your political views, you should stay alert. According to Princeton political science professor Andy Guess, “That is when your alarm bells should be going off.” Why? If information supports our side, we’re more likely to believe it and less likely to think critically about it.

Repetition also makes us more likely to believe something is true. “One of the real dangers of social media is that there could be one news report or one claim that gets retweeted a bunch and trickles down to people’s feeds, in ways that obscure that this all came from a single source,” Guess told Recode. “So when you see it multiplied, that can make you falsely confident that something is true.”

With all that in mind, the platforms do give you tools to help manage your feeds and prime them for accurate information.

Facebook

Let’s start with Facebook. One of the first things users can do is set your account to prioritize 30 reputable sources — meaning trusted news organizations and fact-checking outlets — in your News Feed. This will make them more likely to appear high up in your feed when you log on. And, of course, you can unfollow or block pages if you spot them sharing misinformation. If that’s too aggressive for you, there are also other tools that allow you to hide and “snooze” bad sources — a strategy that Rhodes, from Utah Valley University, recommends for family members that repeatedly share misinformation.

On Facebook, users can select to see content from some accounts first.
Facebook

It’s important to remember that Facebook in 2018 shifted its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over public content in the News Feed, which means that if you don’t adjust your settings, a conspiracy-curious Facebook post from your mom might get higher placement into your feed than a reported-out story posted by the Associated Press Facebook page.

When you’re scrolling through your News Feed, you can also keep an eye out for the “News Feed Context Button,” which provides extra information for some links and pages that share content on your feed. If an outlet doesn’t come up as having a formal presence on Facebook — and doesn’t have a Wikipedia page — that’s probably a good sign they’re not an established outlet worth trusting.

This is an example of how a link to a site known for producing fake news shows up.

In addition to its fact-checking and voting information labels, Facebook sometimes offers another label, called interstitials, that are designed to provide more context to a piece of content, mainly emphasizing that an article about Covid-19 is very old and probably out-of-date. If an account keeps sharing out-of-date news headlines, they might be worth unfollowing: Old stories can be misleading and lack critical, new information. If you receive an alert from Facebook that you’ve previously interacted with fake news, it might be worth going back to unfollow that source, too.

If you see something flagged as false pop in your page, you can also check out the “Why Am I Seeing This Feature,” which can help find the root of a particular, concerning post. That might show you that you’re in a group where such misinformation is posted, or if your frequent commenting on a particular account is boosting its presence in your feed.

This is what the “context” provided about the New Yorker looks like on Facebook.

You can also turn off political ads — which can also be a source of misinformation — though you may risk missing ads from lesser-known candidates.

If you use the Facebook News App, you can also choose which outlets to prioritize in its settings, or leave what you see up to the platform’s curation. If you run any Facebook groups, it’s worth keeping an eye out for “group quality” notices that the company might display on the pages. That’s where Facebook will tell you whether posts in your group have been flagged for sharing false news. If you’re in a group that keeps posting misinformation, consider leaving that group.

Twitter

Next up is Twitter. Again, what you see depends largely on who you follow. One way that Twitter makes controlling who you follow easier is through Lists, which are “curated groups” of accounts, like a list of news or journalism organizations. There’s also the Twitter “Topics” section, which lets you follow topics like the 2020 Election, as well as unfollow topics you’re not interested in and don’t want to hear more about. Twitter also picks up your “interests,” which you can look at and edit here.

One thing to keep in mind is that a verified Twitter accounts — these are accounts that carry little white checks in blue circles — is not guaranteed to be an accurate or legitimate source. That said, unverified accounts are probably not an ideal way of finding confirmed, breaking news either. You should also keep an eye out for Twitter’s labels for state- and government-affiliated media sources. Those sources have particular motives of their own and can skew events in a particular way. Of course, not every outlet that might have goals beyond accurate journalism in mind gets a label.

If you see a story going viral on Twitter, pay attention to what headline Twitter places in its trending box. Sometimes, the company will choose to elevate content from specific fact-checkers or news organizations that refutes a trending but false narrative. This happened, for instance, when misinformation about Sen. Kamala Harris’ eligibility to run for president went viral.

Everywhere else

Beyond steps you can take that are specific to a platform, you can apply common sense measures, like watching for sensationalist headlines and avoiding suspicious-looking websites, some of which might be imitating the websites of real news providers. That also means clicking through an article — and looking for evidence — before actually sharing it.

RT has a “Russia state-affiliated media” label.

“Engage very critically with what you’re reading. Check sources and then check supports, like, who’s being quoted where, where the information is coming from, etc,” Seattle-based librarian and media literacy expert Di Zhang recently told Vox’s Today Explained podcast. “[I]f it contains a claim that it has a secret, the media, the government, big business, whatever doesn’t want you to know about and that they’re the only one who has access to this information, that is a big red flag.”

Unfortunately, all these steps may not be enough to keep misinformation completely off your feed, especially when the president is spreading misinformation with near-impunity. But here’s some good news: Most people aren’t seeing outright misinformation on their feeds on a regular basis, which means that the best use for this guidance may be sending it a loved one.

“The kinds of people who frequently encounter online misinformation tend to be in clusters, where it’s more likely to be shared and viewed,” Guess, the Princeton professor, told Recode. “There are groups of people who read a lot of it, but it’s not most people.” He added that when people share misinformation, they often doing so to signal their membership with particular, highly-partisan groups.

Guess also said that those who are sharing misinformation are more likely to be older and to people who tend to mostly read right-wing sources of information, according to his research. So if you’re not personally seeing a lot of misinformation on your feed — but are close to someone who is — you might be in a better position to gently guide them toward better sources of news.

But don’t scold them. That can actually strengthen wrong beliefs. “Appeal to their reason, and also appear to appeal to their sensibilities,” said Rhodes, who recommends a script like this: “Like you, I am concerned about the election. Like you, I am concerned about the direction of this country. However, there are others sources out there that may dispute some of the facts and dispute some of the stuff that you’re talking about.”

Open Sourced is made possible by Omidyar Network. All Open Sourced content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.


Will you help keep Vox free for all?

The United States is in the middle of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. That is our mission at Vox. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone understand this presidential election: Contribute today from as little as $3.

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

All the products we found to be the best during our testing this year

Published

on

(CNN) —  

Throughout the year, CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — be it coffee makers or headphones — to find the absolute best in each respective category.

Our testing process is rigorous, consisting of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews and perusing user ratings) to find the top products in each category. Once we settle on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world settings. All this in an effort to settle on the absolute best products.

So, as we enter peak gifting season, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, we know you’ll find something on this list that they (or you!) will absolutely love.

Coffee

Best burr coffee grinder: Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder With Digital Timer Display ($249; amazon.com or walmart.com)

Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder

Beginner baristas and coffee connoisseurs alike will be pleased with the Baratza Virtuoso+, a conical burr grinder with 40 settings for grind size, from super fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press). The best coffee grinder we tested, this sleek look and simple, intuitive controls, including a digital timer, allow for a consistent grind every time — as well as optimal convenience.

Read more from our testing of coffee grinders here.

Best drip coffee maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker ($79.95; amazon.com)

Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker
Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker

During our testing of drip coffee makers, we found the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker made a consistently delicious, hot cup of coffee, brewed efficiently and cleanly, from sleek, relatively compact hardware that is turnkey to operate, and all for a reasonable price.

Read more from our testing of drip coffee makers here.

Best single-serve coffee maker: Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus ($165; originally $179.95; amazon.com)

Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus
Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus

Among all single-serve coffee makers we tested, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus, which uses pods that deliver both espresso and “regular” coffee, could simply not be beat for its convenience. Intuitive and a snap to use right out of the box, it looks sleek on the counter, contains a detached 60-ounce water reservoir so you don’t have to refill it with each use and delivers perfectly hot, delicious coffee with a simple tap of a lever and press of a button.

Read more from our testing of single-serve coffee makers here.

Best coffee subscription: Blue Bottle (starting at $11 per shipment; bluebottlecoffee.com)

Blue Bottle coffee subscription
Blue Bottle coffee subscription

Blue Bottle’s coffee subscription won us over with its balance of variety, customizability and, most importantly, taste. We sampled both the single-origin and blend assortments and loved the flavor of nearly every single cup we made. The flavors are complex and bold but unmistakably delicious. Beyond its coffee, Blue Bottle’s subscription is simple and easy to use, with tons of options to tailor to your caffeine needs.

Read more from our testing of coffee subscriptions here.

Best cold brewer coffee maker: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot ($25; amazon.com)

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot
Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot

This sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe produces 1 liter (about 4 1/4 cups) of rich, robust brew in just eight hours. It was among the simplest to assemble, it executed an exemplary brew in about the shortest time span, and it looked snazzy doing it. Plus, it rang up as the second-most affordable of our inventory.

Read more from our testing of cold brew makers here.

Kitchen essentials

Best nonstick pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid ($39.97; amazon.com)

T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid
T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid

If you’re a minimalist and prefer to have just a single pan in your kitchen, you’d be set with the T-fal E76597. This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2 1/2-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. It’s a high-quality and affordable pan that outperformed some of the more expensive ones in our testing field.

Read more from our testing of nonstick pans here.

Best blender: Breville Super Q ($499.95; breville.com)

Breville Super Q
Breville Super Q

With 1,800 watts of motor power, the Breville Super Q features a slew of preset buttons, comes in multiple colors, includes key accessories and is touted for being quieter than other models. At $500, it does carry a steep price tag, but for those who can’t imagine a smoothie-less morning, what breaks down to about $1.30 a day over a year seems like a bargain.

Read more from our testing of blenders here.

Best knife set: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set ($119.74; amazon.com)

Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set
Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set

The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set sets you up to easily take on almost any cutting job and is a heck of a steal at just $119.97. Not only did the core knives included (chef’s, paring, utility and serrated) perform admirably, but the set included a bevy of extras, including a full set of steak knives. We were blown away by their solid construction and reliable execution for such an incredible value. The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.

Read more from our testing of knife sets here.

Audio

Best true wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro ($199, originally $249; amazon.com)

Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods Pro hit all the marks. They deliver a wide soundstage, thanks to on-the-fly equalizing tech that produces playback that seemingly brings you inside the studio with the artist. They have the best noise-canceling ability of all the earbuds we tested, which, aside from stiff-arming distractions, creates a truly immersive experience. To sum it up, you’re getting a comfortable design, a wide soundstage, easy connectivity and long battery life.

Read more from our testing of true wireless earbuds here.

Best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($278, originally $349.99; amazon.com)

Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4

Not only do the WH-1000XM4s boast class-leading sound, but phenomenal noise-canceling ability. So much so that they ousted our former top overall pick, the Beats Solo Pros, in terms of ANC quality, as the over-ear XM4s better seal the ear from outside noise. Whether it was a noise from a dryer, loud neighbors down the hall or high-pitched sirens, the XM4s proved impenetrable. This is a feat that other headphones, notably the Solo Pros, could not compete with — which is to be expected considering their $348 price tag.

Read more from our testing of noise-canceling headphones here.

Best on-ear headphones: Beats Solo 3 ($119.95, originally $199.95; amazon.com)

Beats Solo 3
Beats Solo 3

The Beats Solo 3s are a phenomenal pair of on-ear headphones. Their sound quality was among the top of those we tested, pumping out particularly clear vocals and instrumentals alike. We enjoyed the control scheme too, taking the form of buttons in a circular configuration that blend seamlessly into the left ear cup design. They are also light, comfortable and are no slouch in the looks department — more than you’d expect given their reasonable $199.95 price tag.

Read more from our testing of on-ear headphones here.

Beauty

Best matte lipstick: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($11, originally $22; amazon.com or $22; nordstrom.com and stilacosmetics.com)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

The Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has thousands of 5-star ratings across the internet, and it’s easy to see why. True to its name, this product clings to your lips for hours upon hours, burritos and messy breakfast sandwiches be damned. It’s also surprisingly moisturizing for such a superior stay-put formula, a combo that’s rare to come by.

Read more from our testing of matte lipsticks here.

Best everyday liquid liner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22; stilacosmetics.com or macys.com)

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a longtime customer favorite — hence its nearly 7,500 5-star reviews on Sephora — and for good reason. We found it requires little to no effort to create a precise wing, the liner has superior staying power and it didn’t irritate those of us with sensitive skin after full days of wear. As an added bonus, it’s available in a whopping 12 shades.

Read more from our testing of liquid eyeliners here.

Work-from-home essentials

Best office chair: Steelcase Series 1 (starting at $381.60; amazon.com or $415, wayfair.com)

Steelcase Series 1
Steelcase Series 1

The Steelcase Series 1 scored among the highest overall, standing out as one of the most customizable, high-quality, comfortable office chairs on the market. At $415, the Steelcase Series 1 beat out most of its pricier competitors across testing categories, scoring less than a single point lower than our highest-rated chair, the $1,036 Steelcase Leap, easily making it the best bang for the buck and a clear winner for our best office chair overall.

Read more from our testing of office chairs here.

Best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860 ($129.99; logitech.com)

Logitech Ergo K860
Logitech Ergo K860

We found the Logitech Ergo K860 to be a phenomenally comfortable keyboard. Its build, featuring a split keyboard (meaning there’s a triangular gap down the middle) coupled with a wave-like curvature across the body, allows both your shoulders and hands to rest in a more natural position that eases the tension that can often accompany hours spent in front of a regular keyboard. Add the cozy palm rest along the bottom edge and you’ll find yourself sitting pretty comfortably.

Read more from our testing of ergonomic keyboards here.

Best ergonomic mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99; logitech.com)

Logitech MX Master 3
Logitech MX Master 3

The Logitech MX Master 3 is an unequivocally comfortable mouse. It’s shaped to perfection, with special attention to the fingers that do the clicking. Using it felt like our fingers were lounging — with a sculpted ergonomic groove for nearly every finger.

Read more from our testing of ergonomic mice here.

Best ring light: Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($25.99; amazon.com)

Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light
Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light

The Emart 10-Inch Standing Ring Light comes with a tripod that’s fully adjustable — from 19 inches to 50 inches — making it a great option whether you’re setting it atop your desk for video calls or need some overhead lighting so no weird shadows creep into your photos. Its three light modes (warm, cool and a nice mix of the two), along with 11 brightness levels (among the most settings on any of the lights we tested), ensure you’re always framed in the right light. And at a relatively cheap $35.40, this light combines usability and affordability better than any of the other options we tested.

Read more from our testing of ring lights here.

Home

Best linen sheets: Parachute Linen Sheet Set (starting at $149; parachute.com)

Parachute Linen Sheets
Parachute Linen Sheets

Well made, luxurious to the touch and with the most versatile shopping options (six sizes, nine colors and the ability to order individual sheets), the linen sheets from Parachute were, by a narrow margin, our favorite set. From the satisfying unboxing to a sumptuous sleep, with a la carte availability, Parachute set the gold standard in linen luxury.

Read more from our testing of linen sheets here.

Best shower head: Kohler Forte Shower Head (starting at $74.44; amazon.com)

Kohler Forte Shower Head
Kohler Forte Shower Head

Hands down, the Kohler Forte Shower Head provides the best overall shower experience, offering three distinct settings. Backstory: Lots of shower heads out there feature myriad “settings” that, when tested, are pretty much indecipherable. The Forte’s three sprays, however, are each incredibly different and equally successful. There’s the drenching, full-coverage rain shower, the pulsating massage and the “silk spray” setting that is basically a super-dense mist. The Forte manages to achieve all of this while using only 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for those looking to conserve water.

Read more from our testing of shower heads here.

Best humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier
TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier

The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier ramped up the humidity in a room in about an hour, which was quicker than most of the options we tested. More importantly, though, it sustained those humidity levels over the longest period of time — 24 hours, to be exact. The levels were easy to check with the built-in reader (and we cross-checked that reading with an external reader to confirm accuracy). We also loved how easy this humidifier was to clean, and the nighttime mode for the LED reader eliminated any bright lights in the bedroom.

Read more from our testing of humidifiers here.

Video

Best TV: TCL 6-Series (starting at $579.99; bestbuy.com)

TCL 6-Series
TCL 6-Series

With models starting at $599.99 for a 55-inch, the TCL 6-Series might give you reverse sticker shock considering everything you get for that relatively small price tag. But can a 4K smart TV with so many specification standards really deliver a good picture for $500? The short answer: a resounding yes. The TCL 6-Series produces a vibrant picture with flexible customization options and handles both HDR and Dolby Vision, optimization standards that improve the content you’re watching by adding depth to details and expanding the color spectrum.

Read more from our testing of TVs here.

Best streaming device: Roku Ultra ($99.99; amazon.com)

Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra

Roku recently updated its Ultra streaming box and the 2020 version is faster, thanks to a new quad-core processor. The newest Ultra retains all of the features we loved and enjoyed about the 2019 model, like almost zero lag time between waking it up and streaming content, leading to a hiccup-free streaming experience. On top of that, the Roku Ultra can upscale content to deliver the best picture possible on your TV — even on older-model TVs that don’t offer the latest and greatest picture quality — and supports everything from HD to 4K.

Read more from our testing of streaming devices here.

Travel

Best carry-on luggage: Away Carry-On ($225; away.com)

Away Carry-On
Away Carry-On

The Away Carry-On scored high marks across all our tests and has the best combination of features for the average traveler. Compared with higher-end brands like Rimowa, which retail for hundreds more, you’re getting the same durable materials, an excellent internal compression system and eye-catching style. Add in smart charging capabilities and a lifetime warranty, and this was the bag to beat.

Read more from our testing of carry-on luggage here.

Best portable charger: Anker PowerCore 13000 (starting at $31.99; amazon.com)

Anker PowerCore 13000
Anker PowerCore 13000

The Anker PowerCore 13000 shone most was in terms of charging capacity. It boasts 13,000 mAh (maH is a measure of how much power a device puts out over time), which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times. Plus, it has two fast-charging USB Type-A ports so you can juice a pair of devices simultaneously. While not at the peak in terms of charging capacity, at just $31.99, it’s a serious bargain for so many mAhs.

Read more from our testing of portable chargers here.

Source

Continue Reading

World

Trump’s misleading tweet about changing your vote, briefly explained

Published

on

Open Sourced logo

Searches for changing one’s vote did not trend following the recent presidential debate, and just a few states appear to have processes for changing an early vote. But that didn’t stop President Trump from wrongly saying otherwise on Tuesday.

In early morning posts, the president falsely claimed on Twitter and Facebook that many people had Googled “Can I change my vote?” after the second presidential debate and said those searching wanted to change their vote over to him. Trump also wrongly claimed that most states have a mechanism for changing one’s vote. Actually, just a few states appear to have the ability, and it’s rarely used.

Twitter did not attach a label to Trump’s recent tweet.
Twitter

Trump’s claim about what was trending on Google after the debate doesn’t hold up. Searches for changing one’s vote were not among Google’s top trending searches for the day of the debate (October 22) or the day after. Searches for “Can I change my vote?” did increase slightly around the time of the debate, but there is no way to know whether the bump was related to the debate or whether the people searching were doing so in support of Trump.

It was only after Trump’s posts that searches about changing your vote spiked significantly. It’s worth noting that people were also searching for “Can I change my vote?” during a similar period before the 2016 presidential election.

Google declined to comment on the accuracy of Trump’s post.

Trump also claimed that these results indicate that most of the people who were searching for how to change their vote support him. But the Google Trends tool for the searches he mentioned does not provide that specific information.

Perhaps the most egregiously false claim in Trump’s recent posts is about “most states” having processes for changing your early vote. In fact, only a few states have such processes, and they can come with certain conditions. For instance, in Michigan, voters who vote absentee can ask for a new ballot by mail or in person until the day before the election.

The Center for Election Innovation’s David Becker told the Associated Press that changing one’s vote is “extremely rare.” Becker explained, “It’s hard enough to get people to vote once — it’s highly unlikely anybody will go through this process twice.”

Trump’s post on Facebook was accompanied by a link to Facebook’s Voting Information Center.
Facebook

At the time of publication, Trump’s false claims had drawn about 84,000 and 187,000 “Likes” on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Trump’s posts accelerated searches about changing your vote in places like the swing state of Florida, where changing one’s vote after casting it is not possible. Those numbers are a reminder of the president’s capacity to spread misinformation quickly.

On Facebook, the president’s post came with a label directing people to Facebook’s Voting Information Center, but no fact-checking label. Twitter had no annotation on the president’s post. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

That Trump is willing to spread misinformation to benefit himself and his campaign isn’t a surprise. He does that a lot. Still, just days before a presidential election in which millions have already voted, this latest episode demonstrates that the president has no qualms about using false claims about voting to cause confusion and sow doubt in the electoral process.

Open Sourced is made possible by Omidyar Network. All Open Sourced content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.


Will you help keep Vox free for all?

The United States is in the middle of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. That is our mission at Vox. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone understand this presidential election: Contribute today from as little as $3.

Source

Continue Reading

World

Nearly 6,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan so far this year

Published

on

From January to September, 5,939 civilians – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded – were casualties of the fighting, the UN says.

Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban fighters rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations has said.

From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties in the fighting – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a quarterly report on Tuesday.

“High levels of violence continue with a devastating impact on civilians, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian,” the report said.

Civilian casualties were 30 percent lower than in the same period last year but UNAMA said violence has failed to slow since the beginning of talks between government negotiators and the Taliban that began in Qatar’s capital, Doha, last month.

An injured girl receives treatment at a hospital after an attack in Khost province [Anwarullah/Reuters]

The Taliban was responsible for 45 percent of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23 percent, it said. United States-led international forces were responsible for two percent.

Most of the remainder occurred in crossfire, or were caused by ISIL (ISIS) or “undetermined” anti-government or pro-government elements, according to the report.

Ground fighting caused the most casualties followed by suicide and roadside bomb attacks, targeted killings by the Taliban and air raids by Afghan troops, the UN mission said.

Fighting has sharply increased in several parts of the country in recent weeks as government negotiators and the Taliban have failed to make progress in the peace talks.

At least 24 people , mostly teens, were killed in a suicide bomb attack at an education centre in Kabul [Mohammad Ismail/Reuters]

The Taliban has been fighting the Afghan government since it was toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.

Washington blamed the then-Taliban rulers for harbouring al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda was accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Calls for urgent reduction of violence

Meanwhile, the US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Tuesday that the level of violence in the country was still too high and the Kabul government and Taliban fighters must work harder towards forging a ceasefire at the Doha talks.

Khalilzad made the comments before heading to the Qatari capital to hold meetings with the two sides.

“I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever,” he said in a tweet.

There needs to be “an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, added Khalilzad.

A deal in February between the US and the Taliban paved the way for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to sit with the Afghan government to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula.

But progress at the intra-Afghan talks has been slow since their start in mid-September and diplomats and officials have warned that rising violence back home is sapping trust.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending