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How health officials and social media are teaming up to fight the coronavirus 'infodemic' – CNN



The WHO defines an infodemic as “an overabundance of information — some accurate and some not — that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” The problem is aided by the ease and speed with which false or misleading information can spread on social media.
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, emerged in China in January and now has spread to more than 85,000 global cases with infections on every continent except for Antarctica. As the disease has spread, so too have false claims online about how it began, the number of people infected and promises of magical cures.
“In this particular case, with COVID-19, because of the growth of social media platforms in recent years, information is spreading faster than the virus itself,” Aleksandra Kuzmanovic, social media manager for the WHO, told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday.
Facebook and Twitter ask to see government report linking coronavirus misinformation to Russia
In an effort to help people sort through the sometimes overwhelming amount of information online, Kuzmanovic said the organization is working directly with social media companies to ensure users are directed to trusted sources. Now, when social media users on a number of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, search for “coronavirus,” they are directed first to information from either the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control or their national health ministry.
The WHO is also working to produce information in a range of languages as the outbreak spreads around the world.
But as digital misinformation campaigns become increasingly sophisticated, the WHO and other world health officials should be doing more, said Seema Yasmin, director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative and a former officer with the Centers for Disease Control’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.
“We’ve seen the spread of rumors and anti-science messages during Ebola, during Zika,” Yasmin said. “The anti-vaccine movement is not new, and WHO’s response often has been, ‘Oh, there’s a really bad outbreak of measles in Eastern Europe, it’s okay, we’re going to disseminate pamphlets.’ That’s not enough when the anti-science messages are sophisticated, targeting vulnerable populations and really tailoring anti-science messages to groups that believe them.”
Yasmin urged news organizations to put resources toward doing health and science journalism and encouraged health officials to be proactive in fighting the ongoing issue of health misinformation online.
Some social media platforms have independently taken further steps to curb misinformation and panic surrounding coronavirus.
Facebook (FB) said several weeks ago it would remove content with bogus cures or other false claims about coronavirus or posts that could create confusion about where accurate information can be found.
The company will “remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them,” according to a blog post published in early February by Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook’s head of health.
Last week, a Facebook spokesperson told CNN Business that the platform is working with its fact-checking partners to debunk false claims about the virus. Once Facebook posts and links are fact-checked and found to be false, the spokesperson said, the platform “dramatically” cuts their distribution. People who see this content, try to share it, or already have, are alerted that it’s false.
Those efforts point to a shift in Facebook’s response to false information on its platform in recent years, according to Steven Levy, editor-at-large for Wired magazine and author of the new book, “Facebook: The Inside Story.”
“In 2015, some people tried really actively to get them to take down the (anti-vaccination) stuff and it did not resonate with them,” Levy said. “They weren’t dealing at all with the concept of what we now call ‘fake news.’ But now they’re much more sensitive.”
However, Levy pointed out that the company’s reaction is still often dependent on public opinion.
“What seems to happen is that when there’s enough of an outcry, when Facebook’s practices are exposed, you know, people say, ‘Wow this can’t happen,’ Facebook will step in and say, ‘I guess we have to make an exception for this.'”
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Media Release – May 20, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service



Attempt break and enter

The Guelph Police Service is investigating after an attempted break and enter at a west-end business.

Early Thursday morning, two males arrived by vehicle at a business on Speedvale Avenue West. One of the suspects was caught on video using an angle grinder in an attempt to gain access to a storage unit, but the males fled when an alarm sounded.

A query of the licence plates, which were on an older two-tone Ford Escape, revealed they are registered to another vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Graeme Adams at 519-824-1212, ext. 7419, email him at, leave an anonymous message for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous tip online at

Prohibited driver arrested

A Cambridge male banned from driving was arrested after he was caught behind the wheel in Guelph Thursday.

A Guelph Police Service officer was on patrol on Speedvale Avenue West just after 3 p.m. when he queried a licence plate and learned it was registered to a prohibited driver. A traffic stop was conducted and the owner of the vehicle confirmed to be the driver.

Investigation revealed the male is a prohibited driver as a result of a December, 2021, conviction for refusing to provide a breath sample. A 49-year-old Cambridge male is charged with driving while prohibited and driving while suspended. He will appear in a Guelph court July 5, 2022.

Male threatens staff, gets arrested

A Guelph male faces charges after threatening to “mace” employees of a local business Thursday afternoon.

Approximately 4:20 p.m. the male entered a business on Woodlawn Road West near Woolwich Street. Staff recognized him from a shoplifting incident earlier in the week and began to follow him. The male became agitated and threatened to “mace” the employees before reaching into a fanny pack he was wearing and removing something.

Staff retreated and called police, who located the male in the area of the business. He was not found to be carrying any weapons.

A 40-year-old Guelph male is charged with two counts of uttering threats and breaching probation. He was held for a bail hearing Friday.

Stunt driving charge laid

A Guelph male was taken off the road after he was caught Thursday driving more than twice the speed limit.

A Guelph Police Service Traffic Unit officer was patrolling just before 1 p.m. in the area of Victoria Road South and College Avenue West when he observed a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was clocked at 110 km/h in a posted 50 km/h zone.

A 21-year-old Guelph male is charged with stunt driving and speeding. His driver’s licence was immediately suspended for 30 days and his vehicle impounded for 15 days.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 246

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Brock Media Clips for Friday, May 20 – The Brock News – Brock University



Here’s a look at some of the media attention Brock University received recently.

Royal Canadian Tour continues, Indigenous groups await formal monarchy apology: Assistant Professor of Education Stanley ‘Bobby’ Henry spoke to CHCH about statements from Prince Charles that discussed residential schools in Canada and the need for reconciliation.

Brock prepares future nurses for challenges in the field: Department of Nursing Chair Karyn Taplay and Nursing student Sierra Smith spoke to Newstalk 610 CKTB about the growth of Brock’s Nursing program, as well as what it’s like to pursue a career in nursing. Taplay also discussed the Nursing program’s expanding enrolment in a St. Catharines Standard article.

Who are union members supporting in this election?: Professor of Labour Studies Larry Savage spoke to CBC’s Ontario Today program about the decision of a construction union to endorse the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario’s upcoming provincial election.

As several Canadian cities loosen public drinking laws, Toronto rejects proposal again: Professor of Health Sciences Dan Malleck spoke to The Globe and Mail about current conversations around alcohol consumption and their relationship to temperance movement of the 19th and 20th centuries. Malleck also spoke to Nunatsiaq News about Nunavut’s system of alcohol regulation.

“We want to make curling cool” — Rolling the dice on the Roaring Game: Assistant Professor of Sport Management Michael Naraine spoke to Yahoo!Sports about the potential for legal sports gambling to bring a new audience to the sport of curling.

If you know of an appearance or story about a Brock faculty member, student, athlete or alumni, please drop us a line with a link to the story at

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How marketers can work with diverse media suppliers – Smartbrief



Jo Hamilton: How marketers can work with diverse media suppliers

(Image credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection)

Marketers need to be able to reach diverse, multicultural audiences with authentic, relevant messaging — while demonstrating to customers they’re walking the walk by championing diversity within their own organizations. 

One way brands can achieve both is by working with diverse media suppliers. 

A new set of guidelines on working with diverse media suppliers was published this week by the Association of National Advertisers, its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. 

America’s multicultural population “will be the majority in the not-too-distant future,” the report states, citing 2020 US Census Bureau data. The multicultural population rose to just over 42% in 2020, up from 36% in 2010.

The guide also lists more than a handful of business benefits from working with a diverse supplier base.

There’s a wealth of information in the guidelines, but we’ve highlighted some key information and advice:

How to find diverse media suppliers

The report offers several resources to help marketers get in touch with diverse media suppliers – those that are owned by ethnic minorities, women or the LGBTQ community. They are:

Diverse media requires different metrics

The guidelines recommend that marketers consider using alternative metrics when measuring diverse media performance.

This is because highly targeted audiences come with less scale and higher CPMs. Alternatives or additional metrics could include brand awareness, intent, favorable opinion, shares, video completion rates and click-thru rates. 

The importance of diverse creators

The guidelines also offer resources to help marketers find diverse content creators, such as influencers, agencies, production companies and directors. 

Involving diverse teams in the creation of content from the start can prevent brand missteps — such as this recent Samsung campaign, which missed the mark with women.  

Cindy Gallop, consultant and founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, told SmartBrief in response to that Samsung campaign:

“Every brand and client — like Samsung — should mandate that their ads are overseen by women, created by women, approved by women, cast by women, directed by women, photographed by women, and announce that they will not give their business to any agency where the leadership team, the creatives and the creative decision-makers are all male.” 

That example, which arose from a lack of female involvement in the creative, could apply to any campaign that hasn’t involved members of the audience it targets. 

The right creative messaging

The guidelines therefore recommend that creative teams include diverse voices to ensure creative messaging is relatable.

“A lot of the time what we think works, and what works for a general market audience might not necessarily work for a multicultural audience,” said Paula Castro, multicultural creative business partner at Google, during an IAB NewFronts panel

The importance of cultural nuance and heritage when engaging with Black audiences was recently explored by Numerator’s Amanda Schoenbauer, with a study by her company highlighting the levels of diverse thought and behavior within that community. 

“A full picture view of this — or any — group of shoppers requires additional consumer context and segmentations,” Schoenbauer wrote. 

Marketers can look to diverse suppliers to help deliver that context and culturally appropriate messaging. As one diverse supplier says in the report from the 4A’s, ANA and AIMM: 

“There is much more value we can provide to connect through culture, heritage, emotion, nostalgia, etc.”

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