(Reuters) – Online marketplace Etsy Inc is removing all QAnon merchandise from its site, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday, the latest in a series of platform crackdowns on the unfounded and sprawling conspiracy theory. WHAT IS QANON?
QAnon followers espouse an intertwined series of beliefs, based on anonymous Web postings from “Q,” who claims to have insider knowledge of the Trump administration.
A core tenet of the conspiracy theory is that U.S. President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies.
QAnon, which borrows some elements from the bogus “pizzagate” theory about a pedophile ring run out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant, has become a “big tent” conspiracy theory encompassing misinformation about topics ranging from alien landings to vaccine safety.
Followers of QAnon say a so-called Great Awakening is coming to bring salvation.
HOW HAS IT SPREAD ONLINE?
The “Q” posts, which started in 2017 on the message board 4chan, are now posted on 8kun, a rebranded version of the shuttered web board 8chan. QAnon has been amplified on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, the video streaming service of Alphabet Inc’s Google.
Media investigations have shown that social media recommendation algorithms can drive people who show an interest in conspiracy theories toward more material.
A report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) found that the number of users engaging in discussion of QAnon on Twitter and Facebook have surged this year, with membership of QAnon groups on Facebook growing by 120% in March.
Researchers say Russian government-supported organizations are playing a small but increasing role in amplifying the conspiracy theories.
QAnon backers helped organize real-life protests against child trafficking in August and were involved in a pro-police demonstration in Portland, Oregon.
QAnon also looks
A new class action lawsuit filed in California takes aim at an erstwhile iOS battery management tool that allegedly hindered the performance of certain iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and iPhone SE series devices.
Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the complaint is the latest in a series of lawsuits targeting the so-called “batterygate” fiasco from 2017. The complaint arrives on the same day as a submission deadline for iPhone owners to file claims in a $500 million settlement that was reached earlier this year to rectify identical grievances.
Discovered shortly after the release of iOS 10.2.1, the iPhone throttling issue was traced back to a hardware management tool that was included in iOS to mitigate negative effects of aging iPhone batteries. In particular, the software was designed to thwart unexpected shutdowns suffered by certain iPhone 6 and 6s devices, but was maintained well into the lifecycle of iPhone 7.
Release notes accompanying the 10.2.1 release state the update “improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone.” No mention of CPU throttling is made, nor is the management feature detailed in full.
Third-party tests confirmed the presence of an undisclosed throttling process, prompting Apple to issue an apology to iPhone owners for a lack of transparency. To make up for the alleged indiscretion, prices on out-of-warranty battery replacements were cut and the company later introduced a battery health tool that allows users to disable the throttling feature manually.
Still, the lawsuits flowed in. A total of 61 class action complaints were consolidated in April 2018 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, with Apple ultimately agreeing to settle in March of this year.
Terms of the settlement grant members about $25 each for their troubles. The actual payout
(Reuters) – Facebook Inc and Twitter took action on posts from U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday for violating their rules against coronavirus misinformation by suggesting that COVID-19 was just like the flu.
Facebook took the post down but not before it was shared about 26,000 times, data from the company’s metric tool CrowdTangle showed.
“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19,” a company spokesman told Reuters.
The world’s largest social media company, which exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, has rarely taken action against posts from the Republican U.S. president.
Twitter disabled retweets on a similar tweet from Trump on Tuesday and added a warning label that said it broke its rules on “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19” but that it might be in the public interest for it to remain accessible.
During the 2019-2020 influenza season, the flu was associated with 22,000 deaths in the United States, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (bit.ly/30ByG1m)
Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was recorded in the United States at the beginning of this year, more than 210,000 people in the country have died of the disease caused by the virus, the world’s highest death toll.
On Monday, Trump told Americans “to get out there” and not fear COVID-19 as he returned to the White House after a three-night stay in a military hospital outside Washington where he was treated for COVID-19.
“Silicon Valley and the mainstream media have consistently
It’s emerged that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have been delivering internet services since early August to the Washington state military’s emergency management unit helping residents recover from recent wildfires.
As noted by CNBC, providing services to Washington emergency responders is the first publicly known application of the satellite broadband service.
SpaceX is currently conducting private Starlink beta trials with residents in some parts of northern US and lower Canada, including remote communities in Washington state, Starlink revealed in an FAQ posted on Reddit in July.
The Washington emergency division has been using seven Starlink user terminals, which SpaceX Elon Musk has previously described as like a “UFO on a stick”, with a skyward-facing disk that measures 48cm, or 19 inches, in diameter.
Musk has previously described the end-user terminals as being as easy to set up as “point at sky and just plug in”.
Richard Hall, the emergency telecommunications leader of the Washington State Military Department’s IT division, appears to confirm Musk’s claim.
“I have never set up any tactical satellite equipment that has been as quick to set up and anywhere near as reliable [as Starlink],” Hall told CNBC.
Hall also suggested Starlink was superior to other satellite broadband services his unit has used previously. Starlink satellites orbit Earth at about an altitude of 500km, or 311 miles, far closer to Earth than traditional conventional satellite broadband services.
According to Hall, Starlink offers double the bandwidth of other services and said he’d seen more than 150% decreases in latency. “I’ve seen lower than 30 millisecond latency consistently,” he said.
That’s a pretty good third-party reference for Starlink, which has faced doubts from the Federal Communications Commission as to whether it can deliver round-trip latencies below the 50ms that it has claimed in an FCC application to launch 30,000 satellites. In