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Facebook shuts down pages spreading COVID lies

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Facebook has shut down several profiles and pages, which were spreading COVID-19 vaccine disinformation

Facebook says the operation was using social media influencers to backing false vaccine claims.

The social media giant says the operation is a “disinformation laundromat” which sought to legitimise false claims by pushing them through people with clean reputations.

The campaign is believed to have been developed by a marketing firm in Russia.

It was unravelled because two of the influencers did their homework and reported the operation.

Ben Nimmo is Facebook’s global threat intelligence lead who says people need to “be careful when someone is trying to spoon feed you a story.”

He also encouraged people to do their own research.

It comes as Facebook removed 65 accounts and 243 accounts on Instagram that were linked to the campaign last month.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

Business

Four-day office week for Snapchat employees

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Snapchat is asking workers to return to the office 80% of the time, or the equivalent of four days a week.

They want workers back from the start of next year.

It’s the latest sign of tech employees receiving less flexibility nearly three years after the pandemic took hold.

It also comes amid a wave of cost-cutting in the tech sector.

The company says in a statement: “We believe that being together in person, while retaining flexibility for our team members, will enhance our ability to deliver on our strategic priorities of growing our community, driving revenue growth, and leading in [augmented reality].”

The new policy will take effect at the end of February.

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Twitter quietly cancels COVID misinformation policy

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More big changes at Twitter under the new Elon Musk ownership.

This time, its Twitter’s controversial COVID misinformation policy, which the social platform has quietly canceled.

Twitter said in December 2020 that it would begin to label and remove misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

But Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of how health officials reacted to the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk has committed to free speech on Twitter, which might explain why the change has now been enacted.

But online safety experts have contended his approach has led to an increase in hate speech, harassment and misinformation on the platform.

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Hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper following cyber breach

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Vanuatu’s public service remains offline nearly a month after a ransomware attack on the nation’s government.

The ABC reports hospital staff have resorted to using pen and paper, as key infrastructure remains offline.

Senior ministers describing the incident as a “serious breach” of national security.

Cybersecurity staff were told about the attack when government websites became unavailable.

Port Vila’s hospital has also been badly affected, with staff using pen and paper for some medical records.

It’s understood some government employees are using their personal email addresses and hotspots to complete their work.

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