April 23 2020 GM

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Community Updates

COVID-19 Updates

  • Contact tracing apps are being made in places in the EU without mandatory mask wearing or other restrictions.

Journalism and Misinformation during the Quarantine

  • In general terms, the economics of the industry have changed overnight and field-work has all but dried up (because everyone shelters in place)
  • Foreign language media are hit very hard, as they are the ones trying to battle mis/disinformation, at the frontlines of having to communicate new health info from french/German/English.
  • In Russia, the local administrative code and criminal code have been actively used by local authorities against dissemination of "fake news" about coronavirus.
  • In Russia they also started punishing for disseminating "fake news" about how authorities struggle against coronavirus. For example, an organization publishes a statement that some local hospitals lack important equipment and masks and sanitizers and invites people to donate money. The organization would buy this stuff and deliver it as a volunteer. Then police would go to the organization saying that everything is fine. The Police would take the organization to the local court and and the organization would have to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles
  • The Belarussian president issues different statements like if nothing serious was going on while all the surrounding countries were taking urgent measures already

Low-end Tech

  • Funders or folks in the community often overlook the issue about low-end tech
  • The IF community can’t afford to have smart devices and they need to pay for expensive Internet to stay connected and work.
  • A lots of us assume that everyone is able to online, attending virtual conferences without any serious obstacles
  • Some people are experiencing more unpredictable access to the internet (and the typical monopolistic practices of certain telecoms, combined with increase appetite for bandwidth, results in more chaos)