Facebook Removes ‘Pseudoscience’ Category for Targeted Ads

· Andrew Orr · Link

Facebook logo

Facebook is no longer allowing advertisers to use pseudoscience as a category with which to target people.

The company eliminated the pseudoscience category from its “detailed targeting” list on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said by phone, after tech news site The Markup showed that it could advertise a post targeting people interested in pseudoscience.

The Markup demonstrated that Facebook was allowing such ads after saying it would police COVID-19 misinformation on its platform. More than 78 million Facebook users were interested in “pseudoscience,” it said, citing Facebook’s ad portal.

Good to see Facebook doing this. Now we just need YouTube to stop recommending conspiracy videos.

The 5G 'Health Hazard' Was a Misinterpretation

· Andrew Orr · Link

In 2000 a physicist was asked to study the health risks of wireless networks. He found [PDF] that there “was likely to be a serious health hazard.” Except he was wrong.

In his research, Dr. Curry looked at studies on how radio waves affect tissues isolated in the lab, and misinterpreted the results as applying to cells deep inside the human body. His analysis failed to recognize the protective effect of human skin. At higher radio frequencies, the skin acts as a barrier, shielding the internal organs, including the brain, from exposure. Human skin blocks the even higher frequencies of sunlight.

Despite all the studies showing a link between smartphones and cancer being debunked, I don’t think this idea will ever go away.

Those Mosquito Repellant Apps Don't Work

· Andrew Orr · Link

Devices that use sound in an attempt to repel mosquitos don’t work, and mosquito repellant apps that use your phone speaker don’t work either.

It’s all wishful thinking. There is no evidence sound emitting devices can stop mosquitoes biting. A review of field testing showed no protection was provided. Similarly, laboratory studies failed to show any bite prevention…There’s no reason to think smartphone apps are going to perform any better than any of the other gimmicks that have come and gone from supermarket shelves over the decades.

I didn’t even know mosquito repellant apps were a thing.