face palm
September 15, 2020

President Trump on Tuesday said that the coronavirus will go away "with time," as Americans develop a "herd mentality."

"You'll develop, you'll develop herd, like a herd mentality," he said during ABC News' 
"The President and the People" town hall. "It's going to be, it's going to be herd-developed, and that's going to happen. That will all happen. But with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly." Trump seems to have confused "herd mentality" for "herd immunity," which is when so many people get sick from a disease that it can no longer spread quickly.

One example of unintentional herd immunity in the United States can be found at California's San Quentin Prison, where about 70 percent of staff and prisoners have been infected during coronavirus outbreaks. The death rate there has been 15 times higher than the national average, KING 5 reports, and "extrapolate that to the U.S. population at large, and 'going for herd immunity' equates to at least 2.5 million deaths — more than twice the number of all the Americans killed in all the wars since our country was founded." This does not take into consideration outcomes like permanent brain, lung, or kidney damage. As of Tuesday night, the U.S. coronavirus death toll is 195,501. Catherine Garcia

June 15, 2018

When Russian memes overtook actual political ads during the 2016 election season, Facebook knew it had a problem. But its solution isn't making things any better.

At the end of May, Facebook unveiled its automated system that flags political ads and requires their makers to authenticate their identities. The system also labels who created an ad and stores that information in a searchable database.

But ProPublica has been monitoring Facebook political ads since September, and what it's found hasn't exactly been uplifting. In just a few weeks, ProPublica has documented several cases where non-political ads were marked as "electoral" or "issue" messages. Many of those misdirected flags hit news stories on one of the broad national issues Facebook is sweeping ads for, including crime, health, and education. Meanwhile, ads from Democratic senators and advocacy groups on both sides of the aisle haven't been scooped up.

Many news organizations that have fallen victim to Facebook's tracker have opted not to run ads until it's fixed, ProPublica reports. The New York Times' CEO even publicly detailed his concern that Facebook is getting news all wrong.

Facebook's defense? “Enforcement is never perfect at launch,” the company told ProPublica. Read more about the Facebook project at ProPublica. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 1, 2016

Citing "the media," a supporter of President-elect Donald Trump claimed Thursday during an interview on CNN's New Day that "three million illegals voted" in California in the presidential election. The supporter, named Paula, suggested that President Obama had told undocumented immigrants they were "allowed" to vote, a claim which was backed by Paula's fellow interviewees.

When host Alisyn Camerota tried to get to the bottom of where that false information may have come from, all she could find was a "deceptively edited" transcript of an Obama interview. "In fact, he said nothing of the sort when you go back to the transcript," Camerota said.

Still, Paula didn't back down from insisting "millions" of people voted "illegally" in the election — a claim strikingly reminiscent of what Trump tweeted earlier this week. "California allows it," Paula said, referring to voter fraud.

Watch Camerota face-palm her way through the interview below. Becca Stanek

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