YouTube is expanding an experimental tweak to its recommendation engine that’s intended to reduce the amplification of conspiracy theories to the UK market. In January, the video-sharing platform said it was making changes in the US to limit the spread of conspiracy theory content, such as junk science and bogus claims about historical events — following sustained criticism of how its platform accelerates damaging clickbait. A YouTube spokeswoman confirmed to TechCrunch it is now in the process of rolling out the same update to suppresses conspiracy recommendations in the UK. She said it will take some time to take full effect — without providing detail on when exactly the changes will be fully applied. The spokeswoman said YouTube acknowledges that it needs to do more to reform a recommendation system that has been shown time and again lifting harmful clickbait and misinformation into mainstream view. Though YouTube claims this negative spiral occurs only sometimes, … [Read more...] about YouTube to reduce conspiracy theory recommendations in the UK
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More than 60 percent of NIH-supported comprehensive cancer centers in the US include “integrative medicine” in their services and patient information. And in recent years, the centers’ inclusion of dubious treatments has only grown, according to a new article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs. Further ReadingThere cannot be two kinds of medicine: EU scientists shred homeopathy, alt medFor instance, the number of centers providing patients with information on “healing touch”—a type of “energy medicine”—increased nearly 30 percent between 2009 and 2016. Cancer patients at 26 of the 45 government-designated comprehensive centers around the country can now learn about that hocus-pocus along with actual cancer therapies. Likewise, inclusion of Ayurveda—a pseudoscience involving herbal, mineral, and metal treatments—increased by 10 percent in the same timeframe. Now, 18 of 45 cancer centers supported … [Read more...] about Creeping quackery: “Integrative” cancer care spreading in NIH-supported centers
The toxic sludge that plunged from an alumina plant and collapsed a dam wall in western Hungary on Oct. 4 has flooded three towns, killed four people and injured at least 120 as it spread to the Danube River. What exactly is this mysterious red sludge made of?The sludge is aptly called "red mud" by those who work with it industrially, and is a solid waste product made during the production of alumina, or aluminum oxide. The stuff is made mainly of iron oxide particles, which give the slurry gets its hue, according to Chandra.However, the chemical composition of red mud varies with the quality of the processing procedures it has undergone.The process used to make alumina was developed by Karl Bayer in 1888, and consists of treating bauxite with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) at high temperatures and pressures, according to "Waste Materials Used in Concrete Manufacturing" (Standard Publishers Distributors, 2002)."The products of this reaction are a solution of sodium aluminate and an … [Read more...] about Why Is the Toxic Hungarian Sludge Red?