Why visual misinformation online can be tough to stop
Technology is making it easier and easier to create and disseminate visuals, from text-to-image artificial intelligence models and sophisticated deepfakes to simple memes retweeted with hashtags. Visuals are the lingua franca of the internet, but their potential to easily spread misinformation — particularly about health topics — make them especially dangerous to the public. That’s according to an article published last year in the journal Science Communication. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke to Andy King, an associate professor of communication at the University of Utah. King co-authored the commentary titled “Missing the Bigger Picture,” which discussed what makes visual misinformation unique.
Rural communities are slow to adopt EVs — but a national charging network depends on them
Sales of electric vehicles have really picked up in the last year or so, but at just shy of 6% of all cars sold in the U.S. They’ve still got a long way to go before they hit mass adoption, like the long way to go to find a charger in many areas of the country. There are currently about 100,000 public chargers in the U.S. The federal government wants to reach about half a million chargers by the end of the decade, and the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes billions of dollars to help make that happen. Reporter Rae Solomon of KUNC in Colorado has this story about how rural areas fit into the electrification plan.
How two cases headed to the Supreme Court could change the internet
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court announced it was putting off hearing a pair of highly anticipated cases that could fundamentally change social media as we know it The cases concern laws in Florida and Texas, pushed by conservatives in those states, which basically make it illegal for social media platforms to block or hide content – like say from a former president – even if the post violates the companies’ terms of service. Both laws have been blocked from taking effect while the rest of the country waits for the high court to weigh in. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Daphne Keller, director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center, about why these cases could be consequential.
Amazon is remaking small businesses in its own image, report says
Amazon might seem anathema to small business, but the fact is, third-party sellers account for the majority of the e-commerce giant’s sales. These sellers range from independent artisans and designers to opportunistic resellers of products from big-box stores. A new report from the nonprofit Data & Society examines how Amazon is helping, hurting and generally transforming the small business retail model. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Moira Weigel, the author of the report and a professor at Northeastern University. She described the effect Amazon has on small businesses as a “trickle-down monopoly.”
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Carbon capture needs to scale up to make a dent in the climate crisis
A plant in Iceland recently became the first large-scale facility to remove carbon dioxide from the air on behalf of corporate clients paying to reduce their carbon footprints. The Climeworks operation uses a process called direct-air capture, or DAC. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Aniruddh Mohan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University. He said the technology could be key to averting the worst of climate change.