Wellness Startup’s Generic Viagra Ads Flout Facebook Rules

On television and radio, the ads are fairly innocuous: “Hey guy,” a female narrator says playfully in one TV spot for Hims, a men’s wellness brand that sells prescription drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, oral herpes, social anxiety, hair loss, and other conditions. “Hi there. Welcome to Hims.” The ad invites viewers to “get ED treatment started for only $5,” next to a close-up of a young man pressing a white pill seductively to his lips. What appear to be customer reviews are superimposed over the image: “Should have done it years ago and I feel like the young stud that I always imagined I was," says one. "Outstanding product, works above and beyond our expectations," reads another. Much like …

Youll Get Used To The Poop: Nurse Reveals The Heartbreaking Situations That Actually Make Their Stomach Turn

Whilst the actors, musicians, politicians and sports stars hog most of the world’s attention (and cash), the true heroes of our society work selflessly and quietly in the background, saving lives and performing medical miracles on a daily basis. Medical staff are criminally overworked and underappreciated for what they do. Can you imagine being faced with human tragedy, day after day? Knowing that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’re going to have to give the news to a patient’s loved one, the kind of news nobody ever wants to hear? It must take an enormous toll on the mental and emotional health of these incredibly brave and dedicated people, not to mention the physical strain of 14-hour shifts, chronic stress …

The Existential Crisis Plaguing Online Extremism Researchers

A couple of hours after the Christchurch massacre, I was on the phone with Whitney Phillips, a Syracuse professor whose research focuses on online extremists and media manipulators. Toward the end of the call, our conversation took an unexpected turn. Phillips said she was exhausted and distressed, and that she felt overwhelmed by the nature of her work. She described a “soul sucking” feeling stemming in part from an ethical conundrum tied to researching the ills of online extremism and amplification. In a connected, searchable world, it’s hard to share information about extremists and their tactics without also sharing their toxic views. Too often, actions intended to stem the spread of false and dangerous ideologies only make things worse. The …

5Gs Potential Health Hazard, Zucks Deleted Posts, and More News

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less: 5G: Cool for your cellphone, terrible for your health? 5G, the cell phone network that promises to exponentially increase data speeds for all, might help load a web page faster but could also hurt your health. It turns out your sweat glands act kind of like antennas in response to the high frequency waves planned to be used in the service, and funding for research on the health effects is relatively slim. 5G is still in its infancy in the US though, so here's to hoping research about its potential health hazards catch up with the technology itself. Facebook had a hell of a weekend Over the weekend, Facebook poked …

The People Trying to Make Internet Recommendations Less Toxic

The internet is an ocean of algorithms trying to tell you what to do. YouTube and Netflix proffer videos they calculate you’ll watch. Facebook and Twitter filter and reorganize posts from your connections, avowedly in your interest—but also in their own. New York entrepreneur Brian Whitman helped create such a system. He sold a music analytics startup called The Echo Nest to Spotify in 2014, bolstering the streaming music service’s ability to recommend new songs from a person’s past listening. Whitman says he saw clear evidence of algorithms’ value at Spotify. But he founded his current startup, Canopy, after becoming fearful of their downsides. “Traditional recommendation systems involve scraping every possible bit of data about me and then putting it …

This Big Facebook Critic Fears Techs Business Model

Longtime Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee met Mark Zuckerberg in 2006, when the Facebook CEO was just 22 and his two-year-old company still only catered to university students. Facebook was young, but McNamee was already convinced it was “the next big thing,” he told WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson on Sunday during a keynote conversation at SXSW 2019 in Austin. “The thing that had killed every attempt at social apps before that [was] essentially that the ability to be anonymous allowed trolls to take over. I was convinced that Mark’s requirement of authenticated identity was literally the holy grail, it was the thing that was going to unlock this opportunity.” There was no investment opportunity at the time; McNamee …

Facebook Will Crack Down on Anti-Vaccine Content

As Clark County, Washington, combats an ongoing measles outbreak, Facebook announced Thursday that it’s diminishing the reach of anti-vaccine information on its platform. It will no longer allow it to be promoted through ads or recommendations, and will make it less prominent in search results. The social network will not take down anti-vaccine posts entirely, however. The company also said it was exploring ways to give users more context about vaccines from “expert organizations.” The decision was widely anticipated: Facebook, along with YouTube and Amazon, has faced criticism from journalists and lawmakers in recent weeks for allowing vaccine misinformation to flourish on their sites. Facebook also told media outlets in February that it was looking into how it should address …

Ritual raises $25M for its subscription-based womens daily vitamin

erything needs to be Instagrammable, even dietary supplements. Ritual, a subscription-based service that charges customers $30 per month for shipments of its women’s daily or prenatal vitamins, has effectively tapped into that Instagram crowd. The company admits its social media strategy has been key to harnessing a cult following of wellness enthusiasts. Since it was founded in 2015, the business has sold 1 million bottles of vitamins; today, it’s announcing a $25 million Series B funding led by Lisa Wu at Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund. Wu, as part of the round, will join Ritual’s board of directors. There’s no comparing our product to any product out there. We have …

Tech platforms called to support public interest research into mental health impacts

The tech industry has been called on to share data with public sector researchers so the mental health and psychosocial impacts of their service on vulnerable users can be better understood, and also to contribute to funding the necessary independent research over the next ten years. The UK’s chief medical officers have made the call in a document setting out advice and guidance for the government about children’s and young people’s screen use. They have also called for the industry to agree a code of conduct around the issue. Concerns have been growing in the UK about the mental health impacts of digital technologies on minors and vulnerable young people. Last year the government committed to legislate on social media …