Hashtag Trending – Gates says US botched COVID-19 response; Snopes overwhelmed; Plague Inc. flips the script

Bill Gates says the US acted too late to avoid a lockdown; Snopes scales back due to overwhelming coronavirus misinformation; Plague Inc. flips the script on the virus.

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Bill Gates says the US missed its chance to avoid coronavirus shutdown and businesses should stay closed from technology

Despite Donald Trump’s constant assertions that the U.S. was ahead of the game and well prepared for the pandemic, evidence continues to pile up to the contrary. Now Bill Gates is chiming in, saying the US was too slow to take action. His comments, which stemmed from a TED Connects program, are now trending on Reddit, including comments about how the U.S. could have avoided the lockdown measures that are now inevitable, if only they had acted sooner. Gates says that everyone should have started taking this more seriously in January. He also suggested a shutdown of 6 to 10 weeks, while acknowledging that it would be disastrous to the economy.

Snopes forced to scale back fact-checking in face of overwhelming COVID-19 misinformation from technology

While the economy is taking a massive hit, another big side effect of this pandemic has been the outbreak of misinformation on the internet. Usually, independent fact-checkers like Snopes could be relied on to sift through the crap/mud (your choice) and set the truth straight. But the mass amount of misinformation has made it so even they cannot completely do their job, and it is trending on Reddit. In a blog post, the company wrote that it has made the decision to roll back its fact-checking efforts on its routine efforts to focus more intently on the pandemic. They went on to say that exhausting their staff is not the cure and that they will focus their efforts where they believe they will have the most impact.

And lastly, some lighter news, The creators of the mobile game Plague Inc. – whose premise was to create a disease powerful enough to avoid containment and infect the plane – decided that with everyone already dealing with a pandemic in real life, that they should flip the script, and it is trending on Bing. Now instead of creating a disease, users will be in charge of trying to contain an outbreak and get to live out their fantasies of beating this pandemic single-handedly. Additionally, the creators of the game, Ndemic Creations, donated $250,000 to fight COVID-19.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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