Come back, experts. Without you public debate is just a shouting match | Owl Fisher

It is time to stop pretending that all opinions are equal, says the writer, film-maker and campaigner Owl Fisher Waking up to the news is becoming ever more painful. Not just because a lot of whats happening in the world is depressing and anxiety inducing Brexit, climate change, the far right, measles outbreaks, homelessness but also because of the way debates are often framed: two competing sides, fighting for the win, any evidence merely an afterthought. Contributors are presented as experts when, more often than not, theyre just another person with an opinion. We absorb their hot take on the days events often without questioning what lies behind them. Anyone with an opinion is invited on to TV or radio, …

Is it ever too late to reply to an email? | Oliver Burkeman

Social expectations about digital etiquette have never been more in flux. The solution? Avoid worrying about it altogether You know youve reached a crisis point in your email backlog when youre obliged as I was recently to confront the following conundrum of electronic etiquette: is it ruder to reply to an email after three months than not to reply at all? On one hand, obviously, given since 1969. Three months is, lets be clear, far too long to delay a reply. But I suspect were entering a phase in emails history when social expectations about such matters have never been more in flux. As the burden of digital communication keeps increasing, digital minimalism is entering the mainstream. (I recommend a …

Facebook criticised after women complain of inaction over abuse

Amnesty says social media firm must do more to support users who report harassment Human rights campaigners have called for action after a survey revealed that more than half of the reports that women lodge about harassment on Facebook are met with no action from the social media company. The Survation poll, commissioned by the feminist campaign group Level Up, found that 29% of the 1,000 women who took part had been harassed on Facebook. A spokesperson for Amnesty International UK said the extremely worrying findings were indicative of a new frontier of human rights abuses which are often unaddressed: Time and time again we hear social media companies making pledges that they will do better, but their efforts have …

Momo hoax: schools, police and media told to stop promoting viral challenge

Childrens charities say warnings about online suicide challenge have done more harm than good Britains media, schools and police forces were told on Thursday to stop promoting an online hoax about the so-called Momo challenge, amid fears that unjustified warnings about the supposed phenomenon risked doing more harm than good. The Momo challenge centres on false claims that a mysterious character is using WhatsApp messages to encourage children to kill themselves. After it moved from the fringes of the internet to the mass media, interventions from authority figures were blamed for creating a full-blown moral panic and genuine fear among children. Questions were raised in parliament on Thursday about what the government planned to do about the hoax, while hundreds …