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May 2020
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Tales From The Quarantine: 'Queer Eye' Guy Now Offering Support And Advice On Your Video Game Home Furnishings

Furnished content.


The COVID-19 crises has changed most of our lives. Working from home is now the norm for many, rather than a perk. Sports is mostly gone, replaced by esports simulacrums. Schools are shut down, as are most non-essential businesses.And the folks from Queer Eye are now advising on and critiquing your digital homes rather than your IRL abodes.

Queer Eye interior designer Bobby Berk, without any actual homes to visit and makeover right now, is keeping busy by offering his assistance at turning your Animal Crossing trashpit into something easier on the eye.Or at least that was the intent with this Tweet, which was phrased as a means of getting some “some special hiptips”.
The responses to that tweet were swift and plentiful, as any veteran of the internet would have expected. Still, the entire thing turned into something of a combination affirmation project of fun, with Animal Crossing players posting pics of well-maintained digital homes for Berk to lavish with praise, or those with messes of digital homes to which Berk gave suggestions akin to what he does on television. And, on occasion, Berk got to do something a little closer to his day job.
It's both strange and interesting to see how we all adjust and adapt during these deeply weird times. Whatever the combination of video game escapism and internet fun this is, it's something close to what many of us need at the moment. And, for a little Techdirt angle on it all, it's a version of connecting with fans. One hopes this type of fan engagement will be remembered when this nightmare ends.

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posted at: 12:00am on 01-May-2020
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

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China Tried To Get The EU Not To Release A Report On China's COVID-19 Disinformation Efforts

Furnished content.


It's becoming an unfortunate regularity that we keep writing posts highlighting how China is trying to suppress criticism around the globe regarding its terrible handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we've said over and over again, what the world needs right now is radical transparency regarding the disease and various responses, and instead we're getting standard operating procedures from the Chinese government which is all about suppressing bad information and denying everything (with a healthy does of spreading more disinfo everywhere -- make sure you check the comments here a few hours after we post this, because it seems to show up in a timely manner).The latest example comes from the EU, where the Chinese government pressured officials in Brussels not to release a report about the Chinese government's disinformation efforts regarding COVID-19. While the EU did eventually release it, it put it out on a Friday evening (the classic news dump of where you hide stuff) and some of the criticism of China was supposedly "rearranged or removed."

Four diplomatic sources told Reuters that the report had initially been slated for release on April 21 but was delayed after Chinese officials picked up on a Politico news report hat previewed its findings.A senior Chinese official contacted European officials in Beijing the same day to tell them that, if the report is as described and it is released today it will be very bad for cooperation, according to EU diplomatic correspondence reviewed by Reuters.The correspondence quoted senior Chinese foreign ministry official Yang Xiaoguang as saying that publishing the report would make Beijing very angry and accused European officials of trying to please someone else - something the EU diplomats understood to be a reference to Washington.The four sources said the report had been delayed as a result, and a comparison of the internal version of the report obtained by Reuters and the final version published late Friday showed several differences.
For reasons that are unclear, Reuters, despite breaking this story and it seeming to be an opportune time and place to do so, does not link to the report that was released. You can read it here. It seems to focus mostly on Russian disinfo campaigns, and, while it does include China, suggests that China is less active in such disinformation campaigns. Also, the key parts about China are at the very end of the document, which is apparently not where they were originally.Once again, I completely understand that this is status quo for the Chinese government, but honestly, you would hope that in the midst of a global pandemic insecure, thin-skinned governments (and yes I'm including my own government in this) would grow up, get over it, and focus on providing the public with real info, rather than spreading nonsense and FUD.

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posted at: 12:00am on 01-May-2020
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

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