The Download: China’s disinfection obsession, and US anti-disinformation board woes

In a one-minute video that went viral in early May in China, three government workers in hazmat suits spray disinfectant on someone’s home: inside the fridge, under the television, on the bed. On social media, Chinese people worry about whether their home will experience the same treatment if they are unlucky enough to catch the virus.

Outside of China, people have largely gone beyond worrying about catching covid from the surface, as post-study studies have found that the risk is relatively low. But China seems to be stuck in the tensions of early 2020.

Its policy of prioritizing disinfection is part of a broader state-controlled narrative that politicizes the health crisis, while also playing into a pro-country narrative about the origin of covid: that it can be imported into Wuhan through frozen food. Read the full story.

– Zei Yang

Must read

I used the internet to find you the most fun / important / scary / pictorial stories of today about technology.

1 The US Anti-Information Board has been the victim of misinformation
In a way that underlines both the depth and scale of the problem. (WP)
, The board was criticized for failing to highlight its goals. (Protocol)

2 Russian state TV was not ready for war in Ukraine
Now it’s racing to fill the schedule with Kremlin-sanctioned propaganda. (New Yorker 2)
, Ukraine’s data servers are an important battleground. (FT)
+ Google’s Russian hand is filing for bankruptcy after local authorities seized his bank account(FT)

Enjoying 3 Crypto Crash? You are not alone.
The ‘joy of being lost’ is very real right now. (Atlantic 2)
+ OK to opt out of crypto revolution. (TR)
+ Crash is unlikely to mitigate its effects on climate change. (The Guardian)
, The fall of Luna is a cautionary tale for crypto inquirers(NYT)
, Panama’s president calls for tougher anti-money laundering measures (Bloomberg 2)

4 China’s new censorship tactic is to disclose users’ locations
This is a deep cold development. (NYT)
, Insulting posts criticizing the Chinese government on the blockchain are being immortalized. (FT)
, Beijing is secretly imposing lockdowns on its residents(Foreign policy)

5 The chaotic social media law of Texas will have disastrous consequences
Uncontrolled social media may seem appealing in theory, but in practice it is terrifying. (Ars Technica)
, The Buffalo shooting video shows why content moderation is important. (WP)

6 We can finally make full use of graphene
Adding it to concrete can make strong, green buildings. (Economist)

7 Twitter bots are really hard to find
But ironically, Elon Musk’s account is a huge magnet for him. (Wired $)
, Here’s what would happen if Musk chose to stay away from buying Twitter. (WSJ)

8 Electric cars need better batteries
The wishlist for car makers includes shorter charging time and lower fire hazards. (WP)
, Car dealerships are getting smaller and getting online(Wired $)

9 Robots may not take the jobs you think they would
Despite what Hollywood has told you. (New Yorker 2)

Meet the YouTube thrill of running 10 roller coasters for a living
Let us live life through them. (Input)

Quote of the day

“We need doctors. Be a doctor! “

According to the Wall Street Journal, YouTuber Logan Paul says he doesn’t think young people should follow in his footsteps and aim to be influential.

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