Facebook bans ads for face masks

There have been a lot of ads for face masks since the recent coronavirus outbreak, but Facebook has decided these ads are doing more harm than good. 

Facebook had already banned the making of medical claims of effectiveness about products, so no one could market their product as 100% effective in preventing the disease. Face masks are far from being 100% effective, and even the CDC has discouraged the general public from using them. 

Facebook also expressed concerns about price-gouging. They are worried that sellers would take advantage of the panic in order to sell their products at hugely inflated prices. 

Facebook is a hugely influential platform, so they have a lot of responsibility in their management of it. If they took a more hands-off approach, they might allow the panic to get worse than it already is. 

Moyer, Edward. “Facebook Bans Face Mask Ads to Curb Coronavirus Exploitation.” CNET, CNET, 7 Mar. 2020, www.cnet.com/news/facebook-bans-face-mask-ads-to-curb-coronavirus-exploitation/.

Artists use face paint to protest and fight facial recognition technology.

Recently in East London there was a protest against the use of facial recognition technology. This comes in the wake of London police beginning to use facial recognition in their operations, leading to the arrest of a women picked out off the streets. 

Artists painted geometric shapes on their faces to stop the technology from working on them. They tested their paint by seeing if their phone cameras recognized their faces. 

London has a very high concentration of security cameras, and this has long been accepted by the community. However, face-recognition technology is putting this acceptance to the test, not just in London but also across the world in Hong Kong, Russia, and more. 

A recent poll showed that most of the British public feels they don’t have the information to form an opinion of facial recognition, but opposition to the technology is growing. There was a mention of being able to ‘opt out’ of the technology, but I’m not sure how that would work. 


Chan, Kelvin. “With Painted Faces, Artists Fight Facial Recognition Tech.” Tech Xplore – Technology and Engineering News, Tech Xplore, 8 Mar. 2020, techxplore.com/news/2020-03-artists-facial-recognition-tech.html.

Plague simulation game banned in China during the Coronavirus

China has banned the video game “Plague Inc” for containing what they call “Illegal content.” This was likely done in fear that the game would exacerbate panic surrounding the coronavirus.

Developers of the game argue that it serves a very important educational purpose and are attempting to reverse the ban.

Things like video games can have a large impact on society, and the government of China has realized this. The question of exactly how it affects society is up for debate; does a game like Plague inc benefit society by teaching about disease control or does it harm society inducing fear in people?

“Coronavirus: Plague Inc. Game Banned in China.” BBC News, BBC, 28 Feb. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/technology-51673293.

Smart Diaper tells parents when to change it

A new type of diaper has been created. It contains sensors within it that will notify parents when it is wet, giving them an immediate indication that it must be changed.

Many diapers before came with stickers that change color when wet, but now Bluetooth is being incorporated to notify one’s phone. These diapers retail for around $40.

These diapers, however, use RFID technology, which allows them to be produced for much less while still connecting to the internet. Researchers found in the process of developing the diaper that adding a little bit of copper to the RFID chip made it more sensitive to wetness.

I think this technology shows the progress of ‘the internet of things.’ Before reading this article, I never even considered connecting a diaper to the internet. We may be seeing a lot of surprising objects being connected in the future.


“Low-Cost ‘Smart’ Diaper Can Notify Caregiver When It’s Wet.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 14 Feb. 2020, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200214144334.htm.

Google to update crawler on March 1

It seems that Google plans on updating their Crawl system soon. It seems the major change is that they will now be using ‘nofollow’ links differently; they will now be used as a ‘hint’ while crawling and indexing.

I think nofollows might have been covered in class briefly, but I had to look it up to remind myself exactly what they were. They are used to prevent certain links on a website from influencing a page’s ranking.

Previously, Google did what I think they are supposed to do and did not crawl or index nofollow links. The article I’m basing this off describes how they will be treated as ‘hints’ for ‘crawling or indexing.’ To be honest I’m not exactly sure what this means.

The article finishes by saying that nofollows should not be used to prevent the indexing of a page, and recommends using something like what they call a “meta robots noindex directive.”


Montti, Roger. “Google Crawl and Indexing Update March 1, 2020.” Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Journal, 21 Feb. 2020, www.searchenginejournal.com/nofollow-crawl-indexing-update/349994/#close.