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Current Events: Naloxone, Google, and Facebook

Anna Kaganova, Staff Writer

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Be Advised

A kit containing naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote that the surgeon general is advising more Americans to keep nearby. (image courtesy of the NYTimes.com

Thursday, Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, issued the first national advisory since 2005, urging more Americans to keep the drug naloxone on hand and to learn how to use it.

The opioid epidemic has killed over 250,000 people over the past decade, including more than 42,000 people in 2016 – which adds up to about 115 Americans lost daily due to an opioid overdose.

Naloxone is a medication designed to immediately reverse an opioid overdose by blocking the brain’s opioid receptors and restoring normal breathing in people who OD’ed on fentanyl, heroin, or prescription painkillers. More information can be found here.

 

 

GOOGLE

A photograph of Nasim Aghdam. (image courtesy of TMZ)

Tuesday, three people were injured in a shooting at the Google’s Youtube HQ in San Bruno, California, prompting a heavy police response. Two of people were delivered to a hospital in serious condition. The shooter, Nasim Aghdam, 39, was found dead by suicide. Aghdam herself was a YouTuber, and frequently posted videos criticizing the social media platform. Among other things, she had said that the company was “ruining her life” by reducing her view count, filtering her page and discouraging her from creating new content.

Jaclyn Schildkraut, a national expert on mass shootings research and assistant professor of public justice at the State University of New York, said that it was “very uncommon” to see a female suspect carry out this type of shooting. In fact, women made up for only four percent of suspects in mass shootings in the U.S. between 1966 and 2016.

 

The opening of the letter directed to Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.

In other news with Google, the company’s employees have been calling on the CEO to stop helping the Pentagon with its program, “Project Marvin”, that plans to use artificial intelligence to help analyze drone videos. Over 3,1000 Google employees have signed a petition protesting the involvement. Google says that the project has nothing to do with combat situations, but employees aren’t really sure about this.

The full letter can be read here.

 

Losing Faces

Wednesday, Facebook revealed that up to 87 million people might have been exposed in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The developments come as congressional officials schedule CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify next week. And as Facebook rewrites its terms of service and data policies to better explain what data it collects from users (but no changes were actually made on what info is collected and shared).
Wait, what’s Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a data analytics firm that the Trump campaign used to help with targeted political ads. In 2015, the firm got permission from some Facebook users to access their private data through an app tied to the firm via Facebook’s login feature. The firm collected info not only on the users, but their ‘friends’ who hadn’t given permission. Apparently, Facebook had known about the data leaks but didn’t do anything  until about two weeks ago. And now it’s getting maaajor backlash.

 

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Current Events: Naloxone, Google, and Facebook