Somehow, not a surprise.

The data scientist who managed Florida’s public “dashboard” of daily information on COVID-19 infection and deaths says she was removed from her position because she was ordered to censor some of the numbers, and she refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”

Rebekah Jones says she questions the Department of Health’s commitment to “accessibility and transparency.”

The Miami Herald reports:

Rebekah Jones, the geographic information system manager for DOH’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, wrote in an email, distributed Friday that authority over the dashboard was taken away from her office on May 5. The sharply worded email, which was shared with the Herald by a recipient of the message, was addressed to users of the state’s data portal, which includes researchers and journalists. It was not clear who replaced her and her staff.

“As a word of caution, I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the process during the first two months,” wrote Jones, who holds a Ph.D. in geography from Florida State University. “After all, my commitment to both is largely [arguably entirely] the reason I am no longer managing it.”

Florida’s COVID-19 website guru blasts bosses, hints at data suppression

The data scientist who designed Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard — a mobile friendly, intuitive display of the outbreak — has been removed from her position because she refused to censor data and manipulate numbers to generate support for reopening, she says

— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) May 19, 2020

[via @VeraMBergen]


A law passed today in France obliges internet platforms to remove content within an hour or face huge fines, reports the BBC. The law concerns content related to terrorism or child sexual abuse, as determined by police. There are also fears that such tech could be used against groups such as protesters. “Since 2015, we […]



On his Pluralistic blog, Cory Doctorow reports that the Zoom teleconferencing system purportedly uses artificial intelligence to detect naked people to block the video. He says “I think that Zoom is probably bullshitting about using machine learning to catch nudity.” That makes sense, because how can you detect the content of a video stream if, […]



Kidz Bop is a music brand that makes “kid-friendly versions of today’s biggest pop music hits.” Think Raffi performing “Despacito.” As such, they tend to change the lyrics around, to keep things OK for the kids. The Pudding did a deep-dive into the linguistic data around Kidz Bop and their censorship choices, and turned their […]



How many of your passwords contain something personal about you? From an important date to a hobby to some memory from your past, those keywords, phrases or moments are indelibly imprinted inside us and instantly come to mind, which is why we invariably use them as part of a password. Even though a security professional […]



As much as we love our gadgets, the time-honored tradition of putting actual pen against real-life paper and organizing thoughts, jotting notes, or just plain sketching will likely never fully leave us. That’s especially true when items like the Rocketbook Fusion are regularly bringing those two worlds together. Designed for every classroom or office, the […]


By user