Fact Check: Charges dropped after suspect misidentified in attack on NYPD officers

“Charges against a man initially arrested as a suspect for attacking police officers in New York City were dropped, according to the Manhattan District Attorney, because he had been misidentified as a participant in the January 2024 brawl, not because crime by a “migrant” has “no consequences,” as suggested in social media posts.

Posts on social media, opens new tab shared a photograph showing a 22-year-old Venezuelan man, Jhoan Boada, with captions such as: “The Manhattan DA just dropped all charges against Jhoan Boada, 22, migrant who flipped the bird at photographers following his involvement in a gang attack on the NYPD. No consequences.”

“The Manhattan DA’s office said in an email, citing court documents, that, “After a thorough and diligent investigation, Jhoan Boada has been exonerated as a participant in this assault” and that the complaint against Boada was dismissed.
The DA’s office told the court that another man, Marcelino Estee, had been identified as the person described in the complaint as “wearing the black & white jacket with pink shoes, committing this assault” and that Estee had been charged for his participation.”


Elon Musk’s Israel disinformation investigation, explained

“In the hours after the Hamas attack on Israel began, users subscribed to X Premium — whose accounts show a verified check mark and get boosted engagement in exchange for a monthly fee — spread a number of particularly egregious pieces of misinformation. According to a running tracker by Media Matters, these accounts amplified a fake White House memo claiming the US government was about to send $8 billion in aid to Israel; circulated videos from other conflicts (and in some cases, footage from a video game) while claiming they showed the latest out of Israel and Gaza; falsely claimed that a church in Gaza had been bombed; and impersonated a news outlet. These posts were shared by X users with huge followings and viewed tens of millions of times. The Tech Transparency Project said on Thursday that it had identified X Premium accounts promoting Hamas propaganda videos, which were viewed hundreds of thousands of times.”


Propagandists are exploiting Syria’s suffering to win the information war in Gaza

“In one video, children cry amid rubble. In another, explosions rip through residential neighbourhoods. The images have gone viral on X (formerly Twitter), purporting to be from the ongoing chaos in Israel and Gaza. They actually originate from the war in Syria – including my family’s besieged hometown of Aleppo, where the Assad regime’s tanks once fired on my grandparents’ home while they were still inside.
They are not isolated examples, and the proliferation of misinformation on X is now so extreme that the European Commission began an official investigation last week. The past week has proved that the site is now unable to effectively tackle the spread of falsehoods in a time of crisis.”


Facebook Says Noting the CDC’s Scientific Misrepresentations ‘Could Mislead People’

“Laboratory experiments provide good reason to believe that masks, especially N95s, can reduce the risk that someone will be infected or infect other people. But those experiments are conducted in idealized conditions that may not resemble the real world, where people often choose low-quality cloth masks and do not necessarily wear masks properly or consistently.

Observational studies, which look at infection rates among voluntary mask wearers or people subject to mask mandates, can provide additional evidence that general mask wearing reduces infection. But such studies do not fully account for confounding variables.
If people who voluntarily wear masks or live in jurisdictions that require them to do so differ from the comparison groups in ways that independently affect disease transmission, the estimates derived from observational studies will be misleading. Those studies can also be subject to other pitfalls, such as skewed sampling and recall bias, that make it difficult to reach firm conclusions.

Despite those uncertainties, the CDC touted an observational study that supposedly proved “wearing a mask lowered the odds of testing positive” by as much as 83 percent. It said even cloth masks reduced infection risk by 56 percent, although that result was not statistically significant and the study’s basic design, combined with grave methodological weaknesses, made it impossible to draw causal inferences.”

“If wearing a mask had the dramatic impact that the CDC claimed, you would expect to see some evidence of that in RCTs. Yet the Cochrane review found essentially no relationship between mask wearing and disease rates, whether measured by reported symptoms or by laboratory tests. Nor did it confirm the expectation that N95s would prove superior to surgical masks in the field. The existing RCT evidence, the authors said, “demonstrates no differences in clinical effectiveness.””

“Does the Cochrane review prove that masks are worthless in protecting people from COVID-19? No. But it does show that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) misled the public about the strength of the evidence supporting mask mandates”

California’s COVID-19 ‘Misinformation’ Law Chills Constitutionally Protected Speech

“A.B. 2098, which threatens to punish physicians for sharing COVID-19 “misinformation” with their patients. The law, which is scheduled to take effect on January 1, defines “misinformation” as advice “contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus”—an open invitation to suppression of constitutionally protected speech.”

” The new law..makes physicians subject to discipline for sharing their honest opinions regarding COVID-19 if the medical board thinks they deviate from the “scientific consensus,” a term the law does not define. That nebulous standard poses a due process problem, since the law does not give doctors fair notice of which conduct it reaches. It also poses a free speech problem, since it encourages self-censorship.”

“While some unconventional opinions may amount to quackery, others may ultimately be vindicated. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conventional wisdom on subjects such as intubation of patients, the utility of cloth face masks, isolation periods, and the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing virus transmission has shifted repeatedly in response to emerging evidence.
In addition to violating doctors’ freedom of speech, A.B. 2098 undermines that discovery process. It tells skeptical physicians to keep their mouths shut, lest they endanger their licenses and livelihoods by candidly sharing their opinions.”