Biases in algorithms hurt those looking for information on health

Christel Deskins

<span class="caption">Finding valid health care information on social media is harder than it seems.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Carl Court/Getty Images">Carl Court/Getty Images</a></span>
Finding valid health care information on social media is harder than it seems. Carl Court/Getty Images

YouTube hosts millions of videos related to health care.

The Health Information National Trends Survey reports that 75% of Americans go to the internet first when looking for information about health or medical topics. YouTube is one of the most popular online platforms, with billions of views every day, and has emerged as a significant source of health information.

Several public health agencies, such as state health departments, have invested resources in YouTube as a channel for health communication. Patients with chronic health conditions especially rely on social media, including YouTube videos, to learn more about how to manage their conditions.

But video recommendations on such sites could exacerbate preexisting disparities in health.

A significant fraction of the U.S. population is estimated to have limited health literacy, or the capacity to obtain, process and

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‘I Want to Be the Most Honest Ally for My Community’

Christel Deskins

James Rodriguez was a freshman at New York University when the then-aspiring actor first learned that his Mexican-American heritage was going to be a problem for Hollywood.

He had just nailed an audition for a big feature film, but the casting director was put off by the fact that his Caucasian-like skin tone was out of sync with his last name. So he was offered the chance to read for the role of a gang member, only to be told that he wasn’t right for that, either.

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“I didn’t look Latino enough,” he recalls. “They basically didn’t know what to do with me.”

The movie was Primal Fear. The lead role in question launched Ed Norton’s career.

Three years later, on the eve of his college graduation, Rodriguez nailed another big audition for a series-regular role in a buzzy, DreamWorks-produced TV pilot. But the issue of

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11 of the biggest myths about coronavirus, according to the World Health Organisation

Christel Deskins

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began making headlines across the world, there has been confusing and sometimes conflicting advice. Should we wear masks, should we not; does wearing gloves help; can the virus be spread from pets to humans – the list goes on.

Despite the plethora of information about the Covid-19 outbreak, the main guidance has largely remained the same for several months, albeit with slight updates: maintain social distancing guidelines, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and isolate at home if you start exhibiting symptoms including a high fever; a new, continuous cough or a loss or changed sense of smell and taste.

Amid the guidelines issued by governments and health organisations, myths concerning the virus have also been spreading, making it difficult for some members of the public to discern truth from fiction.

On the website for the World Health Organisation (WHO), it lists some

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Turtle Beach, Eventbrite, Thermo Fisher Scientific, UBS Group and Canadian Pacific Railway highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Christel Deskins

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 14, 2020 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of Turtle Beach Corp HEAR as the Bull of the Day, Eventbrite EB as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Thermo Fisher Scientific TMO, UBS Group AG UBS and Canadian Pacific Railway CP.

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Turtle Beach Corp is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) that is an audio technology company that designs audio products for consumer, commercial and healthcare markets. The San Diego company was founded in 1975 and has over 200 full-time employees.

Turtle Beach has a very low market cap of $250 million with a forward PE over 30. Those that invest should be aware that the stock is pretty volatile with a 1.82 beta.

Return to Glory

If this stock sounds familiar, it’s

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4 Stocks to Tap the Rise in Online Grocery Sales & Food Prices

Christel Deskins

The new trend of online grocery shopping has started to affect food prices online, as food producers make an effort to cater to high demand for certain food products amid the pandemic. In addition, now that people have gone back to their lockdown lifestyles, a wave of panic purchase of grocery and other essential item could be emerging, which is, in turn, might affect food prices and their online sales.

This is why it could be a good idea to invest in some stocks that are clearly benefiting from the aforementioned trend.

Online Grocery Sales Surge

Since the number of new coronavirus cases continues to increase after states reopened their economy in late April, many state and local authorities have now rolled back their reopening plans. This means that most people have gone back to being confined to their homes; working and studying from home just like they did during

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Paper or e-file? Some July tax filers won’t have choice due to glitch

Christel Deskins

It’s tax season in July.

Given that the Internal Revenue Service has been dealing with a backlog of unprocessed paper tax returns, it may be even wiser at this point to e-file your 1040 by July 15, especially if you want to collect a tax refund as quickly as possible and use direct deposit to a bank account. 

The tax filing deadline, which was extended because of the coronavirus crisis, is fast approaching for millions of taxpayers who have yet to file their 2019 federal income tax returns.  

Oddly enough, some people may have little choice but to file a paper return for 2019 because of a computer headache triggered by the use of an online IRS stimulus tool for “non-filers.” It’s not a glitch that will hit everyone, but it’s certainly odd enough to worth noting. 

The rollout of the stimulus payments, officially called the Economic Impact Payment, included

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A Laurel Canyon property for $39,000? Beware of unsolicited home offers

Christel Deskins

Karolynne and Randolph Gee have lived in the same house in Laurel Canyon since 1963. They say the Mamas and Papas once resided nearby. So did Linda Ronstadt.

It’s a modest house — two bedrooms, one bath — not fancy by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s home. The Gees (she’s 85, he’s 90) say they hope to live out the remainder of their days there.

So it came as a surprise when a letter arrived the other day from someone offering out of the blue to buy the place.

The would-be purchaser said he probably could have a cashier’s check in the couple’s hands in under two weeks. He said he’d pay all costs and fees associated with the sale, including any back taxes “within reason.”

All the Gees had to do was sign the enclosed purchase agreement.

“It’s not for sale,” Karolynne Gee told me. “It’s never

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8 High-Risk Stocks

Christel Deskins

Number 8
Number 8

As equity markets continue to recover after the collapse earlier in the year, many shares are now overvalued, according to Morningstar analysts.

Investors looking to capitalise on lockdown trends have chased e-commerce, tech and healthcare stocks, driving valuations ever higher. Indeed, Tesla’s (TSLA) shares have soared 200% this year, for example, while Shopify (SHOP)  is up nearly 140%. Such a rapid upward trajectory may not be a signal to buy, however – analysts warn many of these hot stocks are looking expensive.

UK Stocks to Avoid

We last looked stocks to avoid in April when valuations were starting to move higher after March’s sell-off.

To compile this list we look at stocks with an Uncertainty Rating of High or Very High, which have no Economic Moat, and which are rated as either one or two stars by Morningstar analysts, indicating that their shares are trading above their fair

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Newsroom or PAC? Liberal group muddies online information wars

Christel Deskins

Rep. Max Rose, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress this November, couldn’t have written a better headline himself.

“Rep. Max Rose Deploys With National Guard to Get Hospital Ready For Coronavirus Patients,” read an April 17 article about the freshman congressman from New York. The article — boosted into circulation in New York by thousands of dollars in targeted Facebook ads — was mostly a rewrite of the congressman’s press release from the previous day. The same thing happened the next month: A May 28 press release touting coronavirus legislation of Rose’s quickly turned into an article with almost exactly the same headline as the release.

The articles and Facebook ad dollars look like the efforts of a run-of-the-mill political group. But they are actually from a news outlet:, also known as Courier, which was created and funded by the Democratic-aligned digital organization Acronym. Courier has spent

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