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Patreon will remove creator accounts that promote QAnon content

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Patreon has updated its policies and will no longer support creator accounts on its platform that “advance disinformation promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory,” the company announced in a blog post.

A “small number of creators” on Patreon have supported QAnon with their work, the platform says, adding it’s taking action because “a number of other online platforms become overrun with pages and groups actively focused around QAnon disinformation.”

QAnon-dedicated creators identified by Patreon’s policy and trust & safety teams will have their accounts removed, the blog post added. The policy update “applies only to creators engaged in spreading QAnon-supporting disinformation,” the company said; while just “mentioning, entertaining,...

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Italian authorities are investigating deepfake bots on Telegram

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Italian Data Protection Authority has started an investigation into the widespread use of bots that generate fake nude images on messaging app Telegram. The news follows an investigation by security firm Sensity, which found that as of July 2020 more than 100,000 faked images had been generated and shared in public Telegram channels.

The bots can generate fake nudes that have watermarks or that show only partial nudity, and users pay to “reveal” the whole image. Users could submit a photo of a woman to the bot and receive a version of the photo back with clothing “removed” and no indication that the image had been altered. And according to Sensity, a limited number of the bot-generated images, most of which are pulled from social...

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Hundreds of thousands of people didn’t have to die

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If you take the typical death toll in the United States in a typical year and add the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or the population of St. Louis, Missouri, you’ll end up with the number of people who died this year. There were nearly 300,000 more deaths than there would have been during a normal year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Without a pandemic, that many more people would still be alive.

Most of those deaths, about two-thirds, were from COVID-19. But around 100,000 people died as a consequence of the pandemic, even if the virus didn’t directly kill them. They may have died because they avoided a hospital, despite their symptoms of — for example — a stroke, because of a...

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Netflix’s Rebecca flattens a classic

Kerry Brown / Netflix

In 1939, Alfred Hitchcock came to Hollywood. The English master of suspense would ply his trade in sunny California, and Rebecca, his first American film, would win him his first and only Oscar. Despite the acclaim, Hitchcock hated Rebecca, as it was his first encounter with American censors and their stodgy Production Code, which made it nearly impossible to accurately adapt the Daphne du Maurier book on which it was based. Still, Hitchcock found a way, and we remember Rebecca now as a classic.

Like other classics, Rebecca has been reinvented many times. Director Ben Wheatley’s 2020 adaptation is the latest, and it’s new on Netflix this week. Being shot in the modern era, Wheatley’s film has significantly fewer hurdles to clear, given...

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Save on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and more

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Welcome to the weekend. In tech deals world, this week consisted mostly of a few notable Prime Day 2020 leftovers that hung around after Amazon’s big shopping event. Even those are mostly done now, but in their place are some fresh, new deals you might not have seen before — that is, unless you’ve been deal-hunting on The Verge earlier this week. With every week that goes by, we’re getting closer to Black Friday, so expect the deals to start ramping up.

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How Riot used tech from The Mandalorian to build Worlds’ astonishing

Photo: Riot Games

The League of Legends World Championship still feels special, even without a crowd

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Samsung thinks its new 85-inch Interactive Display is the digital whit

Samsung

Samsung would like you to believe its new 85-inch Interactive Display can bridge the gap between students in the classroom and students studying at home, now that blended-learning is the new normal across the country. In reality, it’s just a slightly bigger digital whiteboard — but assuming it doesn’t cost too much, the tweaked vision does sound intriguing.

Now that COVID-19 has swept the country, some students are huddling around tiny Chromebook screens at home while others stay in class, and Samsung’s internet-connected digital whiteboard promises to let students and teachers collaborate with each other, whether they’re in that classroom drawing on the board or adding to it in real-time from their laptop at home. The goal here isn’t to...

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx was so good at grabbing asteroid rocks that they

The end of OSIRIS-REx’s sample collector, showing asteroid sample leaking out into space | Image: NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft did its job a little too well on Tuesday, when it tried to scoop up a handful of rocks from an asteroid named Bennu more than 200 million miles from Earth. The vehicle actually grabbed too much material with its robotic arm, jamming the lid at the end of the arm open — and letting part of the asteroid sample escape out into space.

“We were almost a victim of our own success here,” said Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator for the OSIRIS-REx mission at the University of Arizona, in a press conference.

OSIRIS-REx’s mission is to bring a sample of asteroid material back to Earth so that scientists can study the rocks in a lab. But because OSIRIS-REx bit off more than it could chew, its mission team is...

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Facebook wants the NYU Ad Observer to quit collecting data about its a

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook wants a New York University research project to stop collecting data about the social platform’s political ad-targeting, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Ad Observatory, a project of NYU’s engineering school with more than 6,000 volunteers, uses its AdObserver browser extension to scrape data from political ads shown on Facebook. But Facebook says the program is violates its terms of service, which bar scraping.

A Facebook official sent a letter to the Ad Observatory researchers October 16th, saying that “scraping tools, no matter how well-intentioned, are not a permissible means of collecting information from us.” The letter also threatened further enforcement action if the project did not shut down and delete the data...

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Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey to testify before the Senate Judiciary

Big Tech CEO’s Testify Virtually Before House Judiciary Committee Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 17th. “The hearing will focus on the platforms’ censorship and suppression of New York Post articles and provide a valuable opportunity to review the companies’ handling of the 2020 election,” according to a press release.

Last week, the New York Post published a story claiming that Hunter Biden introduced his father, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, to an executive at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Reporters at other publications disputed the allegations in the story, and Facebook and Twitter both took action to restrict the story from spreading.

Facebook reduced the story’s reach and said it was...

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