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New Missouri Law Protects Doctors Who Prescribe Off-Label Drugs Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported:

A new law in Missouri prohibits pharmacists from questioning doctors who prescribe the controversial off-label drugs ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for patients. The measure, which goes into effect in August, was signed Tuesday by Gov. Mike Parson after it was approved by the Legislature in May.

Under the law, state medical licensing boards would be prohibited from punishing or taking away the medical licenses of doctors who “lawfully” prescribe the two drugs, which became unproven alternatives to treating COVID-19 among people who opposed vaccinations.

The law also bars pharmacists from contacting a doctor or patient “to dispute the efficacy of ivermectin tablets or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use” unless the doctor or patient asks about the drugs’ effectiveness.

Family Sues Meta, Blames Instagram for Daughter’s Eating Disorder and Self-Harm

NBC News reported:

A preteen girl’s “addictive” use of Instagram resulted in an eating disorder, self-harm and thoughts of suicide over several years, according to a lawsuit against the platform’s parent company, Meta.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California late Monday, heavily cites the Facebook Papers, a trove of internal Meta research documents leaked last fall that revealed that the tech giant knew Instagram was worsening body image and other mental health issues among teenage girls in particular.

The case was filed on behalf of Alexis Spence, who was able to create her first Instagram account at the age of 11 without her parents’ knowledge and in violation of the platform’s minimum age requirement of 13.

The complaint alleges that Instagram’s artificial intelligence engine almost immediately steered the then-fifth grader into an echo chamber of content glorifying anorexia and self-cutting, and systematically fostered her addiction to using the app. The lawsuit was filed by the Social Media Victims Law Center, a Seattle-based group that advocates for families of teens harmed online.

CUNY Faculty Union Suing School Over ‘Double Standard’ COVID Vaccine Mandate

New York Post reported:

Faculty and staff at the City University of New York are suing the school over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate — claiming the policy isn’t fair because it doesn’t apply to all employees.

The union representing CUNY’s professors said it was forced to sue after urging the administration “for months” to expand the vaccine requirement, a spokesperson told The Post.

While custodians, campus security workers and cafeteria staffers who decline to get vaccinated can keep their jobs, other CUNY employees without medical or religious exemptions may face discipline up to and including their termination, court documents suggest.

The lawsuit comes as the governor appears poised to loosen COVID-19 protocols for state workers, according to a memo from the Office of Employee Relations announcing it would lift the testing requirement for unvaccinated employees starting Tuesday, The Times Union reported.

New York MTA Is Lifting COVID-Testing Rule for Unvaccinated Workers

Bloomberg reported:

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the city’s bus, subway and commuter train systems, will join state agencies that are lifting the weekly COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated transit workers starting Tuesday.

State employees were notified Friday that the mandate was being lifted, said Erin McCarthy, a spokesperson for New York State’s Office of Employee Relations.

The MTA, the largest mass-transit provider in the U.S., since October has been mandating unvaccinated workers be tested weekly. Of the system’s 67,000-person workforce, 77% are currently vaccinated according to spokesperson Tim Minton.

U.S. CDC Removes Mask Recommendation From Monkeypox Travel Notice to Avoid Confusion

Reuters reported:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday it had removed a mask recommendation from its monkeypox travel notice to avoid “confusion” over the disease, which primarily spreads through direct contact.

The agency had earlier suggested that travelers wear masks as it can help protect against “many diseases, including monkeypox.”

As per the CDC’s website, while the disease spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, “it also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.”

Cyberattack on a Mass.-Based Medical Imaging Company May Have Affected Millions

The Boston Globe via MSN reported:

A cyberattack on Shields Health Care Group Inc. may have compromised the identity and medical information of approximately 2 million people, the imaging and outpatient surgical center company disclosed.

Shields said the compromised data could include full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, provider information, diagnoses, billing information, insurance numbers and information, medical record numbers, patient IDs, and other medical or treatment information.

Shields said it is still conducting a review of the impacted data, and didn’t have evidence that any of the information from the incident was used to commit identity theft or fraud.

Are Social Media Platforms Like Railroads? The Future of Facebook and Twitter Could Depend on the Answer

CNN Business reported:

Services like Facebook and Twitter could change radically for millions of Americans in the coming years depending on how the courts decide one hotly debated question: Should social media platforms be regulated like railroads?

It’s a question that’s gotten increased attention lately as a number of states, including Texas and Florida, have passed laws to that effect. Though they have been temporarily blocked amid ongoing legal challenges, the laws propose a fundamental rethinking of social media’s legal status that could expose big swaths of the internet to government regulation.

The new laws would force large social media platforms to host a much wider range of content than they currently allow, including content that may otherwise violate their terms of service, under threat of lawsuits.

Instagram’s ‘Sensitive Content’ Controls Will Soon Filter All Recommended Content

TechCrunch reported:

Last year, Instagram added a way for users to filter some kinds of “sensitive” content out of the Explore tab. Now, Instagram is expanding that setting, letting users turn off that content in recommendations throughout the app.

The expanded content controls will soon apply to search, Reels, hashtag pages, “accounts you might follow” and in-feed suggested posts. Instagram says the changes will roll out to all users within the coming weeks.

Rather than letting users mute certain content topics, Instagram’s controls only have three settings, one that shows you less of this bucket of content, the standard-setting and an option to see more sensitive content. Instagram users under the age of 18 won’t be able to opt for the latter setting.

IRS Warns of Ongoing COVID Fraud, Urges Americans to Be Wary of Fake Emails and Phone Calls

FOX Business reported:

The IRS is urging Americans to stay vigilant about sketchy emails and out-of-the-blue phone calls from people who are promising stimulus payments or other benefits, warning that criminals continue to use the coronavirus pandemic as a way to steal personal information.

The latest warning comes as various federal agencies try to crack down on fraud related to the more than $5 trillion in COVID-19 relief spending since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Scammers continue using the pandemic as a device to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a bulletin on Monday. “I urge everyone to be leery of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising benefits that don’t exist.”