Social Media Search, Reddit, Facebook Live, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, May 26, 2016


Wow. Above the Law has a writeup on a new app that pulls together social media from specific times and places. “What is Trial Drone, you ask? Essentially, it’s a social media aggregator. Pick a location, say Boston, and a date, say April 15, 2013, and Trial Drone will cull through the universe of social media to find all the social media messages that occurred in Boston on that date…. In addition to time-frame and location searches, the user can also conduct key word searches. Thus, the user could search ‘Boston Bombings’ and ‘eyewitness’ to see if anyone posted to social media outside of the location/time-frame search parameters.”


Looks like Reddit is getting its own photo uploader. “The tool allows users to upload images (up to 20MB in size) and GIFs (100MB) directly to Reddit, and to access threads about any image by clicking on it from any listing. Imgur, which has long been the de facto image uploading service for Reddit, supports images up to 20MB and GIFs up to 200MB.”

Facebook is going to help you hit the highlights when you’re watching in Facebook Live. “Facebook tells me it’s putting reactions to work to power a visualized timeline of when a Live video receives the most engagement. When you go to fast-forward through the recorded replay of a Live clip, you’ll see the graph of reaction volume overlaid on the progress bar. Essentially, you’ll be able to see when the video gets interesting and skip there if you want.”

Periscope broadcasts are now permanently saved by default. “Permanent saves are now available for everyone by default, and you won’t need to use that hashtag to make it work. Likes and comments are saved along with the video footage, so you’ll be able to gauge reactions afterwards as well.”

Google might take the shame route in getting device manufacturers to upgrade their versions of Android. “Bloomberg tipsters claim that Google has created lists that rank Android manufacturers based on the timeliness of their updates. They’re private right now, but the company is considering making them public to shame vendors that drag their heels — it’s hoping those brands too sluggish to make the lists will strive to do better.”


Interesting reading if you’re at all interested in Google Maps: Seeing the world through Google’s eyes. “Since satellite imagery became more readily available in 2005, images taken from Google Earth, Google Street View, along with other platforms such as Bing Maps, have been used to see from above to highlight prison complexes, factory farming, environmental degradation and secret military bases. In this article we first look at how these various platforms and technologies are capturing everything indiscriminately, sometimes resulting in bizarre situations being recorded or the uncovering of hidden infrastructure, violence or degradation.”

Congratulations to the Boston Public Library for its 100,000 item milestone! “Boston Public Library recently added its 100,000th digitized item to Digital Commonwealth, providing access to digital resources of cultural heritage organizations throughout Massachusetts. Collections in Digital include thousands of images, documents, and sound recordings from member institutions which are openly accessible to researchers, students, and the intellectually curious.”

Looks like the Opera sale is going ahead. “Today’s approval is notable because there have been murmurs of discontent about the proposed sale to Golden Brick, a group comprised of Qihoo 360, one of China’s most visible (and controversial) Internet companies which recently went private in a $9.3 billion deal, listed games firm Kunlun, which owns a 60 percent share in gay dating service Grindr, and investment firm Yonglian.” This makes the built-in VPN thing feel really weird.


Research: tracking Zika conspiracy theories on social media. “Conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific claims refuting the facts around Zika virus vaccines could be putting vulnerable people at risk, according to a new study published in Vaccine. By analyzing social media in real time, researchers were able to identify conversations about Zika virus vaccines and pinpoint the conspiracy theories being discussed.”

A think tank is proposing that Facebook and Google pay to support journalism. And if you thought the idea of Facebook picking trending stories was controversial, imagining it picking media outlets to give money to. Oh, it wouldn’t pick them? Then who would? “ResPublica believes new media platforms should pay a 1% levy on revenue to fund investigative, long-form and local journalism. The payment of a levy is one of the central arguments in a ResPublica essay, ‘The Mission of Media in an Age of Monopoly’, written by media lecturer Justin Schlosberg.” Good afternoon, Internet…


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