Legal Resources for Transgender People, Firefox Focus, Google Docs, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, November 17, 2016


In development: a Web site aggregating legal resources for transgender people. From the front page: “Trans Law Help is an online database of trans-positive legal resources for people living in the United States.” It has just started within the last week or so, so it’s not fully fleshed out. The front page does note a Twitter hashtag which is being used as a pointer for new resources before they’re entered into the database.

Mozilla has launched a new private browser for iOS. “Firefox Focus is set by default to block many of the trackers that follow you around the Web. You don’t need to change privacy or cookie settings. You can browse with peace of mind, feeling confident in the knowledge that you can instantly erase your sessions with a single tap – no menus needed.”


This will come in handy: Google Docs is getting a custom templates feature. “While you may not use templates much in your day-to-day G Suite life, this is a necessary feature for businesses. You don’t want to have to recreate your report or newsletter layout every time you start a new one, after all. For the most part then, the addition of template support in Google Docs is yet another example of Google trying to make its service more attractive to business users as it gets serious about the enterprise.” has released a new report. “ is pleased to share our second research report, ‘Censorship in Context: Insights from Crowdsourced Data on Social Media Censorship.’ The report draws on data gathered directly from users from April to November 2016, and covers six social media platforms: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. In the report, we also look at the increasing number of media stories surrounding this issue.”


I hate that this is necessary, but it is: Here’s a handy cheat sheet of false and misleading “news” sites. “Melissa Zimdars, an associate professor of communication and media at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, has created a public Google Doc listing news sites that distribute incorrect information. Titled ‘False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical ‘News’ Sources,’ the list includes blatantly incorrect URLs like ‘’ and ‘,’ but also sites whose stories are of dubious origin and sourcing.”

From Robin Good: Find the RSS feed(s) and subscribe to any web page updates with Feedly: FollowFeed. “FollowFeed is a free browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox and Safari which allows you to find all RSS feeds available for a web page and to easily subscribe to them with Feedly.”


Foreign Policy: How Social Media Helps Dictators. “…what is sometimes known as ‘liberation technology’ is not, in fact, making pro-democracy movements more effective. It’s true that we’ve seen more episodes of mass mobilization since the rise of digital communications than we did before. But we should note that the stunning rise of nonviolent resistance came long before the Internet. The technique has enjoyed widespread use since Gandhi popularized the method in the 1930s and 1940s. And in fact, nonviolent resistance has actually become less successful compared to earlier, pre-internet times. Whereas nearly 70 percent of civil resistance campaigns succeeded during the 1990s, only 30 percent have succeeded since 2010. Why might this be?”

Daily News Egypt: ‘Twitter Pharmacy’ gains support amid pharmaceuticals shortage crisis. “The ‘Twitter Pharmacy’ hashtag—an initiative launched by Egyptian Twitter users—has been gaining wide support over the past period, as several pharmaceuticals have been going off-shelves from the Egyptian market. The spokesperson of the Health Ministry, Khaled Mogahed, said on Tuesday that the ministry is willing to stand by ‘Twitter Pharmacy’ and offered government assistance to its users. He called upon the founders of the initiative to contact the Central Administration of Pharmaceutical Affairs (CAPA), affiliated to the ministry, in order to provide citizens with the pharmaceuticals lacking from the market.”

The Guardian: Bursting the Facebook bubble: we asked voters on the left and right to swap feeds. “To test the effects of political polarization on Facebook we asked ten US voters – five conservative and five liberal – to agree to take a scroll on the other side during the final month of the campaign.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION New research looks at fallout from posting embarrassing moments on social media. “Sung Kim, professor of operations and information management at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, along with Ben Choi of the UNSW Australia Business School, Zhenhui Jiang of the National University of Singapore, and Bo Xiao of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, looked at the consequences of online invasions of privacy and their effects on relationships. The researchers examined two key variables around embarrassing social media posts—whether or not the target of the post was tagged (exposing the content to both the poster’s network and the target’s friends) and the level of shared friends in their networks.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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