The Met, Twitter, YouTube, More: Wednesday Buzz, February 8, 2017


The Metropolitan Museum of Art has just released 375,000 images of public domain artworks with a CC0 license. “The release, which covers images of the great majority of the museum’s holdings, is part of the Met’s Open Access initiative and will enable anyone, anywhere to freely access, use, and remix photos of some of the world’s most well-known works of art.”


Washington Post: Twitter’s going to start weeding out abusive tweets before you see them. “Twitter knows it has a problem with online abuse, and on Tuesday it announced three more changes it’s making to help users deal with it. The social network said in a blog post that it’s cracking down even more on repeat abusers who make new accounts to continue trolling people who have blocked them.”

CNET: YouTube takes on Facebook Live with mobile live streaming. “You’re already live streaming your life on Facebook Live, but now YouTube wants in on the (live) action. You’ll soon be able to live stream to YouTube from your phone, the company said Tuesday. Popular YouTubers will be the first to be get their hands on the feature, which was originally promised back in June.”


India Today: Google maps to be used to measure destruction of wetlands in Mumbai. “The petition has been filed by Vanashakti Public Trust with the grievance that there was lack of action against unscrupulous builders who were illegally dumping debris on wetlands, mangrove areas and putting up illegal constructions.”

Mashable: This dark short film is told through a series of Snapchat videos . “A young woman sits cross-legged on her bed, staring into the jaunty-angled camera lens and moaning about her fruitless hunt for a job. The words ‘Job search got me like’ appear on the screen as she narrows her eyes and presses her fingers to her temples. It looks like any other video you might see popping up on Snapchat — and that’s exactly what makes British student Trim Lamba’s short film so damn effective.”


The Humane Society is taking legal action against the removal of data from the USDA Web site. “The HSUS sued the USDA in 2005 over public access to AWA reports concerning animal use in university and other laboratories. That case was settled in 2009 in exchange for the USDA’s agreement to post certain data on its website concerning research on animals. The agency’s precipitous decision to purge virtually all AWA and HPA enforcement documentation – just two weeks after President Trump assumed office — violates the plain terms of the settlement and a federal court order. It also runs contrary to Congressional provisions in 1996 and 2016 designed to increase transparency and electronic access to information.” FULL DISCLOSURE: I joined the Humane Society immediately after reading this article.

Wave3: Facebook takes search warrant challenge to top court. “Facebook is heading to New York state’s highest court to challenge search warrants seeking information from user accounts. Prosecutors in Manhattan sought search warrants in 2013 for the accounts of 381 individuals in connection with a disability benefits fraud case against New York City police and fire retirees.”

EFF: Federal Court Rules Against Public.Resource.Org, Says Public Safety Laws Can Be Locked Behind Paywalls. “The district court’s decision suggests that laws can be copyrighted and put behind paywalls as long as they were first written down by someone outside of government. Of course, lobbyists and trade groups write bills and draft regulations that get passed by Congress, or federal agencies, with scarcely a word changed. The ruling against Public Resource suggests that every one of those lobbyists and other private interests ‘owns’ a piece of the law and can control who accesses it, and how, and at what price. Will private parties be able to make parts of the law inaccessible, in an attempt to boost sales of other publications? Three of the plaintiffs against Public.Resource.Org have already tried to do this with the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, which is a part of both state and federal regulations.”

Naked Security: AKBuilder is the latest exploit kit to target Word documents, spread malware. “AKBuilder generates malicious Word documents, all in Rich Text, according to the paper’s author, SophosLabs principal researcher Gábor Szappanos. Once purchased, malicious actors use it to package malware samples into booby-trapped documents they can then spam out. Like its two cousins, AKBuilder uses exploits to deliberately corrupt files that automatically trigger bugs in Office and underlying bugs in Windows itself.”

Global Voices: China Starts Arresting Internet Users for Insulting the Police . “In recent weeks, police in China have been arresting Internet users who share messages that insult law enforcement officials. According the Radio Free Asia, at least six people have already been detained. Two of these individuals were reportedly arrested on Jan. 28, for mocking a police officer killed the night before in the line of duty.”


Medium: Persuading Algorithms with an AI Nudge. “Readers of r/worldnews on reddit often report tabloid news to the volunteer moderators, asking them to ban tabloids for their sensationalized articles. These embellished stories catch people’s eyes, attract controversy, and get noticed by reddit’s ranking algorithm, which spreads them even further. Banning tabloid news could end this feedback loop, but the community’s moderators are opposed to blanket bans. To solve this puzzle, moderators needed to answer a question at the heart of debates about so-called ‘fake news’: how can we preserve contributors’ liberty while also influencing the mutual behavior of people and algorithms for the good of the community?”

University of Georgia: UGA researcher studies celebrities’ Twitter influence on brand marketing. “Celebrities with a high number of Twitter followers and who are perceived positively in the public eye have the potential to be credible and influential brand endorsers, according to research by Joe Phua, an assistant professor of advertising in the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Phua’s study, ‘Following Celebrities’ Tweets about Brands: The Impact of Twitter-Based Electronic Word-of-Mouth on Consumers’ Source Credibility Perception, Buying Intention, and Social Identification with Celebrities,’ was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Advertising. It is co-authored by Seung-A Annie Jin, an assistant professor of marketing communication at Emerson College in Boston.” Good morning, Internet…

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