Workplace Injury, Facebook, YouTube, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, October 31, 2017

I don’t think I’ve ever recommended a comic to y’all before, but I believe you’ll appreciate this one from XKCD.


Corporate Crime Reporter: New Database Documents State Worker Death Prosecutions. “The database catalogues state criminal prosecutions against companies and individuals whose actions caused a worker’s death or serious injury. The database contains information on 75 incidents in 16 states that have led to criminal charges and provides additional related materials.”


TechCrunch: Russian-backed content may have reached 126 million on Facebook. “Facebook has reportedly upped its estimate of how much content was produced by Russian-backed actors during the election and how widely that content was seen. According to prepared remarks due to be presented tomorrow but acquired by the Wall Street Journal today, the company estimates 80,000 pieces of content may have been viewed by a total of 126 million people.”

The Next Web: Russians orchestrated rallies and protests across America using Facebook. “Russian-backed Facebook Pages were responsible for dozens of real-world political events in the US, including a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ rally in one city and a police brutality protest in another – on the same days. The extent to which the Russian propaganda machine has influenced Americans continues to unfold, and it’s becoming apparent ads purchased by bad actors may be the least of our worries.”

BBC News: YouTube tweaks advertising algorithm. “YouTube is tweaking the way it chooses which videos will have adverts shown with them. The update comes after YouTube made changes to the way videos were monetised, to stop ads appearing alongside extremist content. The changes prompted complaints from some popular vloggers, saying it made it hard for them to earn money. The improved algorithm should mean more videos were classified as suitable for ads, YouTube said.”


Social Media Examiner: How to Create and Analyze Instagram Stories for Business Accounts. “Looking for ways to market your business with your Instagram business account? Are you aware of the unique advantages businesses have with Instagram Stories? In this article, you’ll discover how to create, use, and analyze Instagram stories using a business account.”


BuzzFeed: Facebook’s 2016 Election Team Gave Advertisers A Blueprint To A Divided US. “During the 2016 election season, Facebook provided political advertisers with a targetable breakdown of a fractured United States, which could’ve been used as a blueprint for exploiting the country’s divisions. According to a political advertising sales pitch obtained by BuzzFeed News, Facebook carved the US electorate into 14 segments — from left-leaning ‘youthful urbanites’ to a pro-NRA, pro–Tea Party group it bizarrely labeled as ‘the great outdoors.’ It detailed their demographic information — including religion and race in some cases — and offered them to political advertisers via Facebook’s sales teams. For advertisers using Facebook’s self-serve platform, the segments could be reached by purchasing larger bundles ranging from ‘very liberal’ to ‘very conservative.'”

The Ringer: The Internet Has Ruined Maps. “The map is bad, is my point, and obviously bad, and I sincerely wish that we didn’t have to talk about it. But we do. Because maps like this one aren’t merely birdbrained schlock: They are a social media plague, a scourge that can reduce just about any social network to gibbering in-fights in the space of a few virally shared minutes. We’re all susceptible; we’re all defenseless. A dumb internet map with incendiary falsehoods is coming for all of us, and there is just about nothing we can do to stop it.”

RESEARCH & OPINION Web-based system automatically evaluates proposals from far-flung data scientists. “In the analysis of big data sets, the first step is usually the identification of “features”—data points with particular predictive power or analytic utility. Choosing features usually requires some human intuition. For instance, a sales database might contain revenues and date ranges, but it might take a human to recognize that average revenues—revenues divided by the sizes of the ranges—is the really useful metric. MIT researchers have developed a new collaboration tool, dubbed FeatureHub, intended to make feature identification more efficient and effective. With FeatureHub, data scientists and experts on particular topics could log on to a central site and spend an hour or two reviewing a problem and proposing features. Software then tests myriad combinations of features against target data, to determine which are most useful for a given predictive task.”

Morung Express: Microsoft joins IIT Kharagpur to create ‘deeper’ search engine. “In a bid to take on Google Search, Microsoft said on Monday it is working with professors from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kharagpur towards developing a system that can form the basis for a deeper, more meaningful search engine. The new search engine could assist users looking for subjective information and trusted opinions, the company said in a statement.”

GW Hatchet: Faculty use social media to generate online hype for research projects. “When researchers look to generate buzz for their latest project or to collect data for their next study, they are increasingly turning to social media. At a time when [George Washington University] is striving to expand its research reputation across the globe and faculty are forced to vie for increasingly competitive federal grants, experts and faculty said publicizing projects on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is crucial to gain wide recognition and reach a broader audience.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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