Savannah Newspapers, Facebook, Extremist Content, More: Tuesday Evening Buzz, December 19, 2017


Digital Library of Georgia: Historic Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah newspapers available online. “The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to announce the release of historic Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah newspapers to the Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive (GHN), part of the Digital Library of Georgia, based at the University of Georgia Libraries. The historic Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah publications include the Bulletin (1920-1962) and the Savannah Bulletin (1958).”


Ubergizmo: Facebook Lets Users Share Posts On Their News Feed Or Profile. “When you post something on Facebook, it will show up in your profile and also your News Feed, where people who follow you or who are friends with you on Facebook can see it in their News Feed as well. However it appears that Facebook is testing out a way to allow users to better control where their posts show up.”

TechCrunch: Facebook has new tools to prevent unwanted friend requests and messages. “Facebook, like every social media platform, has issues with harassment and bullying. In order to prevent certain types of harassment, Facebook is introducing some new features to help prevent unwanted friend requests and messages.”


Business Insider: ‘Your algorithms are doing the grooming and radicalising’: MPs tore into Google, Facebook, and Twitter. “An influential group of politicians savaged Facebook, Twitter, and Google on Tuesday, accusing the tech firms of radicalising prospective terrorists and grooming children through their algorithms. The European policy heads of the three firms were hauled before the Home Affairs Select Committee to explain why hate speech, extremist content, and inappropriate content for children were still appearing on their platforms.”

Techdirt: Russia Threatens To Ban YouTube And Twitter, But Probably Won’t Try. “Last year, the Russian authorities ordered LinkedIn to be blocked in the country, supposedly for failing to store personal data locally. Since other US companies like Google and Facebook had also ignored this data localization requirement, it was curious that only LinkedIn was affected. Now the German news site Deutsche Welle is reporting that Twitter and YouTube risk being locked out of Russia, but for quite different reasons. These involve Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the wealthiest person in Russia, and a long-time vocal opponent of President Putin. Khodorkovsky spent a number of years in prison, allegedly for fraud and embezzlement. He now lives outside Russia, and has set up the NGO Open Russia, which promotes democracy and human rights in Russia.”


Ars Technica: New York City moves to create accountability for algorithms. “The algorithmic accountability bill, waiting to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, establishes a task force that will study how city agencies use algorithms to make decisions that affect New Yorkers’ lives, and whether any of the systems appear to discriminate against people based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or citizenship status. The task force’s report will also explore how to make these decision-making processes understandable to the public.”

Motherboard: Too Many People Are Still Using ‘Password’ as a Password. “For the seventh year in a row, password management security company SplashData has scraped password dumps to find the year’s worst passwords. This year’s research was drawn from over five million leaked passwords, not including those on adult sites or from the massive Yahoo email breach. The passwords were mostly held by users in North America and Western Europe. SplashData estimates that nearly 10 percent of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, and almost 3 percent used the worst password, ‘123456’. ‘Password’ was the second most popular password.” Y’all.

CNET: Law enforcement requests for Facebook user data up 21 percent. “Requests for Facebook user information from law enforcement agencies around the world increased by 21 percent in the first half of 2017, the social networking giant reported Monday. The revelation was part of Facebook’s biannual Transparency Report, which discloses to the public how often the company gets requests from governments for users’ private information and how often it complies.”

RESEARCH & OPINION Facebook improves how blind can “see” images using AI. “When Matt King first got on Facebook eight years ago, the blind engineer had to weigh whether it was worth spending an entire Saturday morning checking whether a friend of his was actually in his friend list. Such were the tools at the time for the visually impaired—almost nonexistent. Today, thanks to text-to-audio software, it just takes a few seconds for him to accomplish the same task. And because of a new face recognition service the social network is rolling out Tuesday, he can now learn which friends are in photos, even those who haven’t been tagged by another user.”


Drexel Now: Drexel and Chemical Heritage Foundation Mix Artifacts With Mobile Gaming to Create History of Alchemy Experience . “The Chemical Heritage Foundation wants to set the record straight about alchemy. The medieval practice, often perceived as a dark art or pseudoscience, actually helped form the process of scientific experimentation and influenced our modern understanding of chemistry and medicine. On its quest to shed light on alchemy, the Foundation, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, has enlisted help from Gossamer Games, a game design startup in Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, and Frank Lee, PhD, director of the EGS, to create a mobile gaming experience about the ‘golden age of alchemy’ using books, art and artifacts from CHF Museum’s alchemy collection. ” Good evening, Internet…

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