Fact-Checking, Autism Resources, Low Carbon UK, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 26, 2018


Poynter: What does research say about fact-checking? Find out in our new database.. “Over the past few years, the hot takes have been endless. Facts are dead. Fake news can sway election results. Echo chambers rule the internet. The questions they’ve raised are important, but often divorced from the latest research. Thankfully, the spotlight on fact-checking and misinformation has resulted in an abundance of academic work on the field.”

Echo Journal: Minnesota Autism Resource website now available – Crowdsourcing allows contributed content. “The Minnesota Autism Resource website is now available for youth and adults with autism as well as parents, teachers, social service and health care professionals and others to get and share information about autism spectrum disorders and related conditions (ASD).”

BusinessGreen: Government unveils UK database of 4,300 low carbon projects. “The government has unveiled an online database of 4,300 low carbon organisations and projects which have received some form of taxpayer funding over the past five years, in a bid to champion both the UK’s clean technology development to investors and highlight government support for the sector. Launched for consultation this week, the database outlines the thousands of projects and companies which have benefitted from funding from Innovate UK, the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) since April 2012.”


TechCrunch: Google expands controls to let you mute those annoying ads that follow you on every site. “You know those ads that seem to follow you to every website? You went to one site one time to check out a thing and bam! that site’s ads now pop up on every site you visit. Well, now Google will let you mute them.”

Bloomberg: Twitter Is Working on a Snapchat-Style Video Sharing Tool. “Twitter Inc. is working on a new Snapchat-style feature that makes it easier to post videos on the social-media company’s app, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to attract more users and cement a nascent turnaround.”


Library of Congress: Making a Newspaperbot. “The Chronicling America API provides access to historical newspapers from the first half of the 20th century, from geographically diverse sources. Such a collection presents a unique opportunity to retrospectively study the zeitgeist of a nation. Towards that end, ‘Newspaperbot’ is a Twitterbot that tweets out historical newspapers from the Chronicling America API. Everyday in the early hours of morning, the Twitterbot finds all the historical newspapers from that day exactly 100 years ago. The bot then proceeds to tweet the front page of each newspaper accompanied by the title of the journal and the place of publication. It is also accompanied by a link to the item’s location on the Chronicling America website where the reader can access high resolution images of the newspaper.”


The Conversation: How the absolute monarchy in Oman is turning to Twitter to help govern. “Research conducted by the Dubai School of Government into the Arab Spring of 2010-11 found that mass protests on the ground were often preceded by revolutionary conversations online, and that social media such as Twitter played a central role in shaping the political events. Having studied changes in internet traffic and social media use, they concluded that social media during the Arab Spring played a critical role in ‘mobilisation, empowerment, shaping opinions, and influencing change’.”

Daily Pennsylvanian: Penn Libraries has received grants to digitize major cultural collections . “Penn Libraries received a grant to preserve Muslim manuscripts and make them more accessible to the students, scholars, and the public. Penn will collaborate with Columbia University and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation in the next three years to digitize Arabic, Persian, and Turkish texts through a full-time cataloger.”

Slate: Twitter Is Giving Trolls a Cheat Sheet. “Popularity is the implied goal of every tweet. Each 280-character set is measured numerically thrice: by tallies of replies, retweets, and likes. But many longtime Twitter users have learned that it’s preferable not to be too relevant or too influential. That’s because being made part of a Twitter Moment—the Twitter equivalent of a story on A1, the site’s attempt to distill the organic conversations that happen on the social network into digestible nuggets—can put a target on one’s back.”


The Verge: Twitter is using machine learning to crop photos to the most interesting part. “The lure of machine learning isn’t always about big new features; often, what it does best are small tweaks that subtly improve user experience. So it is with Twitter’s use of neural networks to automatically crop picture previews to their most interesting part. The company’s been working on this tool for a while, but described its methods in detail in a blog post yesterday. ” Good afternoon, Internet…

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