Housing Evictions, YouTube Kids, Twitter, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, April 9, 2018


New York Times: In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America. “Two years ago, Mr. [Matthew] Desmond turned eviction into a national topic of conversation with ‘Evicted,’ a book that chronicled how poor families who lost their homes in Milwaukee sank ever deeper into poverty…. But for all the attention the problem began to draw, even Mr. Desmond could not say how widespread it was. Surveys of renters have tried to gauge displacement, but there is no government data tracking all eviction cases in America. Now that Mr. Desmond has been mining court records across the country to build a database of millions of evictions, it’s clear even in his incomplete national picture that they are more rampant in many places than what he saw in Milwaukee.”


BuzzFeed: YouTube Kids Is Going To Release A Whitelisted, Non-Algorithmic Version Of Its App. “YouTube is planning to release a new version of its YouTube Kids app that will do away with algorithmically suggested videos and will only display videos from channels that a team of YouTube curators handpicks, a source familiar with YouTube’s plans told BuzzFeed News.”

The Verge: Twitter will start showing users its rules to encourage better behavior. “After facing a barrage of criticism over the toxicity of its community, Twitter announced last month that it will attempt to more actively measure and combat bad behavior, with input from outside researchers. We’re now seeing an early, straightforward idea: make its rules of conduct more visible.” So Jack Dorsey thinks people are just unaware that it’s illegal to threaten to kill and otherwise harm other people?


Terry White: My Live Streaming Studio Setup – 2018. “Being a photographer I’ve setup a few photography studios and no matter how you equip your studio you can always find more gear that you want and ways to improve it. I’ve been building out this live streaming studio since May 2016. I have everything I ‘need’ to do my streams, but I’m always looking out for ways to improve upon what I have.”


Washington Post: Facebook could face record fine, say former FTC officials. “Facebook’s disclosure this week that its search tools were used to collect data on most of its 2.2 billion users could potentially trigger record fines and create new legal vulnerability for not having prevented risks to user data, three former federal officials said. The three former officials, all of whom were at the Federal Trade Commission during the privacy investigation that led to a 2011 consent decree with Facebook, said the company’s latest mishap may violate the decree’s provisions requiring the implementation of a privacy program.”

The Irish Times: National Treasures: a hoarder’s dream, like an anti-capitalist Antiques Roadshow. “National Treasures (Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm) is so reluctant to discriminate between things that it’s hard to say exactly what it is. To narrow down the options, it is a nationwide campaign, a travelling roadshow, a digital archive, a museum exhibition and a four-part television programme telling the story of the nation. At its simplest, though, it is a big bunch of stuff.”

New York Times: Facebook’s Other Critics: Its Viral Stars. “For the past two years, Ryan Hamilton has been getting Facebook-famous. Mr. Hamilton, 28, manages a network of Facebook pages and makes viral videos for his ‘Hammy T.V.’ channel — mostly lowbrow fare with titles like ‘Shocking Pit Bull Social Experiment’ and ‘World’s Hottest Pepper on Girlfriend’s Thong’ — that have earned him a level of popularity typically associated with Kardashians and BuzzFeed food clips. But to hear Mr. Hamilton tell it, Facebook has failed him.”


Times Higher Education: The Facebook scandal won’t end the infuriating allure of academic social media. “Those people predicting a mass flight from Facebook as a result of the recent revelations over the misuse of their data for political purposes are probably underestimating the addictive power of social media. One person who will definitely have to pursue other interests, though, is Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge academic who harvested the data and who has now had his Facebook account closed down. But if he is like most academics, he will probably just spend more time on higher education’s very own social media instead.”

WUOM: Anonymity drives ‘dark patterns’ of social media behavior. “A new study by a Michigan State University researcher probes the mechanisms behind the spread of mass online harassment and fake news by looking at the ‘dark patterns’ underlying the technology platforms. In the science of user experience, dark patterns are psychological tricks incorporated into technology interfaces that are designed to get a user to do something they normally wouldn’t do, like buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.”

Wall Street Journal: Facial Recognition Could Move Beyond Mug Shots. “When police found a senior citizen apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s missing from her family on Staten Island in 2014, officials took to technology. They sent a photograph of the woman to an NYPD unit. A detective ran the image against a database of ‘several million’ mug shots and was surprised to find the woman among the hundreds the software returned as possible matches.” This article was not paywalled when I looked at it. Good afternoon, Internet…

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