India Social Media, Facebook, Visio Alternatives, More: Friday Buzz, May 25, 2018


Times of India: Govt to hire social media monitors for all 716 districts. “After its plan to penalise journalists identified as purveyors of fake news was nixed by the PMO, the I&B ministry has now decided to set up a social media communication hub and deploy executives to monitor online content across each of India’s 716 districts.” PMO is the Prime Minister’s Office, while the I&B is the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

CNET: Facebook will fight fake news with real newspaper ads (and more). “Facebook is continuing its fight against fake news with three new initiatives, the company said on Wednesday. The first is a news literacy campaign that offers tips on how to identify fake news, as well as information on what the social network is doing to combat the issue. The information will show up at the top of News Feed and in print ads, beginning in the US and then spreading to other countries over the next few months, the company said.”

TechCrunch: Facebook is updating how you can authenticate your account logins . “You’ll soon have more options for staying secure on Facebook with two-factor authentication. Facebook is simplifying the process for two-factor verification on its platform so you won’t have to give the company your phone number just to bring additional security to your device. The company announced today that it is adding support for third-party authentication apps like Duo Security and Google Authenticator while streamlining the setup process to make it easier to get moving with it in the first place.”


Make Tech Easier: 9 of the Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Visio. “Microsoft Visio is a powerful piece of software, allowing IT professionals, business people, engineers, and others working in highly technical fields to map out and display complex information in the form of flowcharts, site plans, floor plans, diagrams and more. Useful though all this is, the price point is well beyond what the average home user is willing to spend at $300 for the ‘Standard’ version and $590 for the Pro version. (If you’re dead-set on using Visio, there is a potentially cheaper option where you can get Visio Pro for Office 365 for $13/month if you get an annual subscription or $15/month for a monthly commitment.) But why pay at all when there are perfectly free and viable Visio alternatives available to you? Here are our top picks.” I have used the paid version of Gliffy and like it quite a bit.


Mashable: In unhinged Twitter rant, Elon Musk says he’s creating a site for rating ‘truth’. “Rockets, cars, tunnels, brain-linking computers, candy, and… the definitive arbiter of truth? In an unhinged Twitter rant Wednesday afternoon, Grimes’s boyfriend Elon Musk proudly announced … that he intends to create a website dedicated to rating individual journalists and news organization based on their supposed truthfulness. And here’s the thing: We think he’s serious.”

Vice: Molly Soda Turns Nasty Social Media Comments into Unfiltered Art. “She’s an artist with a venerable online presence—68K people follow her on Instagram, and last year, Soda and Arvida Byström released a book of images censored by the platform, called Pics or It Didn’t Happen. But Soda’s solo show doesn’t try to reproduce her online persona or curate a flattering, aspirational version of her life for others to gawk at. Instead, she is magnifying the very personal realities of being a woman online.”


The Internet Patrol: New “NOTIFICATION – Storage Full” Phishing Spam – Don’t Be Fooled!. “If you’ve received an email with the subject ‘NOTIFICATION – Storage Full’ (it may also have your email address in the subject), or an email which comes from, apparently,, don’t open it! It’s a phishing scam trying to scam you out of your personal information!”

PR Newswire: ASPCA Files Federal Lawsuit Against USDA for Suppressing Critical Animal Welfare Records (PRESS RELEASE). “The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), with the assistance of Cooley LLP, today filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for refusing to release critical animal welfare records requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In February 2017, the USDA abruptly removed thousands of documents related to the inspection of facilities licensed under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including zoos and commercial dog breeders. These inspection and enforcement records had been available to the public in a searchable online database for years, and their removal made it impossible for the public to know which facilities were operating in violation of federal animal protection laws.”

SecurityIntelligence: Penetration Tests Discover All Banks Are Susceptible to Web App Bugs. “A series of penetration tests found that every bank is guilty of web application vulnerabilities and insufficient network security measures. According to a recent report from Positive Technologies, Bank Attacks 2018, 100 percent of banks suffered from these vulnerabilities and inadequacies. The report also found server configuration flaws in all banks — while just over half were found to have improperly managed their user accounts and passwords.”


Architectural Digest: Instagram These Colors on Your Next Trip for the Most Likes. “Posting a photo your followers will love (and therefore like) on Instagram has always seemed like more of an art than a science. Then influencer marketing firm HireInfluence announced the findings from its 2018 Colors of Travel Study. After analyzing outdoor adventure and lifestyle photos on social media that had high engagement (all posted by dozens of the travel influencers in the U.S.), the company determined that a handful of specific colors were more appealing to followers than others.” Gah. And I’m sorry, that is not salmon. That is Silly Putty.

Nautilus: How Social Media Exploits Our Moral Emotions . “Why does this keep happening? Because the architecture of social media exploits our sense of right and wrong, reaping profit from the pleasure we feel in expressing righteous outrage. The algorithms that undergird the flow of information on social media are, like the sensationalist print media and incendiary talk radio that came before them, designed to maximize ad revenue by engaging consumers’ attention to the fullest extent possible. Or as novelist John Green puts it, ‘Twitter is not designed to make you happier or better informed. It’s designed to keep you on Twitter.'”

Chicago Tribune: Going viral: The good, the bad, and the food for thought. “As a scientist, I’ve written hundreds of research articles over the years and have spent two decades in the laboratory. Yet, if you combine all I have ever written, all my research put together, it still would not reach as many eyes as this one tweet. The backlash, however, was just as swift. The following Monday, a Chronicle of Higher Education piece took aim at the tweet. Critics wrote that the tweet trivialized the challenges students face in college, that it was disrespectful to students whose relatives really did die, and that it lacked empathy for those who were facing hardships.” Good morning, Internet…

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