My Twitter buddy Steve D. clued me in on this site I hadn’t heard of: https://www.civilwarphotosleuth.com/ . It’s an initiative to identify people in US Civil War photos. The public release of the software is August 1, and a launch event will be held at NARA. You can RSVP and get more details via this Google Doc.
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
TechCrunch: Facebook finally hands over leave campaign Brexit ads. “The UK parliament has provided another telling glimpse behind the curtain of Facebook’s unregulated ad platform by publishing data on scores of pro-Brexit adverts which it distributed to UK voters during the 2016 referendum on European Union membership. The ads were run on behalf of several vote leave campaigns who paid a third company to use Facebook’s ad targeting tools.”
Ars Technica: Alex Jones slammed with 30-day ban from Facebook for hateful videos . “Facebook took action against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones late Thursday when it banned the InfoWars host from using his account for the next 30 days. According to a report from CNET, Facebook banned Jones after it determined four videos on his pages violated its community standards.” Apparently the Facebook Pages run by Jones are still up, but he can’t update them personally. His staff can however.
BetaNews: Twitter responds to Donald Trump’s allegations that Republicans are being shadow banned. “Out of the blue today, Donald Trump took to his favorite medium of Twitter to complain that the company was ‘shadow banning’ prominent Republicans — and it wasn’t long before Donald Trump Jr sided with his father. The allegations stem from a Vice article that suggested Twitter was limiting the visibility of searches for key Republican figures — something Twitter denies. The company says that a bug is to blame and it is actively working on addressing it.”
CNET: Slack is teaming up with Hipchat — only to kill it off. “Over 8 million people use Slack every single day to communicate in online teams, for work and sometimes play — including us here at CNET — and that number’s about to get bigger now that Slack is kinda-sorta merging with its rival, Atlassian’s Hipchat. ”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Washington Post: How years of privacy controversies finally caught up with Facebook. “The cost of years of privacy missteps finally caught up with Facebook this week, sending its market value down more than $100 billion Thursday in the largest single-day drop in value in Wall Street history. Worries about the rising costs of privacy regulations and controversies, along with declining growth in users and revenue played a key role in a major Wall Street selloff that started Wednesday night after Facebook reported earnings. Facebook’s stock closed down 19 percent Thursday, at its lowest level in nearly three months. The steepness of the decline suggests investors are reevaluating the viability of Facebook’s core business — collecting extensive data on users so that they can better target them with advertising — in a world in which public pressure is mounting for stricter privacy protections.”
The Atlantic: Teens Are Debating the News on Instagram. “It’s harder and harder to have an honest debate on the internet. Social-media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook Groups are rife with trolls; forums are plagued by archaic layouts and spambots. Teenagers who are looking to talk about big issues face additional frustrations, like the fact that most adults on these platforms don’t take them seriously. Naturally, they’ve turned to Instagram. Specifically, they’ve turned to ‘flop’ accounts—pages that are collectively managed by several teens, many of them devoted to discussions of hot-button topics: gun control, abortion, immigration, President Donald Trump, LGBTQ issues, YouTubers, breaking news, viral memes.”
Gizmodo: When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life. “Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Polish accent, she fits a certain stereotype of the All-American life. She’s blonde. Her husband is a veteran Marine. Her two children, a boy and a girl, joined the military as adults. She sells houses—she’s a real estate agent at Re/Max—helping others realize their own American dream. But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
New York Times: Mueller Examining Trump’s Tweets in Wide-Ranging Obstruction Inquiry. ” For years, President Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself. Those concerns now turn out to be well founded. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.”
AdGuard: “Big Star Labs” spyware campaign affects over 11,000,000 people. “In the previous article about the Unimania spyware campaign I promised to tell you more about the privacy issues discovered during our automated scan of many Google Chrome extensions. This took me a while, and I apologize for the delay. The reason for the delay is that the investigation did not end with merely looking into a few Chrome extensions. In fact, the spyware campaign appears to be even bigger than what I anticipated.”
Engadget: LifeLock ID theft protection leak could have aided identity thieves. “LifeLock’s identity theft protection service suffered from a security flaw that put users’ identities in jeopardy. The event forced its parent company, Symantec, to pull part of its website* down to fix the issue after it was notified by KrebsOnSecurity. According to Krebs, Atlanta-based security researcher Nathan Reese discovered the vulnerability through a newsletter email he received from the service.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
EurekAlert: Tweets prove to be reliable indicator of air quality conditions during wildfires . “Tweets originating in California during the state’s 2015 wildfire season suggest that social media can improve predictions of air quality impacts from smoke resulting from wildfires and have the potential to improve rescue and relief efforts, according to research by two USDA Forest Service scientists.” Good morning, Internet…
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