Montana Air Quality, Chicago Law Enforcement, Google One, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, August 17, 2018


KBZK: Montana environmental group launches informational website on wildfire smoke. “The group Climate Smart Missoula has used $10,000 from the Montana Wildfire Relief Fund to put forward out educational information on impacts from wildfire smoke via a new website and direction communications.”

Chicago Reader: Invisible Institute launches expanded police misconduct database. “An expansive new version of the Citizens Police Data Project has been unveiled by south-side journalism production company the Invisible Institute. The database, created by independent journalist Jamie Kalven, was already the largest public repository of Chicago police misconduct records. Now it’s quadrupled in size to include more than 240,000 misconduct complaints made against more than 22,000 CPD officers going back to the late 1960s. The database has also been enhanced by the addition of Chicago Police Department use-of-force reports and officer commendation records.”


TechCrunch: Google One is now open to all . “A few months ago, Google announced Google One, its new subscription program for getting more Google Drive storage and other perks. Over the course of the last few weeks, Google slowly rolled existing Drive subscribers over to a Google One membership and starting today, new users (at least in the U.S., with other countries coming soon) can now sign up for a One subscription, too.”

Washington Post: Jack Dorsey says he’s rethinking the core of how Twitter works. “Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said he is rethinking core parts of the social media platform so it doesn’t enable the spread of hate speech, harassment and false news, including conspiracy theories shared by prominent users like Alex Jones and Infowars.”

CNET: Google clarifies how it tracks you even if Location History is turned off. “Google says it’s trying to be clearer about how it tracks users on certain apps. On Thursday, the search giant updated a help page for its location tracking tools, after the company’s data collection practices had come under fire for being what some critics called misleading.”


AdWeek: Twitter Users Are Blocking Hundreds of Brands in the Hopes of Pressuring the Platform to Remove Alex Jones. “Tens of thousands of Twitter users this morning blocked hundreds of accounts associated with major brands like Nike, Pepsi and Uber in an effort to pressure the embattled social media platform into permanently banning controversial far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.”

Tubefilter: Facebook’s Birthday Fundraisers Have Raised $300 Million In The Past Year. “Facebook has many functions—you can use it for everything from sharing photos of a recent trip to influencing political campaigns. But lots of people simply check into the social platform to wish their friends and acquaintances a happy birthday, and because of that, Facebook users have raised $300 million in the last year for various causes.”


The Register: Go Zuck Yourself: Facebook destroys patent suit over timeline . “Facebook has prevailed in a suit over its iconic news feed and claims it ripped off the idea from a patent troll. Judge John Koetl granted Summary Judgement [PDF] to House Zuck, approving its motion to dismiss an allegation that the Facebook timeline violated Mirror Worlds’ purchased patents on the organization of messages and news items.”

Techdirt: Automated ‘Content Protection’ System Sends Wave Of Bogus DMCA Notice Targeting Legitimate URLs. “Yet another content protection service decides it’s better off letting the machines do the work, with predictably catastrophic results. The EFF first noticed the DMCA abuse being committed by ‘Topple Track,’ a content protection service offered by Symphonic Distribution. Symphonic talks big about its protection service, pointing out its position as one of the ‘leading members’ of Google’s ‘Trusted Copyright Program.'”


Media Matters: Twitter’s half measures against Alex Jones don’t make much sense unless he’s getting special treatment . “Jones’ wrist slap from Twitter makes it hard to draw any conclusion other than that he is receiving special treatment. Earlier this month, after Jones was banned from YouTube, Facebook, and other major online platforms, Twitter’s vice president released a statement claiming that Jones had not violated Twitter rules as he had on the platforms that banned him. CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy, however, found more than a dozen examples of content on the platform that appeared to violate the rules. Following Darcy’s reporting, Jones deleted the tweets and Twitter said the content did in fact violate the rules — but that because the tweets were deleted, no action would be taken.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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