Midterm Elections, Browser History, Twitter, More: Monday Buzz, September 24, 2018


Poynter: Ahead of the midterms, Google News Lab created a way to see what’s trending at the state, county and city level. “With close to 500 House and Senate seats in play with the midterm elections, Google News Lab started thinking about how local reporters might use local data in their work. On Wednesday, the team went live with a Google Trends Midterm page with data on real-time Google search trends at the state, county and city level. (Disclosure: The Google News Initiative funds some training and projects at Poynter.)”


CNET: History Search remembers what’s on all those websites you visited so you can find it again. “The History Search extension indexes every website you visit and lets you search your history afterward. A free version keeps track of your 3,000 most recently visited pages, but paying $4 per month lifts that limit, developer Convergate said Tuesday.”

MakeUseOf: Useful Tools to Help You Unfollow Non-Followers on Twitter. “Twitter has become a hotbed of social media activity in recent years. Some of it good and some of it not so much. Like all social media, keeping tabs on those who follow you, as well as those you follow, is essential for getting the most out of your experience. Since Twitter has limits on how many people you can follow, you want to make sure you are following the best people. If you are on the platform for business and require many followers, you need to clear out your followers list.” I wouldn’t use any of these, but I can see if you’re a business and looking for engagement that it would be a strategy to not follow non-followers.


Business Insider: The White House is considering an an antitrust investigation into ‘online platform bias’ at Google and Facebook. “The White House has drafted a text of a proposed executive order for President Donald Trump that would trigger an antitrust investigation into Google and Facebook, according to Bloomberg.”

The Moscow Times: Russian Activists Launch Database to Profile Police Brutality. “A group of Russian activists has launched an online campaign to identify law-enforcement officers involved in a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters earlier this month. On Sept. 9, police detained hundreds of people across the country at protests against government plans to raise the retirement age. Police were filmed beating participants, including minors, with batons and dragging them away to be detained.”

Neowin: Eric Schmidt: Internet will split in two in the next decade. “Alphabet’s former executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, predicted at a private event on Wednesday night that the internet would split in two by 2028. Schmidt was speaking at an event put on by the investment firm, Village Global VC. He said that rather than splintering, we could see a China-led internet and the current U.S.-led internet.”

Herald-Whig: Jim’s Journey marks fifth year of celebrating black history. “The center now is a repository for photographs, documents, literature and exhibits that highlight the African-American experience in the Hannibal area, a place where slavery flourished for decades until it was finally snuffed out in the wake of the Civil War, only to be followed by years of segregation and discrimination. [Faye] Dant told a crowd at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony that as the Freedom Center’s collection of historic items continues to grow, efforts are under way to reproduce and digitize the center’s exhibits so they can be displayed to the world across the internet.”


Arizona State University: Meet EyeTell, the next threat to touch-screen passwords. “If you’re smart, you change your passwords every six months and avoid using ‘password123’ to secure your information. That should be enough to protect you, right? It might not be, say Arizona State University researchers trying to stay on top of the latest cybersecurity threats.”

Washington Post: A serial rapist eluded police for years. Then they searched a genealogy site. . “Authorities in California said they arrested a man they suspect is a serial sexual offender who committed a string of horrific crimes over 15 years, earning the name the ‘NorCal rapist.’ They attributed the breakthrough in the case to DNA, drawing parallels to the Golden State Killer case that made headlines earlier this year.”

The Register: Couldn’t give a fsck about patching? Well, that’s your WordPress website pwned, then. “Website admins are urged to update their WordPress installations as soon as possible to the latest version following a rash of attacks exploiting known vulnerabilities in the web publishing software. Researchers at Malwarebytes say miscreants don’t appear to be targeting any one specific bug, but rather a full array of flaws in older versions of WordPress and its various plugins.”


Mashable: Americans hate selfies, but can’t stop taking them. “Americans have a love-hate relationship with selfies. A new survey from the research company YouGov shows that over 63 percent of Americans say they take selfies. But that doesn’t mean America is all aboard the selfie train.”

Nieman Lab: Public or closed? How much activity really exists? See how other news organizations’ Facebook Groups are faring. “We analyzed the data of about 30 groups — as large as 40,000 members and as small as 300, from international organizations to local publishers. About half were public groups (so anyone can join) and half were closed (users have to answer screening questions to gain entry); some were pop-ups and others have been around for years. Most of the data we have is from July 2017 to July 2018, or from the group’s start date til then if the group was created in the past year. With so many variables we can’t quite make definitive claims, but here’s our attempt to generalize some of the data.” Good morning, Internet…

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