Apparel Factories, Investigative Journalism, Internet Archive, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, October 17, 2018


Ecotextile: World’s first free digital map of apparel factories. “The beta version of an ambitious new online tool aims to help consumers find out exactly where their clothes are made – by eventually identifying every apparel facility worldwide.”


Stanford University: Stanford scholars are helping journalists do investigative journalism through data. “A team of Stanford University scholars are launching a data-driven initiative to help journalists find stories at a lower cost, to support local newsrooms explore public interest issues and fight against misinformation.”

Internet Archive: The Music Modernization Act is now law which means some pre-1972 music goes public. “One portion of the MMA makes older sound recordings published before 1972 more available to the public. It expands an obscure provision of the library exception to US Copyright Law, Section 108(h), to apply to all pre-72 recordings. Unfortunately 108(h) is notoriously hard to implement. But, as we understand it, the MMA means that libraries can make some of these older recordings freely available to the public as long as we do a reasonable search to determine that they are not commercially available.”

Phys .org: Facebook requires UK political ad buyers to reveal identity. “Facebook says anyone who takes out a British political ad on the social media platform will now be forced to reveal their identity, in a bid to increase transparency and curb misinformation. The company said Tuesday that it will also require disclaimers for any British political advertisements, which will be archived for seven years in a publicly accessible database.”


The Atlantic: Instagram Has a Massive Harassment Problem. “When Brandon Farbstein first joined Instagram in 2014, he was 14 and optimistic. Farbstein was born with a rare form of dwarfism, and he wanted to use the photo-sharing site to educate people about his condition—to, as he told me, ‘show people a glimpse into my life and inspire people.’ Soon enough, though, the hateful messages started coming: death threats, expletive-laden comments about his appearance, worse.”

Wired: Jack Dorsey Has Problems With Twitter, Too. “It contributes to filter bubbles, he said. It risks silencing people, he said. And when it’s not silencing them, it might be incentivizing them to behave badly, or basely, he said. His biggest criticism of the social media site he runs was that it could be nudging its users in the wrong directions.” Gosh, it’s too bad he’s not the CEO and could do something about all that.


Digital Trends: Your ‘Do Not Track’ tool might be helping websites track you, study says. “Millions of people are using ‘Do Not Track’ tools which do nothing, according to a recent study done by Forrester Research. The ‘Do Not Track’ features embedded in popular browsers are being ignored, opening up the possibility of consumers having their browsing information picked up by specific ads on the web.”


Penn Today: Linguistic red flags from Facebook posts can predict future depression diagnoses. “In any given year, depression affects more than 6 percent of the adult population in the United States—some 16 million people—but fewer than half receive the treatment they need. What if an algorithm could scan social media and point to linguistic red flags of the disease before a formal medical diagnosis had been made? New research from the University of Pennsylvania and Stony Brook University published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows this is now more plausible than ever.”

The Next Web: Here’s why we rage about religion on Facebook. “As a whole, Facebook users who passionately discuss religion online seem to be triggered by their own identity (as religious or non-religious) and an emotional involvement with the theme of religion.”

Quartz: “OMG you’re amazing!”: How people respond (or not) to compliments on social media. “Log on to Facebook and you’ll see a stream of life events from your friends and acquaintances, and a bevy of likes and supportive comments. “How cute!!!” someone posts in response to a photo of my friend’s baby. ‘Looks amazing!’ says someone else about another friend’s garden. ‘You’re an amazing educator and mentor,’ a woman comments on a shot of my old high school teacher with his students. Social media has made keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances easier than ever, and now that the average American spends 5.5 hours on social media every week, more of our social interactions are now happening online. We post, in part, to inform our networks about our life, but also because each like or flattering comment is a little hit of affirmation (pdf).” Good afternoon, Internet…

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