Australia Fisheries, Twitter, Facebook Portal, More: Saturday Buzz, October 20, 2018


University of New South Wales: Larval fish database to show effects of climate change on fisheries. “A new larval fish database collated over the last 30 years will be used to measure marine ecosystem state and change as well as seasonal patterns of various fish species.”


Mashable: Twitter will publicly flag tweets that violate its terms of service. “There’s nothing like a little public pressure to get someone to clean up their act. Twitter announced a change on Wednesday that will make it clear when someone has posted a tweet that violates Twitter’s terms of service.” What concerns me about this is that some really disturbing things apparently don’t violate Twitter’s terms of service — like, oh, comparing Jewish people to termites.

Popular Mechanics: Facebook Admits Its New Gadget Might Use Your Data for Ads After All. “The debut of Portal, Facebook’s video chatting device, sparked an obvious question: Does this camera-enabled home assistant manufactured by a company attached to numerous privacy scandals keep your private data private? Facebook was quick to note that Portal wouldn’t feed your data to advertisers — ‘Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling,’ last week’s announcement said — but that reassurance has already proven false: Facebook might use your calls and Portal app usage as queues for its advertising network, a company spokesperson told Recode.”

ABC News: Pakistan causes YouTube outage for two-thirds of world. “Most of the world’s Internet users lost access to YouTube for several hours Sunday after an attempt by Pakistan’s government to block access domestically affected other countries. The outage highlighted yet another of the Internet’s vulnerabilities, coming less than a month after broken fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean took Egypt off line and caused communications problems from the Middle East to India.”


Lifehacker: Use Firefox’s ‘Election Bundle’ Extensions to Manage Facebook’s Political Powers. “It’s politics season on Facebook. With the midterm elections only a few weeks away, there’s a good chance you’re seeing targeted ads on Facebook based on your activity both on the platform and around the web. For those of us who are looking for ways to limit Facebook’s ability to influence what we say and do online, Mozilla recently launched an ‘election bundle’ of extensions for Firefox designed to curb Facebook’s ability to affect your political decision-making.”


Neowin: Several major Facebook stakeholders call for Mark Zuckerberg to step down as Chairman . “On Wednesday morning, state treasurers from Illinois, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, along with the comptroller of New York City signed a proposal that was issued in June by Trillium Asset Management. The agenda set by the proposal aims to leverage the hundreds of billions of dollars in pension funds and state investments that these parties control, in order to have other major Facebook shareholders coerce the company to replace Zuckerberg with an independent chairman.”

Nieman Lab: Did Facebook’s faulty data push news publishers to make terrible decisions on video?. “‘Five years to all video’ wasn’t just [Nicola] Mendelsohn’s line — it came from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself. ‘We’re entering this new golden age of video,’ Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News in April 2016. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.’ But even as Facebook executives were insisting publicly that video consumption was skyrocketing, it was becoming clear that some of the metrics the company had used to calculate time spent on videos were wrong. ”

Washington Post: Iranians masqueraded as foreign journalists to push political messages online, new Twitter data shows. “Twitter accounts originating in Iran masqueraded as foreign journalists and concerned U.S. citizens in their attempt to push political messages on the social media site until they were suspended earlier this year, according to research published Wednesday.”

Techdirt: Chinese Professor Argues Google Should Launch A Censored Search Engine In China. “The argument from Bai Tongdong, a professor of philosophy at Fudan University, is pretty straightforward. More or less, it argues that Baidu is not a very good search engine. Google, even in a heavily censored fashion, is almost certainly going to be a lot better, and thus it will certainly aid in getting everyday people in China more access to information.”


Ars Technica: Up to 9.5 million net neutrality comments were made with stolen identities. “The New York attorney general’s office is widening an investigation into fraudulent net neutrality comments, saying it estimates that up to 9.5 million comments were submitted using stolen identities.”

The Register: Tumblr turns stumblr, left humblr: Blogging biz blogs bloggers’ private info to world+dog . “Tumblr today reveal it has fixed a security bug in its website that quietly revealed private details of some of its bloggers. This is quite an interesting bug. The desktop version of Tumblr shows a list of recommended blogs for logged-in users to check out. According to Tumblr, ‘it was possible, using debugging software in a certain way, to view certain account information’ associated with the blogs shown in the box of recommendations.”


Chartbeat: What happens when Facebook goes down? People read the news . “What would the world look like without Facebook? Chartbeat had a glimpse into that on Aug. 3, 2018, when Facebook went down for 45 minutes and traffic patterns across the web changed in an instant. What did people do? According to our data, they went directly to publishers’ mobile apps and sites (as well as to search engines) to get their information fix. This window into consumer behavior reflects broader changes we see taking hold this year around content discovery, particularly on mobile. This is good news for publishers.” Good morning, Internet…

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