Shale Oil Research, Online Privacy, Canada Macroeconomics, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, November 26, 2018


WITF: New website aims to be clearinghouse for shale research. ” A new online tool aims to provide a library of up-to-date research, outlining the effects of the nation’s shale oil and gas boom. The Shale Research Clearinghouse (SHARC) was developed by Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan environmental economic think tank.”

Syracuse University: New Site Offers Privacy Resources for Underserved Populations. “If you’re someone with disabilities needing help with your online privacy and computer access needs, a family member or practitioner who supports people with disabilities or a scholar seeking information about online privacy for underserved populations, a new information resource is available.”

Econometrics Beat: A New Canadian Macroeconomic Database. “Thanks to Olivier Fortin-Gagnon, Maxime Leroux, Dalibor Stevanovic, &and Stéphane Suprenant we now have an impressive addition to the available long-term Canadian time-series data. Their 2018 working paper, ‘A Large Canadian Database for Macroeconomic Analysis’, discusses their new database and illustrates its usefulness in a variety of ways.”


Digital Information World: Google Has No Plans to Shut Down its Blogger Service. “After the termination of Google Plus, Blogger users are also becoming apprehensive about their position on the platform. However, Google sets the record straight by stating that they don’t plan to close their free blogging service anytime soon.” I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, just FYI.

Think Progress: Transgender guidance disappears from Office of Personnel Management website. “Under President Obama, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees all federal employees, issued detailed guidance protecting transgender people in the workforce. As of Friday, that guidance has disappeared and been replaced by generic language with no content specific to transgender people.”


New York Times: You Don’t Have to Be a Journalist to Want to Keep Chats Private. “It’s easy to leave behind digital evidence when talking to sources — or to friends. Here’s how Kate Conger, a tech reporter, reduces that exposure.”


Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Surging Interest in Black History Gives a Lift to Museums, Tourism. “Black history museums and historic sites are flourishing across the South, riding a wave of interest in African-American history that has made a stunning success of the two-year-old National Museum of African American History and Culture in the nation’s capital.”

Motherboard: YouTube Lets California Fire Conspiracy Theories Run Wild. “The Camp Fire in California has killed at least 79 people, left 699 people unaccounted for, and created more than a thousand migrants in Butte County, California. In these circumstances, reliable information can literally be a matter of life death. But on YouTube, conspiracy theories are thriving.”

Independent: Airlines Face Crack Down On Use Of ‘Exploitative’ Algorithm That Splits Up Families On Flights. “Algorithms used by airlines to split up those travelling together unless they pay more to sit next to each other have been called ‘exploitative’ by a government minister. Speaking to a parliamentary communications committee, Digital Minister Margot James described the software as ‘a very cynical, exploitative means… to hoodwink the general public’.”

University of Helsinki: Bring­ing nature on­line – all 13 mil­lion samples of it. “In downtown Helsinki, the remains of millions of animals and plants rest in cabinets in the long hallways of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. They’ve been collected over 300 years, and in the era of climate change and biodiversity loss they are more important than ever. But how will one transfer more than 13 million specimens from the cabinets to the Internet?”



The Next Web: Hate speech is still too easy to find on social media. “Shortly after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, I noticed that the word ‘Jews’ was trending on Twitter. As a social media researcher and educator, I became concerned that the violence would spread online, as it has in the past. The alleged synagogue shooter’s activity on the Gab social media site has drawn attention to that site’s role as a hate-filled alternative to more mainstream options like Facebook and Twitter. Those are among the social media platforms that have promised to fight hate speech and online abuse on their sites.”

Quartz: Africans are being exposed to “fake news” at a higher rate than Americans. “The rise of false information has complex cultural and social reasons. Until now, though, the phenomenon has been studied mostly as it happens in the US and Europe, with relatively little attention to the situation in African countries. This is despite the fact that disinformation on the continent has often taken the form of extreme speech inciting violence or has spread racist, misogynous, xenophobic messages, often on mobile phone platforms such as WhatsApp. To fill the gap in information about ‘fake news’ in sub-Saharan Africa, we conducted an online survey in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa earlier this year. Our study had three goals: to measure the prevalence of disinformation, to learn who people believe is responsible for stopping fake news, and to understand the relationship between disinformation and media trust.”


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