Accused Clergy, Google Maps, Black History Month, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, February 11, 2019


Houston Chronicle: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms. “In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.”


Gizmodo: Google Maps AR Is Being Tested By Some Users — But The Rest Of Us Will Have To Wait. “It looks like the Wall Street Journal was able to demo what it said is ‘an early version’ of Maps with AR. The feature doesn’t look too different from the one Google previewed for developers last May, with Maps appearing on the lower half of the phone’s screen as the top half navigates the user’s real-world surroundings. With some minor tweaks, even the blinking arrow system used to steer users to turn looks similar to those from Google’s presentation.”


PopSugar: Lyft Is Offering Discounted Rides to Black History Museums and Black-Owned Businesses All Month. “Lyft is joining the Black History Month celebrations by offering free or discounted rides to locations that embody black excellence. This promo works on one ride, up to $10, to black history museums, memorials, and cultural sites and black-owned businesses in participating cities around the US.” Alas, my city is not participating, but there’s a pretty good list of US cities (and a couple of Canadian) that are participating.

Useful for a given value of useful, from The Verge: Create emoji masterpieces with any image using this fun web tool. “The emojification of human culture is not complete until every object, verb, symbol, emotion, and image is captured using this once-obscure, now all-consuming pictorial format. That is why Emoji Mosaic is so helpful. Simply feed this free web tool any image you like, and it’ll churn out an emojified version for you in real time.”


New York Times: Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message. “Medium, the online open platform and publisher, is one bloglike platform that has persisted and innovated in the social media era. With 90 million unique monthly visitors, it has maintained relevance as a destination for open letters, petitions and personal essays. But it scarcely sparks such frenetic reactions as it did Thursday night.”

Wired: Child Stars Don’t Need Hollywood. They Have YouTube. “In recent years, hundreds of kids have risen to bankable internet stardom on Instagram and YouTube. Marketers, ever the wordsmiths, have dubbed them ‘kidfluencers.’ They’re the child stars of the social media age, tiny captains of industry with their own toy lines and cookbooks. On Instagram, families seem to go for a controlled-chaos aesthetic—a Kondo’d Jon & Kate Plus 8. On YouTube, it’s more like late-capitalist Blue’s Clues. And somehow, despite the brand deals and the creeps in the comments and the constant watchfulness of parents’ cameras and the general ickiness our society attaches to living the most innocent years of your life on a public stage, these kids seem all right.” Man, I hope so.

The Daily Beast: Inside the Secret Facebook War For Mormon Hearts and Minds. “The project was called MormonAds, and it was a brief but perhaps unprecedented experiment in targeted religious dissuasion. In four months at the end of 2017, the project targeted more than 5,000 practicing Mormons with messages painstakingly crafted to serve as gentle introductions to the messier elements of LDS history that were glossed over within the church. All the names and email addresses for the campaign came from disillusioned ex-Mormons.”

Times Now News: Australia watchdog tips tough rules to curb power of Google, Facebook. “The head of Australia’s competition watchdog warned Monday that tough new regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook was needed to protect the future of independent journalism. Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said the market power wielded by Google and Facebook has had a devastating impact on Australian news media.”


Techdirt: NYPD Sends Letter To Google Demanding It Remove Cop Checkpoint Notifications From Google Maps. “A few years after law enforcement officials claimed Google’s Waze navigation app allowed cop killers to stalk cops, the NYPD is demanding Google alter one of its apps (Google Maps, which incorporates certain Waze features) so it works more like the NYPD wants it to work, rather than how drivers want it to work. Gersh Kuntzman of Streetsblog NYC was the first to obtain a copy of a cease-and-desist sent to Google by the NYPD.”


Nieman Lab: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing — no, seriously, it is, according to this new research. “People who’ve scanned Facebook for news gain a little knowledge. Why do some of them think they’ve gained a lot? Consider statements like ‘I feel that I need to experience strong emotions regularly’ and ‘I feel like I need a good cry every now and then.’ How much do these statements apply to you?”

B&T: Report: Google Now Snares One In Five Of Every Ad Dollars Spent (& It’s One In 10 For Facebook). “The study, titled State Of Digital Media Report, was based on each company’s recent earnings reports and deduced that there’s not one ‘digital ad market’ anymore but rather two media ecosystems – leaders and laggards. ‘Google, Facebook, Amazon, Verizon, Microsoft, Twitter and Snap combined have 80 per cent of the market and their market is growing 20 per cent. The laggards have the rest of the market, which will shrink 11 per cent,’ the report revealed.”

Privacy is a commons
. “‘The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society,’ quoth Wikipedia, ‘held in common, not owned privately.’ We live in an era of surveillance capitalism in a symbiotic relationship with advertising technology, quoth me. And I put it to you that privacy is not just a virtue, or a value, or a commodity: it is a commons.” Good morning, Internet…

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