Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft Calculator, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 8, 2019


The Guardian: Facebook takes down fake account network used to spread hate in UK. “Facebook has removed a network of more than 100 accounts and pages for ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ on its social networks – the first time it has done so for UK-based operations seeking to influence British citizens.”

Social Media Today: YouTube tests Out New ‘Fact Checks’ on Misinformation Prone Content. “YouTube continues to ramp up its efforts to rid its platform of misuse and questionable content, this time through the addition of a new ‘fact-check’ pop-up which will appear on videos relating to subjects that are prone to misinformation.”

Ars Technica: calc.exe is now open source; there’s surprising depth in its ancient code. “Microsoft’s embrace and adoption of open source software has continued with the surprising decision to publish the code for Windows Calculator and release it on GitHub under the permissive MIT license.”


Popular Photography: This tool automatically colorizes your black and white photographs. “According to the creators of the project Algorithmia produced colorized image that lacked intensity, which makes the final product appear inauthentic. The goal of Colourise was to create a program that was specifically trained to colorize old Singaporean photos. The creators did this by training the tool with historical images from Singapore. In contrast, Algorithmia was trained using 1.3 million images from ImageNet, a database often used by researchers at Stanford and Princeton specifically to train AI.”

BetaNews: Captura 8 is a free app which will record your screen and so much more. “What Captura does phenomenally well is enable you to capture screen action and export as a video. You can choose whether to video your entire desktop, an area of your screen or even a specific application window. You can then choose to capture mouse movements, key strokes, whether you want audio added (and the source), then the type of video you want to record (FFmeg, GIF, SharpAVI etc).”


CNET: Thanks to Instagram and YouTube, Muslim women are owning modest fashion. “Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube have pushed modest fashion — a term used to describe less-revealing clothing — into mainstream consciousness. It’s a market looking to reap the benefits of Muslims’ spending power on clothing, which is expected to increase from $270 billion in 2017 to $361 billion by 2023, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy.”


EurekAlert: An all-in-one cyber toolkit for criminal investigations . “FileTSAR is available free to law enforcement. The project was funded by the National Institute of Justice. The Purdue toolkit brings together in one complete package the top open source investigative tools used by digital forensic law enforcement teams at the local, state, national and global levels.”


Slate: The Internet’s Dizzying Citogenesis Problem. “Two weeks ago, Dr. James Heilman discovered something strange. The Canadian emergency room physician and avid Wikipedia contributor noticed that DrugBank, an online database for drug information, was copying text directly from Wikipedia. Although Heilman considers Wikipedia’s medical content to be of surprisingly good quality, he was concerned—because he didn’t just find DrugBank copying and citing Wikipedia; he had also found several examples of Wikipedia likewise copying and citing DrugBank.”

AP: Chimps varied ‘culture’ matters for conservation, study says. “As researchers learn more about Homo sapiens’ closest living genetic relatives, they are also discovering more about the diversity of behaviors within chimpanzee groups — activities learned, at least in part socially, and passed from generation to generation. These patterns are referred to as ‘traditions’ — or even animal ‘culture.’ In a new study , scientists argue that this diversity of behaviors should be protected as species themselves are safeguarded, and that they are now under threat from human disturbance.”

StuffNZ: A gunman killed my daughter and Google is traumatizing my family. “It started when I searched ‘For Alison,’ the name of our nonprofit, on Google. The search returned a YouTube video posted by an anonymous conspiracy theorist alleging that our foundation was a scam. This prompted me to search our daughter’s name, which led me down a rabbit hole of painful and despicable content, including claims that Alison had plastic surgery and was living a secret life in Israel. As much as I want to blame the sick creators for the pain I feel, I blame Google even more. By surfacing this content and profiting from the data Google collects from those who view it, Google is monetising Alison’s death and our family’s pain.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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