Google, Facebook, Lucille Ball, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, April 26, 2019


CNET: Google makes it simpler for employees to report harassment and discrimination. “Google on Thursday said it’s rolling out a new way for its employees to report issues of harassment and discrimination. The search giant said it created a dedicated site for raising those concerns, instead of multiple disparate channels. That site is available only for the search giant’s full-time employees, but the company said a similar site for contractors and temp workers will be available in June.”

CNN: Facebook is cracking down on personality quizzes. “More than a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is cracking down on personality quizzes. Sort of. On Thursday, the company updated its platform policies and said apps with minimal utility, such as personality quizzes, ‘may not be permitted on the platform.'”


Business Wire: The National Comedy Center Honors Lucille Ball on 30th Anniversary of Legend’s Passing (PRESS RELEASE). “As the world marks the 30 th anniversary of the passing of Lucille Ball, the new National Comedy Center – a state-of-the-art museum in Jamestown, New York that embodies Ball’s vision for a destination for the celebration of comedy – has announced a new initiative to digitally preserve the extensive archives of the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.”

Crikey: How to use Facebook to influence Australian voters for just $20 a day. “I write this out of frustration with Facebook’s public position to elections in Australia. Facebook will now use their international foreign influence tools, but despite our Prime Minister calling the election, we still don’t have to be certified in order to run ads about issues of national importance. My hope is to demonstrate how gobsmackingly easy it is in Australia to run hyper targeted ads, using Facebook’s publicly available tools, to push a political stance to influence a neighbourhood, a postcode, a key electorate.”

The New Yorker: Inside the Team at Facebook That Dealt with the Christchurch Shooting. “Facebook Live was launched in 2016, and we are still grappling with the possibilities of the medium. Since its early days, it has been used to share the antics of children with their grandparents, broadcast amateur cooking shows, and record academic panels, but it has also been exploited to showcase violence.”


The Guardian: ‘It’s not play if you’re making money’: how Instagram and YouTube disrupted child labor laws. “… while today’s child stars can achieve incredible fame and fortune without ever setting foot in a Hollywood studio, they may be missing out on one of the less glitzy features of working in the southern California-based entertainment industry: the strongest child labor laws for performers in the country.”

Mental Floss: Smart TVs Are Cheaper Than Ever, and It’s Because They’re Selling Your Data. “Thanks to plummeting retail prices on televisions, it’s possible to walk out of a store with a 55-inch or 65-inch display for under $500. These aren’t bare-bones models, either. Smart TVs from manufacturers like Vizio and TCL offer cutting-edge 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) capability. If you have the right video source from a streaming service or 4K DVD player, the image quality can be staggering. Depending on the model and manufacturer, some of these budget-friendly televisions achieve their attractive price points by collecting and selling your data.”

TechCrunch: Facebook hit with three privacy investigations in a single day. “Third time lucky — unless you’re Facebook . The social networking giant was hit Thursday by a trio of investigations over its privacy practices following a particularly tumultuous month of security lapses and privacy violations — the latest in a string of embarrassing and damaging breaches at the company, much of its own doing.”


New York Times: How Do You Stop Facebook When $5 Billion Is Chump Change?. “What does a good, meaningful fine actually look like? Would it need to wipe out one quarter’s revenue (roughly $15 billion)? Is a fine meaningless unless it’s recurring (penalties for every quarter or year since Facebook last settled with the F.T.C. for violating user privacy in 2011)? At the core of these hypothetical arguments is the large question of not only how to regulate Facebook but of how to conceptualize an entity that operates largely without meaningful competitors and collects troves of information on more than two billion human beings.”

University of Colorado Boulder thesis: World Leaders a-Twitter: Communication Platforms and Agenda-Building During the 2018 NATO Summit. “Twitter is a thriving microblogging service with growing prominence in the political sphere. In this study, I examine the differences between Twitter communications and verbal communications by three heads of state and government in relation to the most recent NATO Summit in July 2018. Through a three-step analysis, including descriptive statistics, content and tone analysis, and comparative analysis, the study investigates Twitter’s influence on content and tone and its agenda-building capacity for face-to-face summits.” Good evening, Internet…

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