afternoonbuzz

Fact-Checking, HBO, 8chan, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 7, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Poynter: Fact-checkers have lost important digital tools — and will lose one more in September. “It’s been a tough year for fact-checkers. At least three major digital tools have been lost so far, and fact-checkers have already seen the impact on their daily routines. The worst news, however, is that another big loss is due next month.”

The Verge: HBO launches ‘Recommended by Humans’ tool to help you escape algorithm nightmares. “HBO launched a new website called Recommended by Humans, which pulls from video suggestions and fan tweets to recommend different series or documentaries that people should watch. There are 50 free episodes, movies, and documentaries available on the site, according to a press release from the company, which makes the site feel a little bit like a marketing tool designed to give potential customers a taste of HBO shows to get them to sign up.”

Mashable: 8chan dumped by service known for hosting racist sites . “Epik, the domain registrar and hosting provider that frequently steps in to help deplatformed far-right hate sites get back online, has drawn the line at 8chan. The domain name company’s controversial CEO, Rob Monster, posted a statement on Epik’s website on Tuesday. In the post, Monster explains that Epik — a company that hosts the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer — has decided to not provide hosting-related services to 8chan.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: How to Make Your Own DIY Google Cardboard VR Headset . “Smartphone-based VR headsets are all the rage, from heavy plastic units to lightweight cardboard devices. But what if you’re on a budget, or need something quicker than the mailman can deliver? The smart answer is to make your own Google Cardboard VR goggles.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Meduza: Cops and corgis: New Russian social media bot puts riot police where you least expect them. “FreeOmon is a bot account based in the social network Telegram. Its sole function is to add Russian riot police to preexisting images. Any user who sends the bot an image file immediately receives a new-and-improved, highly secured version in return. ”

TechCrunch: Squad, the ‘anti-bro startup,’ is creating a safe space for teenage girls online. “Seldom have social tools created by women climbed the latter to mainstream success. Instead, women and girls have battled the lion’s share of digital harassment on popular social platforms — most of which failed early-on to incorporate security features tailored to minority user’s needs — and struggled to find a protected corner of the internet.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Reuters: Google to be fined a record €4.3 billion over Android OS. “The European Commission is set to fine Google a record €4.3 billion (R71.49 billion) today over its Android mobile operating system, a source close to the matter said.” 4.3 billion euros is a little more than 4.8 billion USD. And remember, Google parent company Alphabet has $117 billion in cash reserves .

CNET: 6 million voter email addresses left unsecured for nine years, researchers say. “A list of 6.2 million email addresses amassed by Democratic campaign organizers appears to have been exposed on the internet for nearly a decade. Researchers at UpGuard found the list on an unsecured cloud server that would have let anyone with an internet connection read it.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Search Engine Land: Google beats out Microsoft, Amazon, IBM in image recognition study. “The folks over at Perficient Digital released an image recognition study looking at the accuracy of the respective technologies. The study found that Google Vision beat out the competitors including Amazon AWS Rekognition, IBM Watson and Microsoft Azure Computer Vision.”

Techdirt: Gizmodo: Why Can’t YouTube Do ‘Good’ Content Moderation? Answer: Because It’s F*cking Impossible . Asterisk added by me. “There is simply no world in which YouTube both successfully eliminates all, or even the majority, of speech that some large group or another considers hate speech or ‘extreme.’ That’s never going to happen. YouTube never should have suggested it would happen. The screw up here is YouTube not properly setting the public’s expectations as to what its policy would achieve. Yeah, there is still a good deal of extremist content on YouTube. Whipping up anger at content that’s available at this moment is trivially easy.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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