Instagram, Google Algorithms, Walking Directions, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, August 9, 2019


The Atlantic: Instagram Wants Memers to Like It Again. “Today, the company is announcing that it’s looking to hire its first-ever strategic-partnerships manager specifically to focus on meme accounts and what the company calls ‘digital publishers,’ social-based media companies including @TheShadeRoom, @OverheardLA, @CommentsbyCelebs, and @Betches.”

Cosmopolitan: Why searching ‘lesbian’ in Google is now going to bring up totally new results. “Lesbian is one of the most searched-for LGBTQ+ terms, but until now has just brought up porn results when typed into Google. But now – at last! – thanks to an algorithm change, this will no longer be the case.”

Digital Trends: Google’s fun AR walking directions are ready for your Android phone and iPhone. “The augmented reality walking directions feature in Google Maps is about to be made available on more devices. Google has announced its Live View AR walking mode will come to Android phones that support ARCore, and iPhone models that support ARKit this week. The feature has been available for Pixel phones for some time, after being initially announced during Google I/O in 2018.”


Ars Technica: What all the stuff in email headers means—and how to sniff out spoofing. “I pretty frequently get requests for help from someone who has been impersonated—or whose child has been impersonated—via email. Even when you know how to ‘view headers’ or ‘view source’ in your email client, the spew of diagnostic wharrgarbl can be pretty overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Today, we’re going to step through a real-world set of (anonymized) email headers and describe the process of figuring out what’s what.”

Popular Science: How to juggle tons of accounts in your favorite apps from one phone . “There are all sorts of reasons why you might be running two accounts on your favorite apps. Maybe one is for everyone you know, and one is just for a select group of friends—like a finsta. Or maybe you want to keep your personal and work lives separate, or you volunteered to help run your softball team’s Facebook page.”


BBC: TikTok videos spread climate change awareness. “Users of the social video app TikTok have been spreading a message of climate change awareness through make-up and time-lapse videos. Their chosen hashtag of #Globalwarning – a play on the term ‘global warming’ – has been viewed more than 24 million times on the app so far.”

Reuters: Israel’s national library to share reunited Kafka archive online. “Israel’s national library said on Wednesday it received the last part of a collection of Franz Kafka’s writings that it planned to put online, after winning an ownership battle for part of the Prague-born Jewish novelist’s literary estate.”

Nunatsiaq News: Toronto gallery to digitize almost 100,000 Cape Dorset prints, drawings. “Artists and art enthusiasts will soon have access to a digital collection of around 100,000 Cape Dorset drawings and prints. A project from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, called Iningat Ilagiit, which means ‘a place for family,’ will act as a digital gallery. It will showcase prints and drawings from the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op between 1959 and 1989.”


Motherboard: Revealed: Microsoft Contractors Are Listening to Some Skype Calls. “Contractors working for Microsoft are listening to personal conversations of Skype users conducted through the app’s translation service, according to a cache of internal documents, screenshots, and audio recordings obtained by Motherboard. Although Skype’s website says that the company may analyze audio of phone calls that a user wants to translate in order to improve the chat platform’s services, it does not say some of this analysis will be done by humans.”

BloombergQuint: DOJ Scrutinizes Google Advertising, Search in Antitrust Probe. “The Justice Department is scrutinizing Google’s digital advertising and search operations as authorities gear up a broad antitrust review of the market power of giant internet companies, according to people familiar with the matter.”

CNN: FBI wants to monitor Facebook and Instagram for domestic threats in real time. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation has quietly been searching for private contractors who could gather and feed to law enforcement tremendous amounts of user data straight from social media platforms such as Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) and Instagram.”


New York Times: How to Force 8Chan, Reddit and Others to Clean Up. “Though it may seem that there is little that platforms and politicians can do to stop the spread of online hatred, a great deal could be accomplished with one simple tweak to the existing Communications Decency Act: revise the safe harbor provisions of the law.” Good morning, Internet…

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