Google, Twitter, IMDB, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 14, 2019


Search Engine Land: More from Google on its indexing issues . “Vincent Courson, Google Search Outreach, has written a blog post about Google’s search indexing problems of late, how it fixed them and lessons it has learned.”

TechCrunch: Twitter’s latest test lets users subscribe to a tweet’s replies. “Twitter in more recent months has been focused on making conversations on its platform easier to follow, participate in and, in some cases, block. The company’s latest test, announced via a tweet ahead of the weekend, will allow users to subscribe to replies to a particularly interesting tweet they want to follow, too, in order to see how the conversation progresses.”

New York Daily News: After protests from LGBTQ groups, IMDb will allow removal of birth names from database. “On Monday, IMDb — the world’s largest online database of information related to movies, television, cast and crew — announced that it’d finally start allowing transgender individuals to remove their birth names from the site, when requested.”


The New Yorker: The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News. “People have been trying to outsmart one another on Internet forums for as long as there have been Internet forums. Still, Hacker News has an unusually wide influence. Landing a blog post or personal project on the front page is a badge of honor for many technologists, and the site has become a regional export: ninety per cent of its traffic comes from outside the Bay Area, and a third of its users are in Europe. The site is now a portal to tech culture for millions of people. At the same time, it has become a punch line and a punching bag for tech workers and engineers who see it as a locus of hubris, myopia, and exclusivity. A word that comes up frequently among its critics is ‘toxic.'”

Reuters: Russia tells Google not to advertise ‘illegal’ events after election protests. “Tens of thousands of Russians staged what observers called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years on Saturday, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow’s city legislature. Multiple YouTube channels broadcast the event live.”

Digital Trends: The best deepfakes on the web: Baby Elon, Ryan Reynolds Wonka, and beyond. “Ever since the tech first burst onto the scene, a burgeoning community of deepfake creators has assembled online. Due to the controversial nature of the technology, many of these creators weren’t willing to share their real names. But share their work and thoughts on said work? That’s another thing entirely. Here are some of the most dazzling realistic fruits of their labor.”


The Next Web: Map reveals which cities use Ring’s surveillance network to spy on you. “An engineering student in Illinois has put together a handy map to help pinpoint locations where police are tapped into Ring’s surveillance network. Ring, a company best known for smart doorbells and home security cameras, has a massive network of these cameras installed, some of which are being used for surveillance purposes by police in certain cities.”

Bloomberg: Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats. “Facebook Inc. has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services, according to people with knowledge of the work. The work has rattled the contract employees, who are not told where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained — only to transcribe it, said the people, who requested anonymity for fear of losing their jobs.”


University of Georgia: Study shows Facebook groups aid breastfeeding support. “Facebook could be the key to helping mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges. That’s according to a new study from the University of Georgia. Researchers found that mom-to-mom breastfeeding support groups on Facebook were a valued source of support specifically for African American mothers.”

Wired: When Limiting Online Speech to Curb Violence, We Should Be Careful. “The hope—for some it may be a belief—is that eliminating online speech forums will help prevent future violence. This is understandable. Everyone wants to live in a country where they are safe in their local stores, at festivals, and in other public places. The vile ideas driving shooters whose actions have caused unspeakable pain and loss are in plain view on 8chan, and the thought that we could just make them go away has strong appeal. But this is also a critical moment to look closely at what is being proposed and pay attention to the potential consequences for us all.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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