San Francisco State University, Fan Fiction, Facebook, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 20, 2019


San Francisco State University: History of SF State told through photos. “From its first Commencement in June 1901 to the Third World Liberation Front student strikes of 1968 right up to today, San Francisco State University has a rich history of innovative teaching, community engagement, student activism and much more. As an homage to San Francisco State’s unique heritage, the University Archives, Associated Students and Academic Technology teamed up for a project that tells the University’s timeless stories through vintage photos. Called the Photographic Timeline Collection, this project highlights images of student life and activities at SF State throughout its history.”


The Daily Dot: Nonprofit fanfiction database Archive of Our Own wins a Hugo. “Archive of Our Own (AO3), the fan-run, nonprofit website that’s home to more than 5 million transformative works like fanfiction, fanart, and podfics, won one of science fiction’s most prestigious awards at Worldcon Sunday night.”

The Verge: Facebook’s antitrust investigation could finish as soon as next year. “Facebook’s looming antitrust fight could come as soon as next year, according to statements by FTC Chairman Joe Simons reported by the Financial Times. Simons told FT that he sees the 2020 elections as a looming deadline for the probe, and would seek to make any finding before November 2020 as a result.”


BBC: Google Play app store accused of anti-gay bias. “A popular gay social network has accused Google of discrimination after its app was removed from Google’s Play store several times without warning. Hornet said Google often employed moderators in Malaysia, where same-sex relationships are illegal, to vet apps.”

Slate: Sing On, Vocal Deepfakes. “Certainly, it’s worrying that vocal avatars could be deployed in the manner that deepfake video and photos have been. For critics, a foreboding future looms where vocal deepfakes erode trust in traditional forms of evidence (and herald even more annoying robocalls and phone scams). For others, this nascent technology holds great promise, offering realistic vocal models for people with speech impairments, more convincing voice assistants, intimate chatbots, and myriad uses in the entertainment industry. Motivated more by artistic interests than commercial applications, musicians in particular envision different possibilities for the future of human and machine collaboration.”

Poynter: Netflix’s algorithms seem to be a new entry point for conspiracy theories. Be aware!. “When the spread of disinformation became a major topic of debate in late 2016, it was discussed mainly in reference to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In the following months, serious problems related to the diffusion of pseudoscientific beliefs, conspiracy theories and disinformation emerged on YouTube and WhatsApp. Until now, the popular video streaming service Netflix had managed to stay out of the picture. Not anymore.”


The Verge: YouTube sues alleged copyright troll over extortion of multiple YouTubers. “YouTube is going after an alleged copyright troll using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) provisions, alleging that Christopher Brady used false copyright strikes to extort YouTube creators, harming the company in the process. Now, YouTube is suing Brady, using the DMCA’s provisions against fraudulent takedown claims, seeking compensatory damages and an injunction against future fraudulent claims.”

CNET: Instagram will pay researchers to uncover abuse of users’ personal data. “Instagram will pay a bounty to security researchers who find evidence that third-party apps are misusing your personal data. The program aims to encourage experts outside of Instagram and its parent company Facebook to tackle a major problem the social network faces: apps that scrape user data or try to trick you into sharing passwords and other sensitive information.”


Stanford Medical: Stanford to lead development of coordinating hub for biomedical ethics. “The Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics has been chosen by the National Human Genome Research Institute to help lead the development of a coordinating hub for information on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic research.”

Phys .org: Powerful online tool will help researchers make new genomic discoveries. “By integrating data across thousands of microbial genomes, ‘AnnoTree’ provides a comprehensive framework for exploring the evolution of microbial genes and functions, and can be used to advance research across a wide range of industries including microbiology, biotechnology, industrial products, biofuels, and food science.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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