Urban Agriculture, Presidential Candidates, YouTube, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 22, 2019


Shareable: Q&A with Anna Davies, project lead for the ShareCity project. “We wanted to know what was out there already and needed to map these initiatives, with limited time and resources — we couldn’t visit all these countries. So we took 100 cities where we knew that there was some food sharing going on already, as a prerequisite. From this research we built the ShareCity 100, which is available on the website. It’s an interactive online database, you can search by city, by what is shared, and by the mode of sharing.”


Des Moines Register: Introducing a new tool to help you keep track of presidential candidates visiting Iowa. “The Des Moines Register candidate tracker is the best way to stay up-to-date on the whereabouts of presidential contenders in Iowa. Starting today, the Register is releasing a new tool that will bring information from the candidate tracker to your Twitter feed, making it it easier than ever to keep up with the whirlwind 2020 caucus cycle.”

The Verge: YouTube will reportedly halt targeted ads for videos that appeal to kids. “YouTube is ‘finalizing plans’ to end targeted advertising on its main site for uploaded videos that children are likely to watch, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The move could be meant to appease regulators at the Federal Trade Commission who have examined whether YouTube has violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) through data collection and a failure to protect young users on the platform.”


Fresno State News: State Lands Commission Partners With Madden Library To Digitize Map Collection. “The California State Lands Commission has entered into a contract with Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library to digitize the remainder of its map collection — about 50,000 maps — over the next three years. This continued contract follows an $87,000 grant over the past year to digitize about 20,000 maps.”

Ars Technica: YouTube flags robot battle videos as “animal fights”. “On Monday, several YouTube users had their videos removed from the service due to YouTube’s restrictions on animal fight footage. This was confusing, because the videos in question showed no animals fighting; instead, they showed robots battling.”

BuzzFeed News: These New Facebook Ads From Chinese State Media Want You To Believe Xinjiang’s Muslim Internment Camps Are Just Great. “Extending the reach of its propaganda beyond its borders, Chinese state-owned media is running ads on Facebook seemingly designed to cast doubt on human rights violations occurring under the government’s mass incarceration of Muslim minorities in the country’s northwest Xinjiang region.”


TechCrunch: MoviePass exposed thousands of unencrypted customer card numbers. “Mossab Hussein, a security researcher at Dubai-based cybersecurity firm SpiderSilk, found an exposed database on one of the company’s many subdomains. The database was massive, containing 161 million records at the time of writing and growing in real time. Many of the records were normal computer-generated logging messages used to ensure the running of the service — but many also included sensitive user information, such as MoviePass customer card numbers.”

Popular Science: Posting a copyright notice on social media doesn’t actually accomplish anything . “f you’ve logged into Instagram since last week, you may have seen people posting a long, typo-laden screed about a new rule going into effect that gives the company the ability to sell, use, or share your photos unless you repost a specific message denying it. I have even seen a few famous photographers doing it. The statement sounds official, but it’s actually just the latest iteration of an internet chain letter that won’t do anything to protect your privacy or intellectual property from the social media networks or the wilds of the internet in general.”


UT Southwestern Medical Center: Largest Texas high schools to report all concussions to statewide registry. “Starting this fall, the biggest public high schools in Texas are required to report all sports concussions to a central database as part of one of the nation’s largest statewide endeavors to track brain injuries in youth athletics.”

Boing Boing: OpenAI releases larger GPT-2 dataset. Can it write fake news better than a human?. “The danger of GPT-2 is not fake news as sharable, influential longform but as social media chum in brief: imagine a flood of more convincing bots making human actions harder to measure, goosing the ‘engagement’ of emotionally vulnerable users while deflating the value of those interactions.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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