Facebook Messenger, Music Journalism, Simplenote, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 11, 2019


Mashable: Facebook unveils new Messenger tools for World Mental Health Day. “If only talking to friends about mental health was as easy as pushing a button. In honor of World Mental Health Day, Facebook has launched two new tools on Messenger created to do just that. Produced in consultation with the World Health Organization, the tools were designed to help facilitate difficult conversations concerning mental health.”


College Media Network: 4 Places to Read Great Music Journalism. “In my role as instructor for College Media Network’s Music Journalism courses — which have now expanded to Basic and Advanced Courses — I’m always pushing my students to read as much music writing as possible, whether it be old or new. Here are four places you can dig into some of that great music writing right now…”

MakeUseOf: 10 Lesser-Known Simplenote Tips and Tricks for Better Notetaking . “Simplenote has always positioned itself as a no-frills note-taking service. Its apps reflect that theme and let you quickly take notes on every desktop or mobile platform. But Simplenote’s minimal approach doesn’t mean it’s limited in any form. There are plenty of features hidden underneath Simplenote’s easy interface. Here are several tips and tricks to sweeten your Simplenote experience.”


The Guardian: Fossil fuel firms’ social media fightback against climate action. “A new study of Facebook’s advertising disclosure platform by InfluenceMap suggests oil companies and their trade groups have spent $17m directly on political social media advertisements since May 2018. ExxonMobil spent $9.6m – by far the biggest sum – ConocoPhillips $910,000 and BP $790,000.”

Los Angeles Times: Companies struggle to land high in Google search results for their own names . “Most of the sales at GoCompare — which helps people find deals on insurance, internet packages, energy plans and other things — come from Google searches, making it crucial for the company to appear at the top of search results. With Google, whose search market share is more than 80%, frequently changing its algorithms, buying ads has become the only way to ensure a top spot on a page. Companies such as GoCompare have to outbid competitors for paid spots even when customers search for their brand name.”

Reuters: Biden campaign asks Facebook, Twitter and Google to take down Trump ad. “U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign sent letters over the last week to Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, asking them to take down a social media ad from President Donald Trump which the Biden campaign said contained false claims.”


BetaNews: Online anonymity is a lie: Research challenges privacy protection frameworks. “The research, recently published in Nature Communications, has demonstrated that it is possible to reconstruct the real identities of individuals from sampled and anonymized information in datasets. using a combination of only fifteen basic demographic attributes such as age, ethnicity, marital status, number of children etc.”

The Register: Experts warn UK court digitisation is moving too fast and breaking too many things. “Ambitious plans to digitise Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service via a £1bn modernisation programme should be slowed down even further, MPs heard this week. The Ministry of Justice is seeking to cut costs by closing courts and putting services online. That programme is due to be completed in 2023, three years later than originally planned.”


New York Times: Could Facebook Actually Nuke Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign?. “Yes, Facebook’s willingness to let politicians lie sets a worrying precedent. And yes, lack of oversight into the platform’s decisions opens up a host of plausible election interference conspiracies. But Facebook’s essential threat to democracy isn’t that Mr. Zuckerberg will intervene on behalf of his preferred candidate — it’s more fundamental than that. Mark Zuckerberg need not intervene, because Facebook, the platform, will do so instinctively.”

Sky News: Fight fake news by tracking political parties’ social media, says Oxford study. “Political parties that spread fake news online should be punished with bigger fines and restrictions on their use of data, according to a University of Oxford report. The report, released today, also recommends that the Electoral Commission should keep a database of political campaigners’ social media accounts to keep track of the material they are posting.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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