Poetizer, Algorithm Transparency, Snapchat, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 21, 2019


OZY: Tired Of The Social Media Void? Try Connecting Over Poetry. “Poetizer, a new social media platform, is connecting its users through verse. Aiming to be a positive, metaphysical alternative to the existing platforms, Poetizer is what co-founder Lukas Sedlacek calls ‘a safe space’ online for creative expression and connection. In contrast to traditional social media, Sedlacek explains, poetry as a platform allows us to see what unites us as humans struggling to make sense of the world around us. And his social media experiment is catching on.”

ZDNet: Google’s new AI tool could help decode the mysterious algorithms that decide everything. “While most people come across algorithms every day, not that many can claim that they really understand how AI actually works. A new tool unveiled by Google, however, hopes to help common humans grasp the complexities of machine learning.”

USA Today: Snapchat Time Machine is a selfie-altering feature that lets you ‘age’ before your eyes. “Snapchat is picking up where Face App left off by rolling out a new tool that tries to show you what you look like at every phase of life. The app’s latest Lens is called Time Machine, and it includes a slider you can drag across your screen to watch the years add up. You can also use the feature to see what you supposedly looked like when you were younger.”


Lifehacker: How to Start a Podcast: Preparing for Your First Episode. “Starting a podcast may sound easy, given the amount of bad advice out there. You’ll often hear phrases like ‘low barrier to entry’ or ‘be yourself.’ In reality, podcasting (like anything creative) is a lot of work. In the video above, I go in-depth on my checklist of the five things you should do before you even release a single episode of your podcast.” A video; I did not see any way to get captions.


VentureBeat: Twitter election stunt shows how political groups are brazenly weaponizing social media. “Social media’s impact on politics has come under increased scrutiny, but a preelection live TV debate between U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed the extent to which political entities are openly weaponizing social networks to mislead the public.”

CNN: Reddit warns Trump supporters against ‘systematic harassment’ of potential whistleblower. “Reddit has warned users of its forum for President Trump supporters that ‘systematic harassment’ of the alleged potential whistleblower whose complaint kicked off the impeachment inquiry ‘must stop immediately.’ The company cited in part its policy prohibiting ‘inviting vigilantism.'”


Reuters: Czech government approves digital tax aimed at internet giants. “The Czech government approved a 7% digital tax proposal on Monday aimed at boosting state coffers by taxing advertising by global internet giants like Google and Facebook, the Finance Ministry said.” The bill still has to go through parliament.

NBC News: Inside Facebook’s efforts to stop revenge porn before it spreads. “In interviews with NBC News, members of Facebook’s team tasked with clamping down on revenge porn spoke publicly about their work for the first time. They recounted a number of missteps, including a poorly communicated pilot program inviting people to pre-emptively submit their nude photos to Facebook.”


Good Housekeeping: We’re Losing Generations of Family History Because We Don’t Share Our Stories. “Most people don’t know much about their family history. This is because people usually don’t become interested in genealogy until they’re in their 50s and 60s, when they have more time to reflect on their family identity. The problem is that by that time, their grandparents and parents have often already passed away or are unable to recount their stories. Because of this, we’re losing generations of stories, and all of the benefits that come with them.”

Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Helping to Make Math “Graspable,” WPI Researchers Guide Design of Algebra Tool for Students and Teachers. “Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have received a $185,085 subcontract for the second phase of design development and testing of Graspable Math, a digital platform that helps students learn algebra…. Students have traditionally worked algebraic equations by making notations on paper, but Graspable Math puts algebra onto tablet and laptop screens. Students click on or swipe numbers and symbols to solve equations and get instantaneous feedback on their actions, while teachers can monitor their work.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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