Black Women Radicals, Twitter, Public Polling, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 29, 2019


Blavity: There Is Now A Database Documenting The Stories Of More Than 160 Black Women Radicals Thanks To This Howard University Student. “With a desire to bring Black women and nonbinary activists out of the heavy depths of forgotten history, [Jaimee] Swift founded Black Women Radicals, an organization that shines a light on past and present leadership across the African diaspora. After over a year of dedicated research, Swift did a soft launch in October.”


NPR: Following Backlash, Twitter Offers to ‘Memorialize’ Accounts Of The Deceased. “Twitter will allow people to permanently archive and memorialize the accounts of deceased loved ones. The company received backlash this week after news broke that it would delete accounts that had not been logged in to in over six months.”


Poynter: Poll results are about to flood news feeds across the United States. Here’s what voters should look for when reading them.. “As the 2020 election pushes ahead, voters will be seeing poll results in their news feed — lots of them. But not all polls are created equal, and it can be hard to put the results into the proper context. PolitiFact participated in a workshop hosted by the Poynter Institute (which owns PolitiFact) on understanding election polling. Here are some suggestions about what voters should pay attention to when reading polls.”

Lifehacker: How to Read Medium Articles for Free. “Medium, the blog platform/publisher that once wanted to revolutionize online media, has put its content behind a $5/month paywall. After a couple of free articles per month, you can’t read anything else without paying up. Unless you use Twitter.”

First Draft: How to spot a bot (or not): The main indicators of online automation, co-ordination and inauthentic activity. “From talking with academics and researchers, studying the work of others, and carrying out our own investigations, First Draft has put together a list of indicators to help anyone identify suspicious online activity. The list of indicators is broken down by category: the account’s pattern of activity, account information, content posted by the account, and network of other accounts it may be a part of. Within each category are different metrics which are red flags for automation.” Good list, though I’ll note the RB Twitter account is guilty of two of them (posting persistently day and night and posting in multiple languages.)


New York Times: When Is a Star Not Always a Star? When It’s an Online Review. “An increase of just one star in a rating on Amazon correlates with a 26 percent increase in sales, according to a recent analysis by the e-commerce consulting firm Pattern. But while online reviews have become powerful sales tools, the ecosystem is relatively crude. Reviews can be easy to manipulate, and the operators of sites with the most reviews are not always motivated to crack down on fake ones planted to promote products. That leaves many consumers wondering what to believe.”

Houston Chronicle: Arizona officials working to fix campaign finance website. “As the election year approaches, Arizona officials continue working to overcome glitches in the state-run campaign finance website, officials said. The website called ‘See The Money’ and its campaign-finance database have not worked properly since the 2018 election, The Arizona Capitol Times reported.”


Route Fifty: Local Election Officials Can Get Free Election Auditing Software from CISA. “The software, which is being piloted by some election offices in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio, and Georgia, is designed to help officials make calculations needed for an audit. Arlo can help elections officials determine how many ballots to audit, randomly select which ballots to audit, and compare audited votes to tabulated votes, according to CISA.”

World Intellectual Property Review: Baby Yoda GIFs back online after copyright confusion. “Viral GIFs (graphic interchange format) of a new Star Wars character, Baby Yoda, have been reinstated to a leading GIF sharing site after being temporarily removed over alleged copyright concerns.”


Enterprise NXT: 4 ways AI is helping musicians—and the entire music industry. “AI uses machine learning models to produce new patterns and correlations based on the data it was trained from. In the case of music, almost 100 million recorded songs exist. Many scores of scores provide a deep base of data that’s hard to beat, and plucky researchers have taken note: AI’s ability to learn and iterate on its knowledge can change the way musicians work. And now, it’s impacting the entire music industry.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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