Facebook Photos, Facebook Advertising, Optimizing CSS, More: Tuesday Evening ResearchBuzz, December 03, 2019


BetaNews: Facebook launches data portability tool to allow users to transfer photos and videos to Google Photos. “Embracing the notion of data portability, Facebook has launched a new tool that lets users transfer their photos and videos from Facebook to other online services.” Facebook is currently testing the tool in Ireland, with expectations to roll it out more widely in the first half of 2020. If this announcement reminds you of Facebook’s long-promised “clear history” tool — which as far as I can tell is still not available in the US — let me point you to an article I wrote last year on getting your photos out of Facebook and into Google Photos. It’s not polished and slick, but you can do it immediately, unlike this tool’s release date of — whenever.

TechCrunch: Facebook expands its efforts against ad discrimination. “First, it’s expanding the enforcement of these rules beyond Facebook Ad Manager to encompass every other place where someone might buy ads on Facebook: the Ads Manager app, Instagram Promote, the ad creation tools on Facebook Pages and the Facebook Marketing API (which connects with third-party ad-buying tools). Second, it’s expanding its searchable ad library — first created in response to concerns about political misinformation — to include housing ads targeted at an U.S. audience.”


MakeUseOf: 11 Useful Tools to Check, Clean, and Optimize CSS Files. “In addition to optimizing, modern CSS development is improved by cleaner syntax. If you really want to take your development up a notch, CSS frameworks let you do more with streamlined code. These tools and programs will help you clean up your code, solve errors, and improve syntax.”

Lifehacker: Quickly Create Your Own Custom Emojis With This Website. “Emojis can be a fun addition to a tweet or messages, but something the right emoji doesn’t quite exist. Emoji Maker is a simple tool that can help.”

Poynter: A graphic guide to the 2020 U.S. census. “Carmen Nobel, program director of Journalist’s Resource, inspired us to share this graphic presentation of the upcoming census. She writes, ‘Nonfiction cartoonist Josh Neufeld guides us through several issues to watch for as the 2020 census gets underway — including the risk of undercounts, the potential ramifications of an inaccurate count, the threat of misinformation and disinformation campaigns, and important dates on the census calendar.'” The graphic is available with a CC license and its PDF prints nicely on seven sheets of paper.


CNET: YouTube CEO defends site’s recommendation system amid scrutiny. “As YouTube deals with an onslaught of controversies, from the spread of extremism to child sexual exploitation issues, critics have called out the site’s powerful recommendation system, which uses algorithms to drive people to new content.”

Ubergizmo: Vatican Priest Launches His Own Minecraft Server To Tackle Toxic Gaming. “Due to the fact that more games are being created as multiplayer games, it also means that there is a rise in online communities, which in turn has also unfortunately resulted in some of them being rather toxic. However, in a bid to try and create a less toxic environment for gamers, a Vatican priest by the name of Fr. Robert Ballecer, decided to create the Vatican’s Minecraft server where he hopes that it would foster a less toxic community.”

Irish Examiner: State archives system creaking under pressure of staff and skills shortages – report. “Just four of the 61 State departments and agencies are up to date with their legal obligation to transfer their records to the National Archives (NAI) under the ’30-year-rule’. That’s according to a report of Ireland’s national archives system found that the annual transfer of records under the 30-year rule has been scaled back this year because of a lack of storage space.”


New York Times: A Better Internet Is Waiting for Us. “Social media is broken. It has poisoned the way we communicate with each other and undermined the democratic process. Many of us just want to get away from it, but we can’t imagine a world without it. Though we talk about reforming and regulating it, ‘fixing’ it, those of us who grew up on the internet know there’s no such thing as a social network that lasts forever. Facebook and Twitter are slowly imploding. And before they’re finally dead, we need to think about what the future will be like after social media so we can prepare for what comes next.”

VentureBeat: The Masakhane project wants machine translation and AI to transform Africa. “English, Arabic, and French dialects can be found on parts of the African continent and are used across tribes, ethnic groups, and national borders, but none is native to Africa. Some estimates put the number of living languages on the continent at 2,000 or more. This can stand in the way of communication as well as commerce, and earlier this year such concerns led to the creation of the Masakhane open source project, an effort being undertaken by African technologists to translate African languages using neural machine translation.” Good evening, Internet…

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