Reddit, Firefox, Podcasting, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, December 05, 2019


TechCrunch: Reddit’s monthly active user base grew 30% to reach 430M in 2019. “In a year-end retrospective released this morning, Reddit says its user base grew 30% this year to reach 430 million monthly active users, as of the end of October. Its users also contributed 199 million posts, 1.7 billion comments and 32 billion upvotes, the company says.”

Neowin: Mozilla launches Firefox 71 with picture-in-picture mode. “Mozilla has announced the availability of Firefox 71. The release isn’t very radical, we had that with Firefox 70 back in October, but there are some welcome refinements and UI refreshes of two less used features.”


Poynter: These how-to podcast videos are designed to help beginners — and they come in six languages. “Last month, public media organization PRX released a series of 10 instructional videos, called Podcasting 101. We produced the videos alongside Google Podcasts as part of the Google Podcasts creator program, and they’re intended to train and support early stage podcasters around the world.”

EDMtunes: New Web App Allows You To Make Spotify and Apple Music Playlists from DJ Sets. “Have you ever wanted to seamlessly create playlists based on your favorite DJ sets? Tired of going through Spotify and Apple Music to manually re-create your favorite sets? Well, you are in luck, because a Reddit user has a solution for you.”


Reuters: India may force social media platforms to offer user verification: government sources. “India’s proposed new privacy bill may require large social media platforms to offer an identify-verification option, a potentially precedent-setting effort to rein in the spread of ‘fake news’, two government sources told Reuters on Thursday.”

CNN: Civil rights groups invited to Zuckerberg’s home slam Facebook’s ‘lackluster response’. “Facebook’s policies on political ads are being criticized yet again, with several civil rights leaders recently invited to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s home slamming what they say is a ‘lackluster response’ to their concerns.”


New York Times: Sex Trafficking via Facebook Sets Off a Lawyer’s Novel Crusade. “Tech has led to a lot of trouble lately: hate speech, financial scams, undermined elections. Yet tech companies have largely avoided legal consequences, thanks to a landmark 1996 law that protects them from lawsuits. Now that federal law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, has a new threat: Annie McAdams, a personal-injury lawyer in Houston.”

Voice of America News: IS’s Virtual Caliphate Struggles to Regain Footing on Social Media. “Islamic State media operatives appear to be flailing about in cyberspace, still trying to recover more than a week after tens of thousands of their messaging accounts were targeted by European officials. Unlike some past efforts to hamper the terror group’s propaganda efforts, which dealt only temporary setbacks, the latest takedown seems to be having a lasting impact, counterterrorism officials and analysts say.”


The Irish Times: Retrieval of Irish archive lost in 1922 fire ‘astounding’, historian says. “An attempt to recreate Ireland’s archives destroyed in a fire in June 1922 has been successful to a ‘greater extent than ever previously imagined,’ the historian behind the project has said.”

Interesting Engineering: Internet Archivists Working Hard to Keep a “Pirate Bay of Science” Available Online. “Scientific material is hard to come by online unless you’re ready to pay a pretty penny to access it. Many scientific papers and books are indeed available in an online format, however, they typically hide behind paywalls, leaving them unread by many. Two sites have been trying to remedy the situation by pirating scientific papers: Library Genesis (LibGen) and Sci-Hub. The issue is that sites like these have real problems staying online for legal and logistical hosting purposes. Now, a new project by data hoarders and freedom of information activists is trying to bring long-term stability to LibGen.” Good evening, Internet…

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