Cameroon Crisis, Twitter, Chrome, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 12, 2019


University of Toronto: Global Database of Atrocities on Cameroon Crisis. “The database will aggregate, verify, secure, and publish information about atrocities or crimes against humanity committed by Cameroonian military and non-state armed groups. It is non-partisan and apolitical. All documentation will be securely stored and published online with four main objectives in mind: international justice processes; a possible national truth, justice, and reconciliation commission; advocacy, journalism, academic research; and deterrence from further violence and gross impunity.”


CNET: Twitter wants to create a ‘decentralized standard’ for social media. “Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey said Wednesday that the company wants to create ‘an open and decentralized standard for social media,’ a development that he said could help the site do a better job of combating abusive and misleading information.” Twitter has such an awful track record of working with third-party developers I’m not sure how this will work.

CNN: Google Chrome will now automatically tell you if your password is unsafe. “Chrome’s newest feature adds a functionality that warns users that their username and password may have been compromised in a data breach. A pop-up will appear asking if they want to change their saved passwords.”


Hackaday: Bring The Smithsonian Home With 3D Printing. “The Smithsonian has a 3D digitization portal that currently features 124 models of items from the collection. Almost 100 of them have models you can download and print — or have someone print for you.”

Wired: The WIRED Guide to 5G. “5G isn’t a single technology or standard, but rather a constellation of different technologies, and deploying them could require a radically different approach than building 4G networks. Carriers have launched demos and pilot programs that demonstrate big leaps in wireless performance, but mobile networks based on the ‘millimeter-wave’ technology that may deliver the fastest speeds probably won’t be widely available for years.”


BuzzFeed News: Running A Neighbourhood Facebook Group Has Become A Seriously Complicated Job. “Local Facebook groups increasingly serve as a local area’s town square, classifieds section, Neighbourhood Watch, and emergency information centre all rolled into one. But, for the most part, they are run by volunteers who in 2019 are devoting huge chunks of time figuring out how to enforce rules, referee disputes, and avoid getting sued in the process.” No matter what the platform, content moderation is no joke. Be kind to your local moderators.

Outlook India: Govts using new tactics to confuse social media dissidents. “Governments the world over are learning new tactics to quash dissent on various social media platforms, responding with tweets designed to distract and confuse like longer hashtags, according to a team of political scientists.”


Ars Technica: Lawsuit forces CenturyLink to stop charging “Internet Cost Recovery Fee”. “CenturyLink has agreed to pay a $6.1 million penalty after Washington state regulators found that the company failed to disclose fees that raised actual prices well above the advertised rates. CenturyLink must also stop charging a so-called ‘Internet Cost Recovery Fee’ in the state, although customers may end up paying the fee until their contracts expire unless they take action to switch plans.”

New York Times: Video Games and Online Chats Are ‘Hunting Grounds’ for Sexual Predators. “Sexual predators and other bad actors have found an easy access point into the lives of young people: They are meeting them online through multiplayer video games and chat apps, making virtual connections right in their victims’ homes.”


University of Minnesota: Research Brief: Discovering how people with breast cancer use Facebook for support. “Many people turn to social networks, such as Facebook, to connect with friends and family during times of crisis. A study by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health recently analyzed the activity of breast cancer survivors on Facebook during their treatment and found while they posted more, they made relatively few requests for help.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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