Google Translate, Facebook, Social Media Style Guides, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, December 20, 2019


Google Blog: Google Translate improves offline translation. “When you’re traveling somewhere without access to the internet or don’t want to use your data plan, you can still use the Google Translate app on Android and iOS when your phone is offline. Offline translation is getting better: now, in 59 languages, offline translation is 12 percent more accurate, with improved word choice, grammar and sentence structure. In some languages like Japanese, Korean, Thai, Polish, and Hindi the quality gain is more than 20 percent.”

The Next Web: Facebook is reportedly working on its own OS now. “Facebook is reportedly building an operating system, reports The Information. It isn’t immediately clear exactly where it will be deployed, but the project could help the company move away from using Android to power its hardware.”


Social Media Examiner: How to Create a Social Media Style Guide for Your Business. “Want to document how your business should market and communicate on social media? Wondering what you should cover? In this article, you’ll find seven critical elements to include when you create a social media marketing style guide.”


BBC: Twitter removes thousands of Saudi ‘state-backed’ accounts. “Twitter has banned almost 6,000 accounts for being part of an alleged state-backed information operation originating in Saudi Arabia. The social media network announced the bans in a public blog posted on Friday.”

CNN: Now fake Facebook accounts are using fake faces. “Artificially-generated faces of people who don’t exist are being used to front fake Facebook (FB) accounts in an attempt to trick users and game the company’s systems, the social media network said Friday. Experts who reviewed the accounts say it is the first time they have seen fake images like this being used at scale as part of a single social media campaign.”

Lake County Record-Bee: As California launches preschool expansion, federal government seeks to limit data. “…the U.S. Department of Education is proposing to stop collecting a wide range of data, including information about young children, such as how many children have access to preschool and kindergarten, broken down by race, sex, disability and English learner status.”


London Free Press: Google fined 150 million euros by France. “France’s competition authority on Friday fined Google 150 million euros ($167 million) for anti-competitive behavior and for having unclear advertising on the Google Ads page.”

Military .com: Pentagon Announces Plans to Monitor Foreign Trainees’ Social Media Posts. “The Pentagon has completed re-screening all Saudi students in U.S. military training programs following a deadly Dec. 6 shooting rampage at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Defense Department officials announced Thursday. No indications of additional threats have surfaced, they said. Moving forward, DoD plans to increase vetting practices for Saudi Arabian and other foreign nationals in training at military bases in the U.S., including checks of their social media posts.”


Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): The Digital Pulpit: A Nationwide Analysis of Online Sermons. “Frequent churchgoers may have a good sense of what kind of sermons to expect from their own clergy: how long they usually last, how much they dwell on biblical texts, whether the messages lean toward fire and brimstone or toward love and self-acceptance. But what are other Americans hearing from the pulpits in their congregations?” The methodology was as fascinating to me as the research.

New York Times: Twitter and Facebook Want to Shift Power to Users. Or Do They?. “Countless entrepreneurs are working on decentralization projects, including the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He founded Solid, which seeks to fix the problems of the centralized internet by shifting the ownership of personal data away from big companies and back toward users. But the other efforts have largely been aimed at taking down Twitter and Facebook rather than helping them solve their problems. And the two behemoths have plenty of problems, from policing their sites for toxic content to dealing with pressure from regulators who think tech companies have grown too powerful.” Good evening, Internet…

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