Secretaries of State, Facebook, The Informant, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 10, 2020


Another November release I missed, from the National Association of Secretaries of State: NASS Launches #TrustedInfo2020: A Public Election Education Initiative. “#TrustedInfo2020 encourages American citizens to look to their state and local election offi­cials as the trusted sources for election information. Driving voters directly to election officials’ websites and verified social media pages will ensure voters are getting accurate election infor­mation, and cut down on the misinformation and disinformation that can surround elections.”


CNN: Facebook says it’s ‘not deaf’ to criticism. But it will still let politicians lie in ads. “In a blog post, Rob Leathern, who oversees Facebook’s political ad library, said the company was not making any major revisions to its policies on political ads. Leathern did however ask political leaders to establish new rules that would govern digital political advertising.” Taking responsibility for your company’s actions is soooo… hang on, need to go find an era where giant corporations took responsibility for their actions…

Nieman Lab: “We’ve seen hate becoming mainstream”: This news site aims to tie together the intel on extremism. “After years of writing about it for TPM, The Daily Beast, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, [Nick Martin] decided to start The Informant, a newsletter and site dedicated to ‘original reporting and intelligence on hate and extremism in America today.’ While any number of outlets were covering pieces of the story, Martin said he didn’t see any one making sense of it and explaining what it all means.”

TechCrunch: Pro-privacy search engine Qwant announces more exec changes — to ‘switch focus to monetization’ . “More changes have been announced in the senior leadership of French pro-privacy search engine Qwant. President and co-founder Eric Leandri (pictured above) will be moving from an operational to a strategic role on January 15, the company said today — while current deputy managing director for sales and marketing, Jean-Claude Ghinozzi, is being promoted to president.”


New Indian Express: Natural history museum library to go online; rare collections to be digitised. “The library functions under the Department of Museums and Zoos. It has a collection of about 7,000 books, out of which 500 books fall under the rare collection category. Most of the flora and fauna inside the museum premises have been documented along with lesser-known assets. All the artefacts in the museum including ancient coins and original paintings by Raja Ravi Varma are being photographed to form an online database of the museum’s riches and heritage.”

Online Journalism Blog: Sigma Awards: new data journalism competition launched. “Data journalists are being invited to enter a new data journalism award, launched to ‘celebrate the best data journalism around the world [and] to empower, elevate and enlighten the global community of data journalists.'”


CNET: Vermont bill would ban cell phone use by anyone younger than 21. “A bill has been introduced in Vermont’s legislature that would prohibit anyone under 21 years old from using or possessing a cell phone. However, the bill appears to be more about gun rights than cell phones.” From the article it looks like a stunt.

Wired: Iran Tensions Increase Social Media Surveillance at the US Border. “Just days after the United States assassinated Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, US Customs and Border Protection reportedly detained more than 60 Iranian Americans and Iranians, including children, at the US–Canada border. Multiple sources present claim that while some of those detained were held, in certain cases for up to 10 hours, CBP confiscated some of their phones, ordered them to hand over their social media passwords, and questioned them about their political views and social media activity.”

Techdirt: Chinese Court Says AI-Generated Content Is Subject To Copyright Protection. “Just last week we wrote about the good news that the European Patent Office had decided to reject AI-generated inventions for patent applications and explained why this was good. As we noted, prior to that, most of the discussion on AI and monopoly protections had been focused on copyright, and there are various lawyers and law firms eagerly pushing the idea that AI should be able to obtain copyrights, despite it going against the entire basis of copyright law. So far, we haven’t had a real test of the issue in the US (though the monkey selfie case could be seen as a trial balloon for copyright for non-human creators), but apparently at least one Chinese court has already gone in the other direction.”

Vice: You Can Play Google Stadia on an E-Book Reader. “You may not be playing Google Stadia at the moment, but inevitably, you’ve seen the reviews and the feedback from gamers has largely revolved around the significant latency issues the service can have. But what if you were to throw another variable into the mix when you fire up Destiny 2? That’s what Sebastian Ørsted, a Danish PhD student of Aarhus University’s Department of Mathematics, recently did when he decided to test out Google Stadia on an e-ink based Android tablet, the Onyx Boox Max 3.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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