Untrue News, Montana Rural Funding, Snapchat, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, February 21, 2020

Well I haven’t had a major screwup in a while so I guess I was due. I posted a link in yesterday’s RB about a new archive of Rowaq Arabi, but because I keep a zillion tabs open at a time, I actually linked to a BBC story. The correct URL is and I apologize for the error. Many thanks to Denny L for letting me know.


VentureBeat: Untrue News indexes and flags false and misleading news articles. “Untrue News is open source and uses both automated and semi-automated natural language processing techniques to crawl and identify false and misleading news articles. Its AI performs text translation for multiple languages, classification, and the linking of entities like people, organizations, locations, and more, indexing over 64,000 fake stories in Portuguese, German, English, and other languages.”

State of Montana: Governor Bullock, Lt. Governor Cooney Launch Database To Connect Rural Communities With Funding Resources . “Governor Steve Bullock and Lt. Governor Mike Cooney today launched a comprehensive database that will host state and federal grant and loan opportunities that rural Montana communities can leverage to fund community and economic development projects across the state.”


CNET: Snap’s newest AR filter makes floors full of lava (or water). “I took a look at two of Snap’s new Lenses, one that makes floors full of lava and one that makes everything look flooded. The effect stretches out pretty far, but not infinitely, and moving around causes the effect to redraw in new areas. The water effect was particularly effective: It looks like a weird office mirage.”

India Times: 400 stations done, Google to end its free WiFi journey. “Google launched Station in India in 2015, as a partnership between Google, Indian Railways and Railtel to bring fast, free public WiFi to over 400 of the busiest railway stations in India and crossed that number by June 2018. While the Indian Railways provided the fibre connectivity for the Internet, Google was responsible for installing and maintaining the access points.”


Make Tech Easier: How to Use the Collections Feature in the New Edge Browser. “The new Microsoft Edge Chromium browser is similar to Google Chrome in many ways, but there is one feature that may give it a leg up on Chrome for some users. This feature is the ability to create collections. Collections are similar in some ways to a favorites folder, but it’s more than just a list of links. Instead, the collections display in a pane on your browser window. It displays images and text to help you remember what was on that site instead of having to guess and click until you find the page you wanted.”


BuzzFeed News: Australia Has 17 Million Facebook Users And Seven Facebook Fact Checkers. “Considering nearly a third of Australians get their news from Facebook, these fact checkers play an outsized role in determining what gets seen, and in what context, for the country’s 17 million users. So just how many people are working on figuring out what’s real or not on Facebook in Australia? Seven. Between them, they’ve completed 220 fact checks since April 2019 — about one check every one and a half days on average.”

Ars Technica: Signal is finally bringing its secure messaging to the masses. “[Moxie] Marlinspike has always talked about making encrypted communications easy enough for anyone to use. The difference, today, is that Signal is finally reaching that mass audience it was always been intended for—not just the privacy diehards, activists, and cybersecurity nerds that formed its core user base for years—thanks in part to a concerted effort to make the app more accessible and appealing to the mainstream.”

The Standard (Hong Kong): Online library for those stuck at home. “The publishing and cultural industry has launched an online platform to gather reading and studying materials for people who spend their time at home amid the coronavirus outbreak. More than 920 items – including students’ studying materials and lifestyle content – were uploaded to the website.”


Mashable: Rhode Island suggests Facebook overpaid the FTC billions to protect Mark Zuckerberg. “The state of Rhode Island is suing the social media giant in a bid to force Facebook to turn over documents related to the head-turning $5 billion FTC payout. While the inciting incident was the charge — following the Cambridge Analytica scandal — that Facebook lied to its users about their privacy, at issue for Rhode Island is the size of that monumental payment. The state, which owns Facebook stock, suggests in the suit that the company substantially overpaid the FTC in a bid to get Mark Zuckerberg personally off the hook.”


DIY Photography: Why Flickr is a diamond in the rough, and how to make it awesome again. “It was back in 2014 that I set up an account on Flickr. I posted a few images and forgot about the platform. Two years later I returned with a sensation of that this time it would be for good. Flickr is cozy —  it feels like a small town where everyone knows each other. I would love to see that small town grow into a bustling city. Why? Because I have grown fond of the platform, and because I believe it has a ton of potential. What is already great about Flickr and what can be improved? I have a few thoughts.”

Phys .org: Journalism is an ‘attack surface’ for those who spread misinformation. “For all the benefits in the expansion of the media landscape, we’re still struggling with the spread of misinformation—and the damage is especially worrisome when it comes to information about science and health.”

EurekAlert: Vaccine misinformation and social media. “People who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who rely on traditional media, according to a study of vaccine knowledge and media use by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.” Good morning, Internet…

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