Political Symbols, Facebook Groups, Google Sheets, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 6, 2020


NiemanLab: VizPol takes a cue from bird-watching apps to help journalists identify unfamiliar political symbols. “Built by researchers at Columbia University’s journalism and engineering schools and launched as an invite-only beta this week, VizPol can currently recognize 52 symbols. Many are associated with right-wing and white supremacist organizations, but the app also includes insignia used by libertarian, anti-fascist, hactivist, and other groups considered political but not extremist.”


Mashable: Facebook releases tips for group mods on how to be more inclusive. “Facebook has been heavily criticized for how it handles racism, both on the platform and within company walls. Perhaps in an effort to course correct, the company released the blog post Navigating Your Community Through Race and Social Issues on Friday with tips for group moderators. (Zuckerberg also released an open letter where he said black lives matter).”


Towards Data Science: How to Download a Specific Sheet by Name from a Google Spreadsheet as a CSV File. “In the past two tutorials on Google Drive API with Python, we have covered how to obtain credentials here and search for a specific file in Google Drive by its name here. In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to download a specific Sheet by name from a Google Spreadsheet into a csv file. A use case for this: you need to generate a report, which data are stored in a Google Spreadsheet that has many Sheets, but you only need one or two of them. So, instead of downloading the whole Google Spreadsheet, you can handpick the Sheets that you need.”


Washington Post: Facebook employees said they were ‘caught in an abusive relationship’ with Trump as internal debates raged. “At an emergency town hall meeting Facebook held this week, days after President Trump posted, ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’ on his account, 5,500 Facebook employees had a demand for Mark Zuckerberg. Before the meeting, the employees voted in a poll on which questions to ask the chief executive at the meeting, according to internal documents viewed by The Washington Post. The question that got the most votes: ‘Can we please change our policies around political free speech? Fact checking and removal of hate speech shouldn’t be exempt for politicians.'”

New York Times: Misinformation About George Floyd Protests Surges on Social Media. “Untruths, conspiracy theories and other false information are running rampant online as the furor over Mr. Floyd, an African-American man who was killed last week in police custody in Minneapolis, has built. The misinformation has surged as the protests have dominated conversation, far outpacing the volume of online posts and media mentions about last year’s protests in Hong Kong and Yellow Vest movement in France, according to the media insights company Zignal Labs.”


ABC 15 Arizona: Online influencer Jake Paul charged after Scottsdale looting. “Social media influencer and YouTuber Jake Paul has been charged by police in Scottsdale after allegedly participating in weekend looting and riots. Police said Thursday that 23-year-old Jake Joseph Paul was identified as being present among hundreds of tips and videos sent to officials. He reportedly unlawfully entered and remained inside Scottsdale Fashion Square mall when it was closed.”

Gizmodo: Judge Orders FCC to Hand Over IP Addresses Linked to Fake Net Neutrality Comments. “A Manhattan federal judge has ruled the Federal Communications Commission must provide two reporters access to server logs that may provide new insight into the allegations of fraud stemming from agency’s 2017 net neutrality rollback.”


France24: Marie-Antoinette and lover’s censored letters deciphered. “Love letters between the ill-fated French queen Marie-Antoinette and her lover, which contain key passeges rendered illegible by censor marks, have been deciphered using new techniques, the French National Archives said on Wednesday. The revealed passages are further confirmation of the steamy relationship between Marie-Antoinette and Count de Fersen, who were writing to each other two years after the 1789 French revolution.”

EurekAlert: Why smartphones are digital truth serum. “Researchers from University of Pennsylvania published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explains that the device people use to communicate can affect the extent to which they are willing to disclose intimate or personal information about themselves. The study forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing is titled ‘Full Disclosure: How Smartphones Enhance Consumer Self-disclosure’ and is authored by Shiri Melumad and Robert Meyer.”

UNLV Capstone Project: How Misinformation Spreads Through Twitter. “As new technologies emerge, a major piece of both content creation and the perpetuation of misinformation are social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As news events emerge, whether be a pandemic, a mass shooting, or an election campaign, it is difficult to divulge the facts from fiction when so many different ‘facts’ appear. This study looks at 14,545,945 tweets generated in the wake of the 1 October mass shooting and its second anniversary to identify how much of the public response is fogged by information pollution, to identify what kind of misinformation is spread and how it spreads on Twitter and news coverage.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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