Racial Justice Books, Bitcoin Statistics, Reddit, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, June 6, 2020


Swiped off Sarah’s Facebook wall, from Minnesota Monthly: U of M Press Uploads 22 Racial Justice Books for Free . “Across social media platforms and news outlets, resources to learn about racism are yours for the taking as the battle to turn rage and sorrow into reform continues. Charging the cops involved in Floyd’s case is not the end. If you’re in a place of privilege, you can always keep learning and listening. To help, the University of Minnesota Press has created a 22-book Reading for Racial Justice collection, free to read online through August 31.”

Livemint: BitBuddy launches Bitcoin explorer- a web tool to access all Bitcoin statistics. “The users can access every record of Bitcoin from explorer, including the real-time Bitcoin statistics, mining difficulty rate, and Bitcoin transfer hash. This unique interface can also be used to track and understand all insights of the Bitcoin blockchain. Additionally, it also provides the transaction status done via Bitcoin, a crypto asset.”


The Verge: Alexis Ohanian asks to be replaced by a black candidate as he resigns from Reddit’s board. “Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian — the co-founder of Reddit — resigned from Reddit’s board of directors today. He announced the move in a tweet, urging the company to hire a black candidate in his stead and promising his future gains on Reddit stock to serve the black community.”

The Verge: Yelp is adding a new tool to easily search for black-owned businesses. “Yelp is launching a new tool to allow businesses on the platform to identify themselves as black-owned, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced in a blog post Thursday. Customers will be able to search the Yelp app for black-owned businesses they want to support. Over the last week, Yelp says it saw a huge increase in the searches on the app for black-owned companies across various industries.”


The Washington Post: You are probably spreading misinformation. Here’s how to stop.. “First came the pandemic. Now we’re facing an infodemic. Misinformation from so-called trolls, bots and other online agitators is spiking about the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, following a tsunami of falsehoods about the coronavirus. And the people who care most intensely about those issues may be inadvertently spreading it further — a hard-learned lesson from social media meddling in the 2016 and 2018 elections. To avoid being taken advantage of, we need to learn their ways — and learn some new techniques of our own to challenge what we see on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Reddit and Nextdoor. Whether you’re 16 or 60, spending a few seconds to do the things I list below can help keep you from becoming a tool in someone else’s information war.”


Boing Boing: Repost the text of Trump’s calls for violence, get suspended from Twitter. “President Trump enjoys a vaguely-defined but formal exemption from Twitter’s policies on the grounds of his inherent newsworthiness. Recently, Twitter began putting warnings on his Tweets when they called for violent acts, which Trump considers censorship. A new Twitter account set out to see whether Twitter would simply suspend anyone else who posted what Trump does. It didn’t last long before the hammer fell.”

The Texas Tribune: Five Texas GOP county leaders share racist Facebook posts, including one juxtaposing an MLK quote with a banana. “Republican leaders in five Texas counties shared racist Facebook posts, some of which also floated conspiracy theories, leading Gov. Greg Abbott to call for two of them to resign. Abbott and other top Texas Republicans called for the resignation of the GOP chairs in Bexar and Nueces counties after they shared on social media a conspiracy theory that Floyd’s death was a ‘staged event,’ apparently to gin up opposition to President Donald Trump. There is no evidence to support that claim; Floyd, a black Minnesota man, died last week after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.”

Protocol: Google Docs is being used as a protest tool. That could put the company in a tight spot.. “A multitude of Google Docs and Sheets have sprung up coordinating donations to the cause and ways to demonstrate solidarity. Some are chaotically created lists of email addresses, links and other information, compiled in a hurry by those wanting to help support the protests and raise awareness. Others are carefully formatted Google Sheets that provide a checklist of actions people can take — a to-do list of dozens of steps to combat systemic racism. All have been viewed by hundreds of people simultaneously at their peak. In many cases, documents have been populated by using Google Forms — for instance, to collect data on donations to bail funds so organizations can match funding, or to collect signatures for a petition against Harvard University police.”


Courthouse News Service: Judge Won’t Sign Off on $550M Facebook Facial Data Settlement. “A federal judge on Thursday refused to sign off on a $550 million data privacy settlement with Facebook, saying lawyers must first explain why the deal provides only a small fraction of damages to which class members may be entitled.”

Reuters: U.S. states lean toward breaking up Google’s ad tech business – CNBC . “The U.S. state attorneys general investigating Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google for potential antitrust violations are leaning toward pushing for a breakup of its ad technology business as part of an expected suit, CNBC reported on Friday, citing sources.”


Fast Company: There’s a simple way to reduce extreme political rhetoric on Facebook and Twitter. “As major tech companies struggle with their responsibilities to the users and communities they serve, the question of what political candidates should be allowed to say in their online postings has emerged as a flash point. Each of the various platforms have taken different approaches to this question, but they each ignore the most important consideration of all: Why is it more advantageous online for a political candidate to be sensational rather than measured?”

University of Miami: Experts explore Twitter and its role in public conversations. “When Twitter founder Jack Dorsey launched the online social networking site in March 2006, his team envisioned a noble purpose for the enterprise: to serve the public conversation and stimulate shared learning and solutions for some of the world’s most complex problems. Yet today, far from being a hub for healthy exchange, Twitter seems to function more often as a lightning rod for vitriol and reflecting the schisms in society. Twitter and other social media platforms and their executives have come under increasing criticism from both sides of the political spectrum: from progressives who clamor for the platforms to restrict the harassment, hate speech, and misinformation that proliferates, and from conservatives, including President Donald Trump, who claim a bias against conservative ideas.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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