British Columbia Artists, TikTok, Zillow, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, June 27, 2020


Castanet: Artist database released: Database containing three centuries of B.C. artists published. “Sim Publishing has made its B.C. Artists research project available to anyone; it contains information about nearly 20,000 people who’ve worked as a visual artist in the province. While some are historical, others are current and actively working in the field.”


Tubefilter: At NewFronts, TikTok Brings Ad Offerings To The Fore With New ‘TikTok For Business’ Platform. “TikTok took a major public-facing step with respect to its ad business today with a new website dubbed TikTok For Business, where marketers can review all of the platform’s ad products, make purchases, track their spending, and glean information about best practices.”

KTNV: Zillow now displays LGBT non-discrimination laws on all homes. “The company says the new tool is a data-powered resource to help people see whether for-sale and rental listings are in communities where state and local regulations explicitly protect individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or anyone else in the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.”

CNN: Facebook will label more controversial content and tighten advertising policies. “Facebook will ban ads that scapegoat minorities, immigrants, racial or other groups as part of a wider crackdown on hate speech, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The expanded policy will prohibit ads that claim these groups are a threat, Zuckerberg said on a livestream Friday. The new policy will also ban negative ads about immigrants or asylum seekers.” That’s great. I don’t have high hopes that this ban will be enforced.


Native News Online: Native News Online Gets Knight Foundation Grant For New Website, Digital Platform . “One of the most-read news sites covering Indian Country, Native News Online will use the grant to overhaul its website with an updated design and numerous other technical changes to make it more reader-friendly and more useful for marketers.”

CNET: Twitter challenges millions of accounts every week to determine if they’re bots or not . “Twitter Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal said Thursday that the company challenges millions of accounts every week to determine if they’re run by a human or completely automated.”

CNBC: Google employees petition company to cancel police contracts. “Google employees are signing an internal petition, calling on the company to stop selling technology to police departments. The letter, with the headline ‘No Police Contracts,’ began circulating last week and has been signed by more than 1,100 employees, who identify themselves as part of ‘Googlers Against Racism.'”


The Next Web: Boston bans government use of facial recognition. “Boston City Council has voted to ban the use of facial recognition by the municipality, joining a growing list of administrations to outlaw the tech. The decision comes amid a growing backlash against the software, which research shows consistently misidentifies people of color. An MIT study found that facial recognition algorithms designed by Microsoft, IBM, and Face++ made up to 35% more errors when detecting the gender of darker-skinned women. For light-skinned men, that error rate dropped was just 1%.”

New York Times: Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm. “On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit Police Department telling him to come to the station to be arrested. He thought at first that it was a prank.”

Reuters: U.S. and States’ Google Antitrust Probe Nears Finish Line. “The U.S. Justice Department is seeking the final documents to complete an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc’s Google , said three sources familiar with the probe, which is expected to end with a lawsuit this summer.”


The Conversation: Social media helps reveal people’s racist views – so why don’t tech firms do more to stop hate speech?. “As Black Lives Matter continues to draw attention to racism – and trigger pushback from people using social media to express sentiments against people of colour – it’s time internet companies did more to tackle all forms of bigotry. A few years ago, I conducted research on online Islamophobia following the 2013 Woolwich terror attack, identifying eight types of offender on Twitter who could be classed as racist. Most were not members of a far-right group. They included builders, plumbers, teachers and even local councillors. But many used the cover of social media to spread their own conspiracy theories and an ‘us and them’ narrative.”

SciTechDaily: Carnegie Mellon Tool Automatically Turns Math Into Beautiful and Instructive Illustrations. “The tool enables users to create diagrams simply by typing an ordinary mathematical expression and letting the software do the drawing. Unlike a graphing calculator, these expressions aren’t limited to basic functions, but can be complex relationships from any area of mathematics. The researchers named it Penrose after the noted mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose, who is famous for using diagrams and other drawings to communicate complicated mathematical and scientific ideas.” Good morning, Internet…

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