Black-Owned Connecticut Business, iOS Backups, Dark Patterns, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 30, 2020


Started in January and I apparently missed it. From the Republican American: Black-owned businesses in state get their own website. “A collaborative effort by a team of 30 volunteers, the website has a directory with links to Black-owned businesses in the state and also provides marketing resources for them. Since its launch July 1, 775 businesses, covering everything from restaurants to consultants to photographers, have signed on.”


Engadget: Google is releasing a free phone backup tool for iOS. “Last year, Google added automatic Android phone backups to Google One, the company’s ‘membership’ program that includes Drive storage, family sharing and a handful of other perks. It made sense for Google to bake that feature right into Android, but today the company announced it’ll soon do the same for iPhone users as well.”


Wired: How to Spot—and Avoid—Dark Patterns on the Web . “The term ‘dark patterns’ was first coined by UX specialist Harry Brignull to describe the ways in which software can subtly trick users into doing things they didn’t mean to do, or discouraging behavior that’s bad for the company. When you want to unsubscribe from a mailing list, but the ‘Unsubscribe’ button is tiny, low-contrast, and buried in paragraphs of text at the bottom of an email, it’s a strong sign the company is putting up subtle roadblocks between you and cancellation.”

MakeUseOf: 5+ Free Online Tests, Guides, and Resources to Overcome Burnout at Work. “Are you feeling too tired to work, or are you suffering from burnout? Take these free tests to find out if you have burnout, and guides to learn how to deal with it. In 2019, WHO officially recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon, so it’s not just ‘in your mind’ anymore. There are signs of burnout to watch out for, and techniques to overcome burnout in your professional life. To begin, there are a few online tests you can take, free ebooks you can pick up, and videos you can watch.”


CNET: Facebook ad boycott: Why big brands ‘hit pause on hate’. “Facebook has long been criticized for not doing enough to combat hate speech. Now the outrage against the world’s largest social network is growing into a movement that threatens its bottom line.”

The Next Web: A scientific analysis of the Facebook group where millennials pretend to be Boomers . “Created last year, this closed group has over 84,000 members that post memes and statuses pretending to be Boomers. Getting admission into this group isn’t a challenge, all you have to do is confirm you’re not a ‘party pooper,’ create your very own Boomer name (I went with Keith), and add the amount of cats you have — for Keith, that’s eight.”


Reuters: Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal faces EU antitrust probe: sources. “Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit will face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation next week, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Alphabet Inc unit Google this month offered not to use Fitbit’s health data to help it target ads in an attempt to address EU antitrust concerns. The opening of a full-scale investigation suggests that this is not sufficient.”

TechCrunch: Garmin global outage caused by ransomware attack, sources say. “An ongoing global outage at sport and fitness tech giant Garmin was caused by a ransomware attack, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the incident. The incident began late Wednesday and continued through the weekend, causing disruption to the company’s online services for millions of users, including Garmin Connect, which syncs user activity and data to the cloud and other devices.”


CNN: A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how. “A baseless claim about a child sex-trafficking ring, a Washington, DC pizzeria, and Hillary Clinton has been passed around among conspiracy theorists for more than three years. No evidence has emerged to support any part of the story. But last month, British pop star Robbie Williams used his voice to argue that the claims deserved more attention.”

MIT Technology Review: It’s too late to stop QAnon with fact checks and account bans. “Researchers have known for years that different platforms play different roles in coordinated campaigns. People will coordinate in a chat app, message board, or private Facebook group, target their messages (including harassment and abuse) on Twitter, and host videos about the entire thing on YouTube. In this information ecosystem, Twitter functions more like a marketing campaign for QAnon: content is created to be seen and interacted with by outsiders. Meanwhile, Facebook is a powerhouse for coordination, especially in closed groups.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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