Truthmark, Facebook, Google, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, August 3, 2020


It’s Nice That: Truthmark is a photography database aiming to stop misuse in fake news. “Photographers can upload their images to the database, while retaining copyright, along with written documentation as to the context of the photograph. This is then encrypted together with all the information as one file. Journalists and members of the public who wish to check the authenticity of images can search the database and discover the origin of the photo in more detail than most existing image banks, including the specific context of what’s portrayed.”


CNET: Facebook adds official music videos, taking on YouTube. “Facebook said Friday it’s adding official music videos to its social network in the US, starting this week. The feature will allow people to find, watch and share music videos on Facebook, taking on the world’s No. 1 place to watch music videos online (and the No. 1 place to watch, well, all videos online): Google’s YouTube.”

Google Blog: A partnership with ADT for smarter home security. “Today, we’re announcing a long-term, strategic partnership between Google and ADT, a leading U.S. security and home automation provider. Together, we aim to create the next generation of the helpful home—based on new security solutions that will better protect and connect people to their homes and families.”


Rantt Media: Some 2020 Candidates Struggle To Get Verified On Twitter . “On the matter of blue checkmarks, one of the most powerful Twitter initiatives to ensure election integrity is its candidate verification program. But complaints from candidates and their campaigns suggest that execution of Twitter’s candidate verification program needs some improvement. A blue checkmark, denoting verification on candidates’ profiles, has been elusive. A number of candidates who are on the ballot for Congress in November were frustrated by long delays in getting Twitter to verify their accounts. Others who are on the ballot in the general election still don’t have their accounts verified, as of this writing.”

ABC News (Australia): UNSW under fire for deleting social media posts critical of China over Hong Kong. “The official [University of New South Wales] account on Friday tweeted an article that quoted Human Rights Watch’s Australia director and adjunct law lecturer Elaine Pearson as saying: ‘Now is a pivotal moment to bring attention to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Hong Kong’. Several hours later, a further tweet was posted by UNSW reading: ‘The opinions expressed by our academics do not always represent the views of UNSW.'”

CNN: Twitch is aiming to build an esports league specifically for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “Streaming giant Twitch is partnering with Cxmmunity — an Atlanta-based non-profit focused on increasing minority participation in esports and the gaming industry — to offer the first-ever esports leagues geared specifically for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).”


CPO Magazine: Illinois Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Facial Recognition Databases Violate Biometric Privacy Law, Could Cost Tech Giants $5,000 Per Incident. “The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) made national news recently when it drove Clearview AI out of the state, due to a pending lawsuit over the company’s scraping of social media pictures and videos for its facial recognition database. It may now be a problem for some of tech’s biggest names as well. A new biometric privacy lawsuit has emerged that names Amazon, Google parent company Alphabet and Microsoft as violators of the state law as well.”

Mashable: TikTok sued by rival video app Triller over patent dispute. “Triller, a shortform viral video app similar to TikTok, is now suing its more popular competitor. The company alleges that TikTok has stolen one of the app’s proprietary features. The lawsuit claims that TikTok infringed on Triller’s patent for ‘systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track.’ More specifically the patented feature allows users to stitch together multiple videos with a single audio track attacked. Triller was granted the patent back in 2017.”

BetaNews: claims no harm from security vulnerability in Family Tree Maker. “If you’re at all familiar with genealogy then you’ll likely know both Ancestry and Family Tree Maker — they an integral part of the pastime. Unfortunately, independent review site WizCase recently discovered an open and unencrypted ElasticSearch server that belonged to Software MacKiev, the owners of Family Tree Maker. The leak exposed thousands of records including email addresses, user locations, and other sensitive personal information. FTM was owned by until 2016 when Software MacKiev took it over, and the software is still used to upload databases to the Ancestry online trees.”


Courthouse News: African Ancestry Data Offers Deeper Examination of History of Slavery. “The transatlantic slave trade officially ending in the 19th century, but the effects of that brutal system continue to reverberate in the genes of enslaved people’s ancestors, according to a new study. Pairing genetic data with historical records, researchers at 23andMe can now paint a clearer picture of African ancestry in the New World, detailing the origins of enslaved Africans and the methods used to exploit them after they survived the grueling Middle Passage.”

MIT Technology Review: A new neural network could help computers code themselves. “Automated code generation has been a hot research topic for a number of years. Microsoft is building basic code generation into its widely used software development tools, Facebook has made a system called Aroma that autocompletes small programs, and DeepMind has developed a neural network that can come up with more efficient versions of simple algorithms than those devised by humans. Even OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model can churn out simple pieces of code, such as web page layouts, from natural-language prompts. [Justin] Gottschlich and his colleagues call this machine programming.”

EurekAlert: Survey finds Americans social media habits changing as national tensions rise. “As national tensions rise, a new national survey of 2,000 people commissioned by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds more Americans are adjusting how they use social media platforms. Many participants cited stress from the global COVID-19 pandemic, along with the movement to end racial inequality and other divisive political issues in our country as reasons for taking a social media break.” Good morning, Internet…

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