afternoonbuzz

Twitter, WordPress, File Extractors, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, August 6, 2020

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter Blog: New labels for government and state-affiliated media accounts. “Twitter provides an unmatched way to connect with, and directly speak to public officials and representatives. This direct line of communication with leaders and officials has helped to democratize political discourse and increase transparency and accountability. We also took steps to protect that discourse because we believe political reach should be earned not bought. In 2019, we banned all state-backed media advertising and political advertising from Twitter. Today we’re expanding the types of political accounts we label.”

WordPress 5.5 Release Candidate 2 is now available. “WordPress 5.5 is slated for release on August 11, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.5 yet, now is the time!”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: Best Tools to Extract Zip and Rar Files Online. “Extracting data from a Zip or Rar file is pretty easy – there are desktop tools that do the job just fine. However, there are times you may find yourself on a computer which does not allow installations of tools, such as a public library PC. Fortunately, you can still extract files using online tools that require no installations. Let’s take a look at the best tools to extract Zip and Rar files online.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19 . “Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are ‘almost immune from this disease.’ Facebook also removed a post containing the same video from Trump’s personal page. Both Facebook and Twitter said the post violated their rules on COVID-19 misinformation.”

Washington Post: Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook’s users. “Fact-checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to ‘defund’ police forces. PolitiFact called the allegations ‘false,’ as did CheckYourFact. The Associated Press detailed ‘distortions’ in Trump’s claims. FactCheck.org called an ad airing them ‘deceptive.’ Another site, the Dispatch, said there is ‘nothing currently to support’ Trump’s claims. But these judgments, made by five fact-checking organizations that are part of Facebook’s independent network for policing falsehoods on the platform, were not shared with Facebook’s users. That is because the company specifically exempts politicians from its rules against deception. Ads containing the falsehoods continue to run freely on the platform, without any kind of warning or label.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Sydney Morning Herald: Google and Facebook face fines and algorithm transparency under new code. “Google and Facebook will have three months to agree to revenue-sharing deals with Australian media companies before independent arbitrators intervene under a new landmark code designed to tackle the market power amassed by the US tech giants. Draft laws unveiled by the Morrison government and competition watchdog on Friday will impose a raft of conditions on the digital platforms, forcing them to compensate news media businesses for using their content and be more transparent about their data and algorithms.”

CNBC: Twitter says security flaw may have exposed Android users’ direct messages. “Twitter on Wednesday disclosed a new security vulnerability that may have exposed the direct messages of users who access the service using Android devices. Specifically, the vulnerability could have exposed the private data of Twitter users running devices with Android OS versions 8 and 9, the company said.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

FedScoop: DOD needs some help digitizing a massive collection of respiratory disease samples. “The Department of Defense has the world’s largest collection of pathology specimens, including ‘invaluable’ data from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Now it wants help to digitize it. Digitizing the collection of more than a hundred years of data —in the form of 55 million glass slides, 31 million paraffin-embedded tissue blocks and 500,000 wet tissue samples — would create a potentially exquisite machine learning database for computers to gain broader understanding of global health issues.”

VentureBeat: New ‘unselfie’ AI technique makes your selfies look like posed portraits. “Folks snap self-portraits with their smartphones all the time, whether for the benefit of followers on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. But these ‘selfies’ tend to look unnatural because they require that the subject stretch out their arms in order to capture the best angle. Fortunately, researchers at Adobe Research, the University of California, Berkeley, and KU Leuven in Flanders have developed an AI technique that automatically translates selfies into neutral-pose portraits. By identifying a target pose and generating a body texture, it’s able to refine and composite a person on a given self-portrait’s background.” Good evening, Internet…

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