Confederate Monuments, North Carolina Courts, Google Data, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 2, 2020


11 Alive: Atlanta NAACP launches website to educate on Confederate monuments nationwide. “Around the country, protests and rallies have taken place, calling for the removal of Confederate monuments. In Georgia, the Atlanta NAACP chapter worked to denounce these statues as well. Now, with their new website, Invisible Hate, Chapter President Richard Rose said they’re doing more than denouncing, but they also want to educate.”


North Carolina Judicial Branch: North Carolina Court System Launches Free, Online Document Preparation Tool – eCourts Guide & File. “The North Carolina Judicial Branch has announced the launch of eCourts Guide & File, a new service that allows attorneys and the public to prepare court documents online in just a few easy steps. With free, 24/7 online access and easy-to-understand interview questions, Guide & File will eliminate barriers and simplify the legal process, particularly for the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who come to court without an attorney every year.”


Lifehacker: You Should (Probably) Delete Your Google Data — Here’s How. “We’ve talked about this practice a lot, but to Google’s credit, the company has given users greater control over the ultimate fate of the data it collects. This includes the ability to automatically delete this data at regular, repeating intervals. We’ve covered some of this in the past, but in light of some updates to its privacy options in late 2019, we’re going to show you how to automatically delete your data across as many of Google’s services as possible.”

Wired: How to (Finally) Listen to All Those Podcasts in Your Queue . “WITH COMMUTES CUT, gyms closed, and pandemic cleaning completed, you might be finding it difficult to keep up with all of your podcast downloads. Episodes for your existing subscriptions accumulate while your idle time on the internet means you discover new podcasts to try, such as shows dedicated to Covid or those recommended for kids stuck at home. With more than a million podcasts to choose from, including our own brand-new Get WIRED podcast and our Gadget Lab podcast, you can use these tips to manage a flood of streams.”


Motherboard: Amazon Is Spying on Its Workers in Closed Facebook Groups, Internal Reports Show. “Amazon is monitoring the conversations of Amazon Flex drivers in dozens of private Facebook groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain, according to an internal web tool and reports left on the open internet and viewed by Motherboard. According to the files left online, Amazon corporate employees are getting regular reports about the social media posts of its Flex drivers on nominally private pages, and are using these reports to diagnose problems as well as monitor, for example, drivers ‘planning for any strike or protest against Amazon.'”

BBC: Facebook and Twitter ‘dismantle Russian network’. “Facebook says it has dismantled a small network of accounts and pages that were part of a Russian influence operation. The company said the campaign was linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), an organisation close to the Russian government and accused of interference in the 2016 US election. Twitter also suspended five accounts from the same network.”


Techdirt: Australian Court Says Zipper Mouth Emoji Might Be Defamatory. “The question before the judge is whether or not the zipper faced emoji by itself might be considered defamatory. To be clear, under American law, I don’t see how it possibly could be, because it’s not stating anything that can be proven false. However, Australian law has the concept of ‘imputation,’ in which if there is ‘insult or innuendo’ implied by a message, that perceived interpretation can be defamatory.”

Reform Austin News: New Texas Supreme Court Order Allows Citation by Social Media. “Imagine getting served divorce papers via Facebook where all your friends can see? What about finding out you are being sued on Twitter? The Texas Supreme Court is now allowing process service for civil cases via social media, email or other electronic technology if the traditional service of papers in-person or by mail fails.”


The Conversation: How social media are levelling Kenya’s political field – and lessons learnt. “Social media were used sparingly by politicians in Kenya’s 2007 elections. However, there was a significant increase in use in the 2013 elections, and an even greater push in the 2017 elections. Over 80% of candidates had an online presence with the winning political coalition, Jubilee, using social media most aggressively. The greatest attraction for politicians is the large number of Kenyans on social media. The latest data put internet penetration at 90%. There are 8 million social media users and over 80% of Kenyans visit platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.”

Reuters: Facebook partners with external researchers to study its impact during U.S. election. “A group of 17 independent researchers from the fields of elections, democracy and social media will now work with internal Facebook data scientists to design the studies. The company expects between 200,000 and 400,000 users to opt into the project, which will log what they see and how they behave on Facebook and Instagram. It will introduce targeted changes to some participants’ experiences, such as advertising or types of posts shown to them.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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