Codex Zacynthius, KweliTV, TikTok, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, September 9, 2020


University of Birmingham: Recovering the text of the earliest Greek New Testament Commentary manuscript. “The manuscript first came to scholarly attention two hundred years ago this year, when it was presented to a British dignitary on the Greek island of Zakynthos. On the face of it, the manuscript is a lectionary containing the portions of the gospels used in Christian worship throughout the year. However, this twelfth-century document is a palimpsest, created by erasing the ink from an earlier manuscript in order to re-use the parchment to make another book. The original text is a commentary on the Gospel according to Luke known as a catena, bringing together extracts from early Christian writers which explain the biblical text. However, given the overwriting of the manuscript and the fading of the ink, much of the commentary is unreadable to the naked eye.”


Digital Trends: KweliTV is a streaming service that puts Black stories first. “The streaming service is home to over 400 indie films and television shows, with over 35,000 registered users and growing. But it’s more than just a ‘Black Netflix.’ Rather than try to compete with larger services that boast millions in revenue and funding, KweliTV wants to thrive in the gap, by being deliberate about the content it hosts. Spencer considers KweliTV’s list carefully curated, and maintains that the service is purposeful about only hosting movies that don’t just feature Black characters, but also feature Black directors, writers, and producers.” I don’t often cover pay services, but this site a) has a free tier, b) has a day pass for $2.99, and c) even at full price is all of $5.99 a month. If you’re a college student you can get the service for $3.99 a month.

TechCrunch: TikTok joins Europe’s code on tackling hate speech. “TikTok, the popular short video sharing app, has joined the European Union’s Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech. In a statement on joining the code, TikTok’s head of trust and safety for EMEA, Cormac Keenan, said: ‘We have never allowed hate on TikTok, and we believe it’s important that internet platforms are held to account on an issue as crucial as this.'”

CNN: Google Drive outages reported across the US. “Google Drive wasn’t loading for thousands of users across the United States on Tuesday — the first day of remote school work for many students and teachers. More than 3,000 people reported Google Drive issues on the service-tracking site DownDetector. The reports started rolling in around 10am ET, and most of them noted that the app wasn’t loading.”


Search Engine Journal: How to Find Every Orphan Page on Your Website. “Finding webpages that have no links is difficult, but not impossible. If there are pages on your website that users and search engines can’t reach, this is a problem you need to fix. Fast. These types of pages have a name: orphan pages. In this post, you’ll learn what orphan pages are, why fixing them is important for SEO, and how to find every orphan page on your site.”


Heavy: Ronnie McNutt’s Friend Says Facebook Didn’t Do Enough to Stop Suicide Livestream . “Josh Steen, a friend of Ronnie McNutt, is speaking out about the tragic video showing McNutt’s death and the failure of social media platforms in removing it. On August 31, McNutt, 33, died by suicide and streamed his death on Facebook Live. In the days after his death, the video was shared on various social media platforms, especially TikTok, prompting many people to warn users about its presence. Now, Steen is sharing details about the circumstances surrounding his friend’s public death and says Facebook didn’t do enough to prevent McNutt’s death from being streamed online or to remove offending content about McNutt’s death in the days since.”

ET Telecom: Denmark angry at Google censorship of some Danish content, seeks talks. “Denmark, angry at Google’s censorship of some Danish content over an argument over copyright, said on Monday it was seeking talks with the Alphabet-owned tech giant. Google removed all music by Danish artists on the Danish site of video streaming platform YouTube in early August, following failed negotiations on copyright with music licensing organisation Koda.”

CNET: Why TikTok matters. “TikTok’s US operation is up for sale to one of several deep-pocketed suitors, something that could be the kiss of death for any ultratrendy social platform. It has many brands and their influencers on the platform asking now what?”


Gulf News: Saudi Arabia: Followers of arms sales groups on social media to face 10 years in prison. “Arms and contraband sales groups threaten their followers on social media with jail time and a hefty fine for entering these groups and failing to report their violations to authorities, local media reported. Under Saudi laws, followers of these arms sales groups bear legal responsibility as they fail to report these groups to authorities, and would face imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine of 5 million Saudi riyals if these groups support terrorism.”

And in our “Alrighty then,” department, from Neowin: WSJ says China will launch global data security initiative. “The Wall Street Journal has reported that China is looking to start a global standards initiative focused on data security to counter U.S. attempts to get its allies to keep Chinese tech out of their networks. The report states that China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, will announce the plans in Beijing on Tuesday.”

Wee Tracker: Zimbabwe’s Speedy Social Media Law Is Africa’s Latest Internet Censorship Plot. “A cyber bill that seeks to punish peddlers of falsehood on social media could become law as soon as October this year in Zimbabwe. That’s because Zimbabwe is fast-tracking the adoption of a divisive new law which critics believe is more about muffling dissent than curbing falsehood. As part of the provisions in this new piece of legislation, individuals found guilty of spreading false information via social media face a jail term of up to five years, or a fine, or both.”


The Drive: MQ-9 Reaper Flies With AI Pod That Sifts Through Huge Sums Of Data To Pick Out Targets. “General Atomics says that it has successfully integrated and flight-tested Agile Condor, a podded, artificial intelligence-driven targeting computer, on its MQ-9 Reaper drone as part of a technology demonstration effort for the U.S. Air Force. The system is designed to automatically detect, categorize, and track potential items of interest.” Good morning, Internet…

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