Major League Baseball, Plastic Bags, Fundo, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, September 10, 2020


SportBusiness: MLB rolls out expanded digital video archive. “Major League Baseball this week is widely debuting the MLB Film Room, a new digital video archive product aimed at enabling far greater user customization and distribution of the the league’s extensive film library. Powered by Google Cloud and a specific outgrowth of a large-scale deal struck earlier this year between MLB and the technology giant, the MLB Film Room will feature a publicly accessible library with more than 3.5m baseball highlights and nearly three dozen filters to locate specific plays.”

i-D: The Plastic Bag Museum archiving the disappearing everyday object. “To sum up the last seventy years in a single object, you needn’t look further than under your kitchen sink. The humble plastic bag — once an everyday object carelessly picked up, used and disposed and now environmentalism’s public enemy number one — became readily available in the post-war 50s, peaked in the 90s and is slowly disappearing from our streets. As we move from plastic to totes, the significance of these seemingly worthless single-use bags is being archived in a recently opened digital collection, aptly named the Plastic Bag Museum.”


Engadget: Google’s latest experimental app lets influencers host paid online events. “Area 120, Google’s internal startup incubator, wants to give YouTubers and other influencers a platform to host paid online events. Fundo, its new app, allows those individuals to set up internet meet and greets and workshops with their fans. It gives hosts full control over how much it costs to attend an event, allowing them to offer free tickets if they so choose.” When I put this into ResearchBuzz Firehose, I was startled to see that “Fundo” was already a tag. Turned out Variety wrote about this app just over a year ago.

Mashable: Google Finance will make it easier to follow TSLA rollercoaster with new design. “Google Finance is one of those sites that I wouldn’t say I actively use, as it never offered a lot in terms of personalization, but it’s incredibly useful whenever I need financial information about a company. On Wednesday, Google announced a thorough redesign of both the desktop and mobile versions of the site, making it easier to find relevant info and enabling users to build their personal watchlists.”

Reuters: Facebook, Google, Twitter urged by EU to do more against fake news. “Two years after agreeing to a self-regulatory code of practice to tackle disinformation, Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Twitter and other tech rivals must try harder to be more effective, the European Commission said on Thursday.”


Washington Post: Another Facebook worker quits in disgust, saying the company ‘is on the wrong side of history’. “Facebook software engineer Ashok Chandwaney has watched with growing unease as the platform has become a haven for hate. On Tuesday morning, it came time to take a stand. ‘I’m quitting because I can no longer stomach contributing to an organization that is profiting off hate in the US and globally,’ Chandwaney wrote in a letter posted on Facebook’s internal employee network shortly after 8 a.m. Pacific time. The nearly 1,300-word document was detailed, bristling with links to bolster its claims and scathing in its conclusions.”

Wired: A Saudi Prince’s Attempt to Silence Critics on Twitter. “IN 2014, MOHAMMED bin Salman’s uncle, King Abdullah, was nearing death. For more than 60 years, the Saudi crown had been passed from one son of the kingdom’s founder to the next, the heir being determined by a combination of seniority and consensus of the surviving brothers. Mohammed’s father, Crown Prince Salman, was set to inherit the throne upon Abdullah’s death. But anonymous Twitter users were spreading claims that Salman had dementia, and that presented a problem for Mohammed: If the rumors became accepted as fact by Saudis and foreigners, Salman’s brothers might feel pressure to elevate one of his rivals, cutting the Salman clan off from its claim to the throne and dashing Mohammed’s hopes of one day inheriting the crown.”

Poynter: Fact-checkers offer additional suggestions for how to improve Facebook ahead of the 2020 presidential election. “After Facebook announced plans Thursday to scale back on political ads and increase voter information ahead of the 2020 elections, fact-checkers offered some additional suggestions for how the tech platform might handle potential misinformation.”


ProPublica: The FTC Is Investigating Intuit Over TurboTax Practices. “The FTC probe, run out of the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, centers on whether Intuit violated the law against unfair and deceptive practices in commerce. One focus of the investigation is whether TurboTax marketing misdirected customers who were eligible to file their taxes for free into paid products.”

BBC: The ‘brushing’ scam that’s behind mystery parcels. “If you’ve ever received a parcel from a shopping platform that you didn’t order, and nobody you know seems to have bought it for you, you might have been caught up in a ‘brushing’ scam.”

Sky News Australia: ‘New online safety act’ to curb graphic content on social media platforms. “Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has spruiked the Morrison government’s ‘basic online safety expectations’ legislation after a graphic suicide clip was viewed and resent multiple times on Facebook and TikTok before being removed.”


Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Americans think social media can help build movements, but can also be a distraction. “Social media platforms are important for political and social activists. But while most Americans believe these platforms are an effective tool for raising awareness and creating sustained movements, majorities also believe they are a distraction and lull people into believing they are making a difference when they’re not, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.” Good morning, Internet…

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