Michigan State Police, WhatsApp, Facebook, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 21, 2020


Detroit Free Press: Michigan State Police’s website releases traffic stop data, use-of-force policy. “In hopes of increasing transparency, the Michigan State Police has recently published a new database that expands access to information such as department plans, training requirements, traffic stop data and use-of-force data. Much of the data was publicly available, but the new website puts it all in one space, with statistics up to 2019.”


9to5Google: WhatsApp beta preps fingerprint authentication for web companion app. “The latest WhatsApp beta update for Android shows signs the messaging application is tightening security when using the companion web app with fingerprint authentication. Code digger WABetaInfo found evidence of this enhanced security for the companion app in the 2.20200.10 build of the latest WhatsApp beta.”

CNBC: As Main Street crisis worsens, Facebook launches new small business platform. “Facebook is increasing its focus on the small business community, launching a new interface called ‘Business Suite’ on Thursday which is targeted at small businesses that have struggled throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The platform is available exclusively to small businesses at launch, according to a release from the social media and advertising giant, but it will expand offerings to larger businesses next year.”

Engadget: Facebook is running a national ad campaign to encourage voting. “Facebook is launching a national consumer awareness ad campaign around voting and registration that includes a ‘vote-a-thon’ and in-app consumer marketing campaign. It’s the continuation of a program that Facebook said that has helped 2.5 million people register to vote so far this year, with the aim of registering 4 million people before the November 3rd election date.”


Make Tech Easier: 3 Awesome Sites to Create an Online Poll for Free. “If you want to gauge the opinions of a group of people quickly, a poll is an easy way to do it. Just create the ballot and send it to everyone interested to see what they think. However, there are many poll services online, so which one is the best for you? We compiled this list of the best sites to create a free online poll.”


Attractions Magazine: Comic-Con Museum will open in San Diego in 2021. “The museum will also rely on fan sourcing and respond to current interests to distinguish it from other pop culture museums and make it more accessible and dynamic for audiences worldwide. Plus, an online museum will engage those who can’t travel to San Diego and provide pre- or post-visit experiences for those who can, including live streams and digital museum programming.”

MIT Technology Review: Evangelicals are looking for answers online. They’re finding QAnon instead.. “The tenets of QAnon are specific: that Trump is the chosen one to finally destroy a ring of Satanic pedophiles long protected by access to elite positions of authority, and that Q will provide the clues to lead followers to the truth. But the movement has mingled with so many other conspiracist causes and ideologies that it is now possible to be a carrier of QAnon content online without actually knowing what you are spreading.”


Digiday: ‘Re-architecting the entire process’: How Vice is preparing for life after the third-party cookie. “Vice Media Group pulls in 57.5 million global unique visitors a month, according to Comscore; Vice itself says it has a global audience of ‘more than 350 million individuals.’ But only a minority of those users are logged in at any time. With third-party cookies soon to be obsolete and Apple clamping down on the free-for-all sharing of mobile IDs, Vice’s first-party data strategy aims to improve its registration process and double down on contextual ads.”

Wired: Companies Can Track Your Phone’s Movements to Target Ads. “GOOGLE AND APPLE have taken steps this year they say will help users shield themselves from hundreds of companies that compile profiles based on online behavior. Meanwhile, other companies are devising new ways to probe more deeply into other aspects of our lives.”


Stony Brook Statesman: SBU researchers use social media to study unhealthy drinking habits. “The study, in collaboration with professors from the University of Pennsylvania, is led by H. Andrew Schwartz, assistant professor of computer science at Stony Brook University. Schwartz’s team is trying to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can scan social media data and use the recorded information to understand the users’ habits in order to predict their future behavior. In this case, the team is focusing on the ability to understand how mood and environment lead to unhealthy drinking behavior. Such behavior is defined as 14 drinks in a single week for a man, or seven drinks for a woman.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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