Open Catalyst Project, Google Maps, Twitter, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 16, 2020


Carnegie Mellon University: Ulissi and Facebook AI create world’s largest catalysis dataset. “ChemE’s Zack Ulissi and Facebook AI Research (FAIR) have created the Open Catalyst Project, the largest dataset of its kind, to accelerate the discovery of new catalysts for use in renewable energy storage.”


Reuters: Google launches new features to help locate nearest voting locations. “Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it was introducing new features across its search engine, Maps and voice assistant to help voters in the United States find their nearest voting locations.”

The Verge: Twitter will ban Holocaust denial posts, following Facebook. “Twitter will ban posts that deny the Holocaust, a company spokesperson confirmed today. The news, first reported by Bloomberg, comes two days after Facebook implemented the same policy.”


Digital Inspiration: How to Make your Documents Read-only in Google Drive. “Google Drive now has a new Locking API to help developers easily add content restrictions on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF and any other file in Google Drive. When you lock a file, no one (including the owner) can make edits to the file, the file title cannot be changed and also lose the option of commenting inside files. Google Drive doesn’t have a simple button (yet) for locking files so here’s a little Google Script that can help you make any file in your Google Drive read-only.”


New York Times: Fancy Cars, Fine Dining, Creator Mansions, Cash: Triller Is Shelling Out for Talent. “Founded in 2015, Triller bills itself as an app for making professional-looking music videos, quickly. Functionally, it’s different from TikTok: it has different editing tools; its users can’t ‘duet,’ or react to videos; and while it offers top singles and hit songs, it lacks the extensive library of sounds and mash-ups that TikTok users employ to express themselves.”

Arizona State University: Mexico, U.S. ambassadors discuss digital diplomacy and social media. “In a recent Convergence Lab and Future Tense event, Ambassador Bárcena and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau discussed the complex triangulation and impact of digital diplomacy on the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Future Tense is a partnership of ASU, Slate and New America that explores the social impacts of technology, and Convergence Lab is an ASU project that connects the university to partners in Mexico to explore common challenges and opportunities.”


Voice of America: Tiny African Nation of Lesotho Proposes Social Media Limits. “The set of regulations, introduced for debate by lawmakers this week, would require all social media users with more than 100 followers to register as ‘internet broadcasters’ — a move that would, in turn, require them to abide by the same rules that govern broadcast media houses. It would also allow regulators to investigate social media users’ posts and even order them to remove them.”

The Verge: FCC will move to regulate social media after censorship outcry. “On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said that the agency will seek to regulate social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter at the behest of the Trump administration’s executive order signed earlier this year.”


Scientific American: Why Social Media Make Us More Polarized, and How to Fix It. “As a scientist who studies networks, I’m used to being surprised by the results of my experiments. Technology has allowed us to access more information and data about people’s social networks, debunking many of our assumptions about human behavior. But even my team at the Network Dynamics Group was surprised: Why did our social media experiment find the opposite of what happens all the time in the real world of social media? The answer lies in something social media has amplified: ‘influencers.'”

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: How to Tackle Europe’s Digital Democracy Challenges. “European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made it clear that tackling online disinformation and reining in internet platforms are at the top of her digital agenda. Before the end of 2020, the commission plans to release two major policies—the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) and the Digital Services Act (DSA)—laying out clear principles for how it will respond to rampant disinformation, election interference, and broader concerns about a lack of accountability and transparency by online platforms. These policies are being presented as part of a broader push to promote democratic resilience and mitigate extreme speech in Europe. How should European officials and citizens alike think about these oncoming changes? And what will the impact of these proposed policy fixes be?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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