Shenandoah National Park, Royal Oak Daily Tribune, Quibi, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 1, 2020


Augusta Free Press: Records related to Shenandoah National Park creation now digitized. “The Piedmont Environmental Council has completed the digitization of thousands of legal documents related to the Commonwealth’s 1930s-era condemnation of private lands in Rappahannock County for the creation of Shenandoah National Park. The digitization project has made all of the deed book records, court proceedings and individual case files for Rappahannock County properties that are now part of Shenandoah National Park, publicly accessible and searchable for the first time.”

City of Royal Oak, Michigan: Announcing ROPL Daily Tribune Digital Archive. “The Royal Oak Public Library is pleased to announce the completion of a digitization project that offers thousands of pages of newspapers available to search, view, print and clip with a click of a mouse. Past issues of The Royal Oak Daily Tribune are now available through the Royal Oak Public Library Digital Archive! The digital archive spans over 138 years from 1877 to 2015 and can be accessed here at The Royal Oak Daily Tribune.” Appears to be completely free – I did not find a paywall when I started exploring. issues are PDF files and can take a moment to load.


Business Insider / Yahoo News: The rise and fall of Quibi, from raising $1.75 billion before launch to shutting down just 6 months later. “Quibi started out as an idea for short videos on mobile devices from former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Long before launching, the streaming company had big Hollywood names attached and raised $1.75 billion. It debuted in April during the pandemic, which Katzenberg blamed in part for the failure. The platform had major investors, famous Silicon Valley and Hollywood names, and star power. Here’s how it went from buzzy to defunct.”

Vox: Facebook glitch blocks certain political ads, raising new questions about transparency. “With less than a week until Election Day, Facebook has admitted to a glitch in the system that handles political ads on its platform. ‘Technical flaws’ related to a new transparency effort that restricted new political ads from appearing on Facebook in the week before the election caused an unstated number of old political ads to not appear at all. The Biden and Trump campaigns both say some of their ads were among them.”


Mashable: See every major platform’s misinformation policies in this handy chart. “From coronavirus to the election, preventing misinformation from spreading on social media is more important than ever. Even if many of the policies leave something to be desired, at least companies are attempting to take action. But just what those companies are doing can be tough to wrap your head around. Luckily, Mozilla has created a new resource that clearly lays out in a chart the misinformation policies of Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok.”


BuzzFeed News: Thousands Of Women Have No Idea A Telegram Network Is Sharing Fake Nude Images Of Them. “Over 680,000 women have no idea their photos were uploaded to a bot on the messaging app Telegram to produce photo-realistic simulated nude images without their knowledge or consent, according to tech researchers. The tool allows people to create a deepfake, a computer-generated image, of a victim from a single photo.”

ProPublica: “Trumpcare” Does Not Exist. Nevertheless Facebook and Google Cash In on Misleading Ads for “Garbage” Health Insurance.. “The thousands of ‘Trumpcare’ ads Facebook and Google have published show that the shadowy ‘lead generation’ economy has a happy home on the platforms — and even big names like UnitedHealthcare take part.”

Politico: What happened when humans stopped managing social media content. “Nobody appreciated the content moderators until they were gone. As the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, social media giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter did what other companies did. They sent workers home — including the tens of thousands of people tasked with sifting through mountains of online material and weeding out hateful, illegal and sexually explicit content. In their place, the companies turned to algorithms to do the job. It did not go well.”


MIT Technology Review: It’s time to rethink the legal treatment of robots. “A tax system informed by AI legal neutrality would not only improve commerce by eliminating inefficient subsidies for automation; it would help to ensure that the benefits of AI do not come at the expense of the most vulnerable, by leveling the playing field for human workers and ensuring adequate tax revenue. AI is likely to result in massive but poorly distributed financial gains, and this will both require and enable policymakers to rethink how they allocate resources and distribute wealth. They may realize we are not doing such a good job of that now.”

Washington Post: Two things Facebook still needs to do to reduce the spread of misinformation. “Facebook must also take far more drastic steps to ‘detox’ its algorithm. This requires significantly scaling up enforcement of its 2019 commitment to prophylactically ‘reduce the overall distribution’ of pages and groups that serially circulate misinformation so that they appear less frequently in users’ feeds. Although the company has said it can decrease the reach of misinformation posts by 80 percent, Facebook has not been transparent about how it handles recurrent purveyors of misinformation. Many still have enormous reach, proving that too little is being done.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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