Science Fiction Dictionary, January 6 Arrests, Twitter, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, January 28, 2021


Tor: Look Up That SF Term in the New Online Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction. “The crowd-sourced project comes from Jesse Sheidlower, a former editor-at-large from the Oxford English Dictionary—it originated as an OED initiative, and is now a standalone site. The dictionary is designed to not only put definitions to the genre’s terminology, but to show how those words have been used over time.”

USA Today: Capitol riot arrests: See who’s been charged across the U.S.. “USA TODAY is gathering details of those cases as the FBI continues to identify the people responsible for the attack that left five people dead and sent lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence fleeing to shelter. Included are those arrested on charges federal prosecutors have filed since the riot, and those arrested by Capitol Police and D.C. Metro Police for entering the Capitol or for crimes related to weapons or violence. Check back for updates.”


NBC News: Twitter launches ‘Birdwatch,’ a forum to combat misinformation. “The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will not be provided to high-profile people or traditional fact-checkers, but users will have to use an account tied to a real phone number and email address.”

Missouri Secretary of State: Ashcroft Proudly Announces State Archives “Virtual Tour” – an Online Video for Missouri Third and Fourth Grade Students. “Today Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced a new video available online for Missouri’s third and fourth grade students, providing them a virtual tour of the Missouri State Archives.”


CNET: Facebook, Reddit receive low marks for Holocaust denial content. “Facebook, Reddit, Discord and Steam received low grades from the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday for the handling of Holocaust denial content on their platforms. The ADL issued the report to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Politico: The ‘rug has been pulled out’: Campaigns flop amid Facebook, Google ad bans. “Facebook and Google’s on-again, off-again bans on political ads are hitting campaigns during a crucial fundraising window, cutting off a key pipeline to potential supporters and disrupting early planning for the next round of elections, from state and local races this year to looming midterm elections in 2022.”

BBC: Facebook apologises for Plymouth Hoe ‘error’. “Facebook has apologised for removing posts that named part of a city it deemed to contain an offensive word. Plymouth Hoe is a historic part of the Devon city’s seafront but the social media platform wrongly identified it as an offensive term.” A longtime problem for Facebook.


News@Northeastern: Hate thrives on social media — but who should police it?. “The violent riots at the Capitol were abetted and encouraged by posts on social media sites. But from a legal and practical standpoint, it’s often hard to hold social media companies responsible for their users, Northeastern professors say. Jack McDevitt, director of the Institute on Race and Justice, argues that many of the posts amount to hate crimes—and that tech companies should be held responsible for violent rhetoric disseminated on their sites. But when it comes to spreading misinformation, exactly who is liable is less clear, says David Lazer, university distinguished professor of political science and computer and information sciences.”

Compsmag: Australian Federal Police raid Queensland properties linked to shutdown of DarkMarket website. “Investigators from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have raided several properties in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in connection with the closure of the world’s largest illegal dark web marketplace, DarkMarket.”

Voice of San Diego: Chula Vista Police Chief Says She Didn’t Know Department Shared Data With Feds. “Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy did not know that her own department shared license plate reader data with federal immigration officials for the last three years. Apparently, when the police department entered into an agreement with Vigilant Solutions to use its database back in December 2017, someone simply clicked a ‘share all’ button. The police chief said she just recently learned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection were part of the more than 800 law enforcement agencies that were given access to Chula Vista’s data.”


Global Network on Extremism and Technology: “Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But (Digital) Footprints”: Social Media Evidence From the US Capitol Siege Perpetrators . “The Program on Extremism at the George Washington University, which continues to track these ongoing arrests, has identified 143 individuals currently charged at the federal level for their role in the siege at the Capitol as of 24 January 2021. We conducted a preliminary analysis of this database of court records to focus on how prosecutors used evidence from social media to charge those involved in the storming of the Capitol.”

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Though not especially productive in passing bills, the 116th Congress set new marks for social media use. “Voting members of the 116th Congress collectively produced more than 2.2 million tweets and Facebook posts in 2019 and 2020. That means the median member of Congress produced more than 3,000 posts across their profiles on the two social media platforms during this span. In total, the 116th Congress produced roughly 738,000 more social media posts than the 114th Congress of 2015-2016, the first one for which the Center has data.” Good morning, Internet…

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