afternoonbuzz

Soapbox Detroit, Journal of Online Trust and Safety, Snapchat Trends, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 19, 2021

NEW RESOURCES

Model D: New website SoapBox Detroit aims to make city government more accessible. “Daniel Arking calls it his ‘Furlough Friday’ project. As assistant corporation counsel for the City of Detroit, working in the city’s law department, Arking found his Fridays freed up over the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like much of the staff, Arking was subject to work furloughs as the city wrestled with the onset of the pandemic. Arking took the time off to fully realize an idea that he started to develop in 2017: SoapBox Detroit, a website that gathers city ordinance news and public meeting announcements from the city’s many different departments and divisions and compiles them in one location.”

Stanford Cyber Policy Center: Announcing the Journal of Online Trust and Safety. “The Journal of Online Trust and Safety will be a cross-disciplinary, open access, fast peer-reviewed journal that publishes research on how consumer internet services are abused to cause harm and how to prevent those harms.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Engadget: Snapchat Trends is an overview of the most popular keywords in use in Stories. “Snap is introducing a new tool called Snapchat Trends that provides a public overview of the most popular keywords currently in use on the app. Accessible via the company’s website, you can use the feature to get a sense of the topics that Snapchat users are referencing in Stories they share with the public and their friends. The tool also includes a database you can use to search for specific terms.”

The Verge: Pinterest is adding search filters for different hair textures. “Pinterest is launching a search tool to help people narrow their hair inspiration searches by hair pattern. When users search for hairstyles, new filter options — for coily, curly, wavy, and straight textures, as well as shaved / bald and protective styles — will appear under the search bar.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Harper’s Magazine: Bad News: Selling the Story of Disinformation. I spent the first half of this article wondering if the writer was ever going to get to a point. Then about halfway through everything snaps into place and he starts hitting threes from downtown, including this bit that made me shout hallelujah: “‘Misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ are used casually and interchangeably to refer to an enormous range of content, ranging from well-worn scams to viral news aggregation; from foreign-intelligence operations to trolling; from opposition research to harassment. In their crudest use, the terms are simply jargon for ‘things I disagree with.’ Attempts to define ‘disinformation’ broadly enough as to rinse it of political perspective or ideology leave us in territory so abstract as to be absurd.”

Smithsonian: Smithsonian American Art Museum Acquires Extraordinary Early Photography Collection From Larry J. West. “The L.J. West Collection includes 286 objects from the 1840s to about 1925 in three groupings: works by early African American daguerreotypists James P. Ball, Glenalvin Goodridge and Augustus Washington; early photographs of diverse portrait subjects and objects related to abolitionists, the Underground Railroad and the role of women entrepreneurs in it; and photographic jewelry that represents the bridge between miniature painting and early cased photography such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Guardian: Gun licence applicants in UK face social media checks after Plymouth attack. “Applicants for permission to own a firearm or shotgun will be subject to social media checks after the Plymouth mass shooting, ministers have said. Questions have been asked about how the Keyham gunman Jake Davison, 22, obtained a firearms licence and carried out his attack, in which he killed five people before turning the gun on himself.”

Reuters: China Rebukes 43 Apps Including Tencent’s WeChat for Breaking Data Transfer Rules. “China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on Wednesday that 43 apps, including Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat, were found to have illegally transferred user data, and ordered their parent companies to make rectifications. The move comes as Chinese authorities tighten regulatory oversight on a range of industry, with a particular emphasis on privacy and data.”

Ars Technica: Hospitals hamstrung by ransomware are turning away patients. “Dozens of hospitals and clinics in West Virginia and Ohio are canceling surgeries and diverting ambulances following a ransomware attack that has knocked out staff access to IT systems across virtually all of their operations.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Wired: Virtual Reality Lets You Travel Anywhere—New or Old. “LIKE MANY PEOPLE, I was on the fence about using virtual reality for travel. However, tempted by the opportunity to experience places and things I could never visit without time, expense, and travel, I visited the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) to check out their spacewalk VR Transporter.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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