Zion National Park Art Show, Google, Twitter Trends, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, September 18, 2021


Zion National Park: Zion National Park and Zion National Park Forever Project Announce Annual Art Show. “Now in its 13th year, Zion National Park Forever Project (Zion Forever) and Zion National Park, are hosting an annual art show running September 16 through November 6, 2021. The event honors the contributions and influence that original art has had on the National Park Service and shaping our Nation’s public lands. This year’s event titled Zion: A Legacy of Art will feature the works of 20 nationally acclaimed artists. Seventeen returning artists and four new artists join this year’s invitational list.” The art show will take place virtually.


Sky News: Google takes down anti-government app in Russia amid claims tech giant’s staff were threatened. “Google deleted a Russian tactical voting app from its online store after staff were threatened, Sky News understands. Both Apple and Google had come under significant pressure from Russian regulators to block the anti-government app, devised by allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny ahead of Friday’s election starting.”

Japan Times: Google launches News Showcase service in Japan, will pay fees to 40 publishers. “Google LLC expanded its News Showcase service to Japan on Thursday, enabling users to view headlines from more than 40 Japanese newspapers and news agencies that each collect a licensing fee from the tech giant. Unlike news content that appears through Google searches, the service allows news organizations to curate and package their coverage on the News Showcase page or app.”


MakeUseOf: How to Personalize Twitter Trends to Suit Your Interests. “Twitter is known for its trending topics. Whether they’re around politics, social issues, major sports games, or the latest celebrity shenanigans, it is often the platform that houses a broad range of conversations, both on a local and global scale. But these trending topics can be personally tailored to an individual level so that they reflect your own interests.”


Mashable: Facebook sure looks like it’s getting into the debt collection business. “Dubbed Facebook Invoice Fast Track, the program works by buying up a company’s outstanding invoices and quickly forking over the owed cash. When payment comes due, the customer with the outstanding bill then must pay Facebook directly.” 😬

Jerusalem Post: Project underway to digitalize Hebrew books from Italian-Jewish history. “A project was launched to create a bilingual Italian-Hebrew database of 35,000 volumes, covering Italian-Jewish life from the sixteenth century until the mid-twentieth century.”

Washington Post: Are Social Media ‘Finfluencers’ Coming for Your 401(k)?. “Social media’s next victim could be your 401(k). Finance influencers — or ‘finfluencers’ — are becoming a hot new thing on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram. This may be the next big content moderation headache for the industry.”


Associated Press: Audit: Arizona database flaws may put public safety at risk. “State auditors say public safety may be put at risk by reporting gaps and a backlog in the database that Arizona uses for conducting background checks of people seeking certain jobs or occupational licenses and for helping prosecutors and judges decide whether defendants should get plea bargains or lenient sentences.”

Reuters: Russia publishes plan to tax foreign tech, promote home-grown rivals. “Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Sazanov said earlier this year that large foreign digital companies providing services in Russia should be subject to profit taxes, and that Moscow was involved in discussions with the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But in Russia’s case, the move also comes amid a wider effort to strengthen control of the internet and promote domestic alternatives to the services offered by Silicon Valley.”


NiemanLab: How “engagement” makes you vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation on social media. “Social media algorithms — the rules their computers follow in deciding the content that you see — rely heavily on people’s behavior to make these decisions. In particular, they watch for content that people respond to or ‘engage’ with by liking, commenting and sharing. As a computer scientist who studies the ways large numbers of people interact using technology, I understand the logic of using the wisdom of the crowds in these algorithms. I also see substantial pitfalls in how the social media companies do so in practice.”

University of Washington: Do Alexa and Siri make kids bossier? New research suggests you might not need to worry. “Chatting with a robot is now part of many families’ daily lives, thanks to conversational agents such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Recent research has shown that children are often delighted to find that they can ask Alexa to play their favorite songs or call Grandma. But does hanging out with Alexa or Siri affect the way children communicate with their fellow humans? Probably not, according to a recent study led by the University of Washington that found that children are sensitive to context when it comes to these conversations.”

Northeastern University: Study Finds Broad Bipartisan Support For Social Media ‘labeling’ To Counter Misinformation, Problematic Speech. “There is broad bipartisan support among self-identified liberals and conservatives that social media companies should add warning labels to posts that contain misleading information, or that could lead to the spread of misinformation, data from a new study by Northeastern researchers in the College of Arts, Media and Design shows.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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