Wyoming Missing Persons, Facebook, Twitter for Professionals, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 2, 2021


Oil City News: Photos: Wyoming Launches New Missing Persons Database, Listing 71 Cases Dating Back To 1974. “The new database has 71 missing persons cases dating back to 1974 listed as of 4:15 p.m. Thursday, September 30. The earliest case is for Larry Marvin Morris, who was 24 years old at the time his disappearance in Fremont County. The most recent missing persons case listed is for Darren Mark Thunehorst, 39, who was reported missing out of Natrona County on August 29, 2021.”


New York Times: Facebook Struggles to Quell Uproar Over Instagram’s Effect on Teens. “Inside Facebook, top executives have been engulfed by the crisis, with the fallout spreading through parts of the company and disrupting its ‘Youth Group,’ which oversees research and development for children’s products like Messenger Kids, according to interviews with a dozen current and former employees, who were not authorized to speak publicly. To navigate the controversy, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg have approved decisions on how to respond but have deliberately kept out of the public eye, said two people with knowledge of the meetings. The company has leaned on its ‘Strategic Response’ teams, which include communications and public relations employees.”

TechCrunch: Twitter for Professionals will begin to roll out this week for businesses and creators . Since it’s Twitter, I hope you’ll forgive me that my first reaction was “Professional whats?” “Twitter classifies anyone who uses Twitter for work as a professional — to qualify for a professional account, users must have no repeated history of violating guidelines, and they must be authentic, with an account name, bio and profile picture. That means no fictional characters, parody accounts or pet accounts allowed (but some pets do have enough of a social following to make their owners money, in which case… is the dog a professional? 🤔).”

BNN Bloomberg: Google Shelves Plans for Bank Accounts in Revamped Pay App. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google is shelving plans to add bank accounts to its payment app, becoming the latest tech giant to dial back its ambitions for financial services. For years, Google has said it’s working on adding bank accounts from partners such as Citigroup Inc. and Bank of Montreal to its revamped app. The idea was that Google Pay users would be able to use the app to apply for so-called Plex checking and savings accounts from 11 banks.”


CBS: Sunday on 60 Minutes: The Facebook Whistleblower. “A former Facebook employee says tens of thousands of pages of internal company research she has provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission prove Facebook is lying to the public and investors about the effectiveness of its campaigns to eradicate hate, violence and misinformation from its platforms. That former employee, who anonymously filed the complaints with federal authorities against Facebook last month, will reveal her identity and speak her mind in an interview airing Sunday night on 60 Minutes.”

The AFRO: Afro Charities receives $535K grant to fund archive digitization efforts. “The grant, which was issued in July, will support the digitization of the AFRO’s full photo archive, help build new tools to increase access to an exhaustive database of images and support the creation of an artificial intelligence informed online research interface…. The AFRO’s full photo collection, spanning more than a century of media coverage that told stories from a unique Black perspective, includes approximately 3 million photographs, [Savannah] Wood highlighted, also estimating that the Afro Charities’ digitization project will take somewhere from five to 10 years.”


The Verge: Nigeria says it will lift Twitter ban if the company meets certain conditions. “Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday that he would lift the country’s ban on Twitter if the company met certain conditions. Nigeria’s government suspended Twitter ‘indefinitely’ in June, accusing the social media platform of “activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.” The ban followed a few days after Twitter removed a threatening tweet by Buhari that it said violated its policy against abusive behavior.”

Talos: A wolf in sheep’s clothing: Actors spread malware by leveraging trust in Amnesty International and fear of Pegasus . “Amnesty International recently made international headlines when it released a groundbreaking report on the widespread use of Pegasus to target international journalists and activists. Adversaries have set up a phony website that looks like Amnesty International’s — a human rights-focused non-governmental organization — and points to a promised anti-virus tool to protect against the NSO Group’s Pegasus tool. However, the download actually installs the little-known Sarwent malware.”


WBUR: Search Engines Like Google Are Powered By Racist, Misogynist Algorithms, Says MacArthur Fellow. “Safiya Noble burst out in tears upon hearing the news of her MacArthur Fellowship — when she finally answered the phone after a week of believing the Chicago number was robocalling her. Noble studies internet bias, and how search engines like Google or Yahoo exacerbate racism and bias against women. She’s founder and co-director of the University of California Los Angeles’ new Center for Critical Internet Inquiry.”


University of Virginia: The Big Reveal In Fossil Research. “While an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, Caitlin Wylie worked in the lab of well-known paleontologist Paul Sereno – a prolific discoverer of dinosaur skeletons – preparing fossils for research by carefully scraping rock off bones and gluing broken bones together…. Although Wylie loved the job, it wasn’t the dinosaurs, but the preparators who captured her imagination. Years later, she recently published a book, ‘Preparing Dinosaurs: The Work Behind the Scenes,’ which, among other things, explains how those magnificent museum displays of dinosaur skeletons are assembled.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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