MyHeritage, Clubhouse, Twitter, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 16, 2021


BusinessWire: MyHeritage Publishes Huge Collection of 463 Million Historical Records from France (PRESS RELEASE). “MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the publication of 463 million historical records from France. The collections published by MyHeritage provide the most comprehensive coverage available for vital records from France in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Until now they have been available exclusively through Filae, a leading French genealogy company recently acquired by MyHeritage. By the end of the year, MyHeritage will publish hundreds of millions of additional records from Filae, further solidifying its position as the market leader for European genealogy.”


The Verge: Clubhouse has a new Music Mode that could make it the place to play. “If you’re a musician on Clubhouse, or you love listening to live music on the app, the new Music Mode ‘optimizes Clubhouse to broadcast your music with high quality and great stereo sound,’ according to the company’s blog post. Clubhouse doesn’t say what it means by high quality, but it does also mention that you can now hook up professional equipment, like a USB mic or mixing board, and use it during your broadcast.”

Mashable: Twitter pulls the plug on vibe checks . “The vibes, it turns out, didn’t need checking. Twitter quietly ended its brief foray into preemptively warning users that things might get ‘heated or intense’ in tweet replies. The feature, announced Oct. 6, was initially positioned as a test and appeared part of Twitter’s larger “conversational health” initiative.” If the examples I saw circulating on Twitter are any indication, it deserved both roasting and removal.


Digital Inspiration: How to Change the Date Format in Google Sheets. “You can customize the date format in a Google Sheet with the TEXT function and completely change the way the date and time values are displayed in the worksheet.”


New York Times: Instagram Struggles With Fears of Losing Its ‘Pipeline’: Young Users. “When Instagram reached one billion users in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, called it ‘an amazing success.’ The photo-sharing app, which Facebook owns, was widely hailed as a hit with young people and celebrated as a growth engine for the social network. But even as Mr. Zuckerberg praised Instagram, the app was privately lamenting the loss of teenage users to other social media platforms as an “existential threat,” according to a 2018 marketing presentation.”

WECT: Grave of 1898 victim discovered, funeral planned 123 years later. “It’s been 123 years since the infamous 1898 Wilmington Massacre and the first grave of one of the Black people killed during that tragic day has been discovered. Joshua Halsey is buried in an unmarked grave in Pine Forest Cemetery off Rankin Street. Members of a non-profit research group called Third Party Project were able to locate his grave after handwritten maps in the Pine Forest registry were digitized.”

Hollywood Reporter: Claire Foy to Play Sheryl Sandberg in TV Series About Facebook. “The Crown Emmy winner Claire Foy will take on another real-life character for her next TV project: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Foy is set to play Sandberg in a drama from Anonymous Content and Wiip titled Doomsday Machine. The project, which doesn’t have an outlet attached yet, is based on New York Times reporters Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang’s book An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination (published by Harper in July), as well as their reporting for the Times and that of The New Yorker‘s Andrew Marantz.”


Associated Press: Washington AG: Facebook gave false info in campaign suit. “Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says a Facebook representative provided false testimony in a lawsuit that accuses the company of violating state campaign finance laws. The Seattle Times reports that in court filings the Democratic attorney general says both the social media giant and its attorneys knew the testimony was false.”

Malwarebytes Labs: “Free Steam game” scams on TikTok are Among Us. “What we sometimes see on TikTok is gaming-themed accounts making many of the same promises you see on other platforms. Free games, free items, free stuff. Everything is definitely free with no strings attached. Would RandomAccountGuy3856 lie to you? The answer is, of course, ‘Yes, RandomAccountGuy3856 absolutely would lie to you’.”


Garbage Day: Automated Facebook Pages About Cats Are Outperforming Ben Shapiro. “I’m not going to go full tin foil hat and say that, in response to accusations that the website has politically radicalized the country, the company’s algorithm guy flipped a switch and suddenly a bunch of viral animal posts started doing well. I don’t think Facebook’s recommendations are that simple. But I do think it’s worth remembering that, over the last six months, there were basically four kinds of content doing well on the platform: Right-wing pundits, K-Pop blogs, the occasional NPR story, and years-old posts about animals from weird content farms.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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