OpenET, Library of Congress Manuscripts, Frances Haugen, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 25, 2021


NASA: OpenET: A Satellite-Based Water Data Resource. “OpenET uses open-source models and Google Earth Engine to provide satellite-based information on water consumption in areas as small as a quarter of an acre at daily, monthly and yearly intervals. Until OpenET, there was no single, low-cost operational system for measuring and distributing evapotranspiration data at the scale of individual fields across the western United States.”

Library of Congress: Introducing Unfolding History: Manuscripts at the Library of Congress. “They are found in collections that document our political, social, cultural, military, and scientific pasts. And there are a lot of collections: more than 12,000 of them, which together encompass more than 70 million items. Among them are the personal papers of presidents and artists, judges and activists, generals and poets, scientists and nurses, and transformative organizations like the NAACP and the Works Progress Administration. More are added every year. Unfolding History: Manuscripts at the Library of Congress is a new blog that aims to offer a wider window into those collections.


BBC: Frances Haugen says Facebook is ‘making hate worse’. “Whistleblower Frances Haugen has told MPs Facebook is ‘unquestionably making hate worse’, as they consider what new rules to impose on big social networks. Ms Haugen was talking to the Online Safety Bill committee in London. She said Facebook safety teams were under-resourced, and ‘Facebook has been unwilling to accept even little slivers of profit being sacrificed for safety’.”

Creative Commons: You can now rewatch the 2021 CC Global Summit Panel Presentations!. “Last week, we released the five keynotes from CC Summit 2021. This week, we’re back with seven panel presentations from the event. Our Summit panels this year featured thought leaders, pioneers and community members who shared their insights on emerging trends and innovations in Open. Whether you missed them live or want to replay them to soak up all the knowledge shared — there is something for everyone!”


MakeUseOf: 5 Useful Web Tools Every Student Should Use. “If you’re a student, there’s no way you can get by on books alone. In-person or online, students always end up with lots of bookmarked websites. Browser apps are great because you can use them anywhere, anytime. After all, why stop at cloud storage for files when you can keep your tools online, too? Here are the five browser-based resources that every student should bookmark.”


Washington Post: Inside Facebook, Jan. 6 violence fueled anger, regret over missed warning signs. “Facebook has never publicly disclosed what it knows about how its platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, helped fuel that day’s mayhem. The company rejected its own Oversight Board’s recommendation that it study how its policies contributed to the violence and has yet to fully comply with requests for data from the congressional commission investigating the events. But thousands of pages of internal company documents disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission by the whistleblower Frances Haugen offer important new evidence of Facebook’s role in the events.”

NBC News: ‘Carol’s Journey’: What Facebook knew about how it radicalized users. “In summer 2019, a new Facebook user named Carol Smith signed up for the platform, describing herself as a politically conservative mother from Wilmington, North Carolina. Smith’s account indicated an interest in politics, parenting and Christianity and followed a few of her favorite brands, including Fox News and then-President Donald Trump. Though Smith had never expressed interest in conspiracy theories, in just two days Facebook was recommending she join groups dedicated to QAnon, a sprawling and baseless conspiracy theory and movement that claimed Trump was secretly saving the world from a cabal of pedophiles and Satanists.”


CNN: Blumenthal says Facebook’s calls for regulation are the ‘height of disingenuousness’. “Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Sunday balked at claims made by Facebook that it would support government regulation of social media platforms, calling it the ‘height of disingenuousness.'”

The Verge: Trump’s social network has 30 days to stop breaking the rules of its software license. “The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) says former President Donald Trump’s new social network violated a free and open-source software licensing agreement by ripping off decentralized social network Mastodon. The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) has 30 days to comply with the terms of the license before its access is terminated — forcing it to rebuild the platform or face legal action.”


Mother Jones: Nearly 100 Confederate Monuments Were Toppled Last Year. What Happened to Them?. “Earlier this year, in April, I started a five-week, 7,300-mile road trip through the South to document Confederate monuments that had been taken down since George Floyd’s death the previous spring. My goal was to create a record of an unraveling—this moment in time when long-held narratives about Southern pride and the memorialization of Civil War ‘heroes’ are literally being knocked off their pedestals. I’m photographing the spaces where the monuments once stood, as well as where they’ve ended up. I’m also pairing these photos with archival images of the monuments, sometimes commemorated on postcards, other times in state and university archives, or in the Library of Congress.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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