Chrome, Snapchat, Internet Shutdowns, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 22, 2022


Chrome Unboxed: Google will bring Reader-esque feature to Chrome Browser. “The internet collectively mourned the death of Google Reader back in 2013, and ever since then, we have been trying to come up with ways to bring some form of it back into our lives via Twitter feeds, Reddit, or using other RSS readers. However, it’s looking like 9 years later Google is experimenting with a very similar feature right within Chrome.”

CNN: Snapchat launches a real-time location sharing feature. “Snapchat on Friday announced a buddy system-like feature that allows its users to share their real-time location with friends for a period of time.”


New York Times: Kazakhstan’s Internet Shutdown Offers Lessons for Russia-Ukraine Crisis. “Control of the internet is increasingly part of any modern conflict. Recognizing that the web is vital for communications, economics and propaganda, authorities have used shutdowns more and more to stifle dissent and maintain power, in what is akin to holding energy sources, water or supply lines hostage. In 2020, there were at least 155 internet shutdowns across 29 countries, according to the latest annual report from Access Now, an international nonprofit group that monitors these events. From January to May 2021, at least 50 shutdowns were documented in 21 countries.”

The Guardian: Mauritius asks Google to label Chagos Islands as part of its territory. “The UK maintains that it still holds sovereignty over what it terms British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) – one of the smallest of red dots on the traditional cartographic globe. But Mauritius, which has been recognised as legitimate owner of the archipelago in a series of international court judgments and United Nations votes since 2019, has formally asked Google to re-describe the islands as part of its territory.”


Techdirt: Nonprofit Forced To Delete Thousands Of Court Documents Obtained With A Fee Waiver Because PACER Is Greedy And Stupid. “In this case, a researcher obtained a waiver and accessed thousands of court records. Great news for the beneficiaries of the Free Law Project’s CourtListener site… or so you would think. But that’s not how this works, as the Free Law Project recently tweeted…. It had to delete thousands of court records this researcher legally obtained with a fee waiver because the federal court system says users with waivers can’t do what they want with the data and documents they’ve obtained.”

Ubergizmo: Dad Takes Down Entire Town’s Internet Trying To Stop His Kids From Going Online. “Back in the day, some forms of entertainment that parents could take away from their kids would be stopping them from going out with their friends or stopping them from watching TV. These days, it’s become a bit more complicated with smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and the thing that connects them all, the internet. However, over in France, a dad thought that he might have an ingenious idea on how to stop his kids from going online, and that is by using a signal jammer to try and knock the internet out in his home. Unfortunately, it turns out that the jammer might have been a bit too effective because it ended up knocking out an entire town’s internet.”


PsyPost: Deceptive self-presentation on social media differs between men and women – and is related to gender equality. “Deceptive self-presentation refers to impression-management behaviors that aim to enhance one’s image to others through intentional, incorrect disclosures that can occur through any form – such as, text, images, videos, or location tags. In this work, Dasha Kolesnyk and colleagues explore 1) the extent to which men and women differ in deceptive self-presentation on social media in the domains of physical attractiveness and personal achievement, and 2) how gender equality in a given society influences such practices, and whether gender differences in deceptive self-presentation depend on gender equality.”

The Conversation: Soda geyser trend becomes sinister as people target animals for YouTube content. “Geyser videos have always been very popular on YouTube. They involve documenting what happens when mint candy (often Mentos) is mixed with a carbonated beverage, resulting in a rapid eruption of the soda out of the bottle that can shoot up to several meters. In mid-2019, some creators took advantage of the trend and went one step further by involving animals.”

University at Buffalo: Innovative chatbot provides safe space for young people to learn about sexual and reproductive health. “An innovative chatbot designed for sharing critical information about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) with young people in India is demonstrating how artificial intelligence (AI) applications can engage vulnerable and hard-to-reach population segments.”


Another savage, enraging-but-funny video from Cracked: If Internet Service Providers Were Honest | Honest Ads (CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox Parody). “What if Internet Service Providers like Centurylink, Comcast, and Cox were actually honest about how horrifically terrible they are? Roger Horton investigates.” All sources cited in the video are included in the description. Good afternoon, Internet…

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