Elections Guide for Investigative Reporters, Library of Congress, Google, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 28, 2022


With a big thanks to Tish W., who is on it like doggone it. From Global Investigative Journalism Network: Elections Guide for Investigative Reporters: Introduction. “While election rules and conditions are unique in every country, this GIJN guide is designed to offer a broad array of tools, techniques, and resources – beyond the primary local sources you find – to help watchdog reporters dig into almost any election. For instance, there are surprisingly simple online techniques for identifying and connecting people behind fear-mongering campaign sites, and open-source tools now exist that can capture all social media posts from violent election events, search political ads on Facebook; track police audio chatter; dig into extremist and anti-democratic social media channels; track illicit campaign financing; and automatically filter mountains of data.”


Library of Congress: What’s new online at the Library of Congress – Spring 2022. “Interested in learning more about what’s new in the Library of Congress’ digital collections? The Signal will now be sharing out semi-regularly about new additions to publicly-available digital collections and we can’t wait to show off all the hard work from our colleagues from across the Library. Read on for a sample of what’s been added recently and some of our favorite highlights.”

Google Blog: How we’re supporting the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. “This work builds on our longstanding support of elections across the globe, including most recently in Japan, Germany, Canada, and South Korea. And we are continuing these efforts in Australia, Brazil, France, the Philippines, and elsewhere to help people navigate the democratic process. Today, we are providing an update on our work to support the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.” Though it’s worth noting that the work on the Australia elections hasn’t been perfect.


CNET: File Taxes for Free: Cash App Taxes, FreeTaxUSA and More. “Cash App Taxes — CNET’s pick for best free tax software in 2022 — doesn’t include any paid upgrades and is applicable for a large majority of US taxpayers, but it’s not the only option. Read on to learn about the best ways to file your taxes for free, including official services from the IRS and top-notch free software from commercial publishers.”


Associated Press: Monuments Men group bets on playing cards to find lost art. “Inspired by the U.S. military’s history of creating playing cards related to missions, the Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art on Wednesday announced the creation of the deck focusing on works — including paintings, sculptures and reliquaries — they believe still exist.”

Politico: How a Google billionaire helped pay for Biden’s science office. “A foundation controlled by Eric Schmidt, the multi-billionaire former CEO of Google, has played an extraordinary, albeit private, role in shaping the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy over the past year.”

Montana State University: MSU’s Woodcock-Medicine Horse receives grant to create contemporary Indigenous art website. “A Montana State University art history and Native American studies instructor and the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana have received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to create a multimedia website showcasing contemporary Native American art of the region.”


Search Engine Journal: Google Removed 7 Million Fake Business Profiles In 2021. “In a report from Google about how it keeps Maps information reliable, the search company reveals it removed seven million fake business profiles in 2021. Additionally, Google prevented tens of millions of fake business profiles from being created, and disabled over a million user accounts belonging to ‘bad actors.'”

The Verge: Seven teenagers arrested in connection with the Lapsus$ hacking group. “City of London Police have arrested seven teenagers due to their suspected connections with a hacking group that is believed to be the recently prolific Lapsus$ group, BBC News reports.”


MIT News: A tool for predicting the future . “Making predictions using time-series data typically requires several data-processing steps and the use of complex machine-learning algorithms, which have such a steep learning curve they aren’t readily accessible to nonexperts. To make these powerful tools more user-friendly, MIT researchers developed a system that directly integrates prediction functionality on top of an existing time-series database. Their simplified interface, which they call tspDB (time series predict database), does all the complex modeling behind the scenes so a nonexpert can easily generate a prediction in only a few seconds.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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