OED Correspondence, Twitter, Iran Social Media, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, August 25, 2022


Thanks to Tish W for always keeping an eye out and sending me cool stuff. From Fine Books & Collections: Oxford English Dictionary Correspondence Heads Online. “The Murray Scriptorium has been established by Professor of English at the University of Oxford Charlotte Brewer and research fellow Dr. Stephen Turton from the University of Cambridge, both specialists in the history of dictionaries. It aims to document the letters and papers of Sir James Augustus Henry Murray (1837–1915) who was the chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and sent and received so many letters compiling it that a pillar box was set up outside his house in Oxford.”


Engadget: Twitter merges misinformation and spam teams following whistleblower claims. “According to Reuters, Twitter is merging its health experience team, which is in charge of clamping down on misinformation and harmful content on the website, with its service team. The latter reviews profiles when they’re reported and takes down spam accounts. Together, the combined group will be called Health Products and Services (HPS).”


Iran International: Iran Further Limiting Access To Western Social Media. “Internet and digital security experts say the Iran’s government is quietly implementing ‘intelligent’ filtering of social networks, particularly Instagram. In the past ten days, subscribers to Instagram and WhatsApp who use two-step authentication for signing into their accounts have reported that they are not receiving the required authentication codes via text message. Text message codes are also required for creating new accounts.”

South China Morning Post: TikTok owner ByteDance quietly launches search app Wukong in China, where Google is banned. “ByteDance, owner of the hit short video app TikTok, has quietly launched a new search engine that promises no advertisements in a cyberspace where Google has not been available for more than a decade.”

Chicago Reader: Mapping sex work in Chicago. “Rebelle C[], a writer, activist, and self-proclaimed Chicago ‘heaux-storian,’ is the founder and director of Heaux History, a multimedia archive that explores the history of Black, Brown, and Indigenous sex workers and erotic labor.” I have censored the last name as it is also a popular vulgarity for a woman’s intimate parts. I’m worried this newsletter will get filtered with extreme prejudice if I don’t.


CNN: A monumental case looks to crack open the world of auto-warranty robocalls. “…according to state and federal officials, just two men may be responsible for an overwhelming share of the billions of auto-warranty spam calls that have hit US phones. Now, a new lawsuit in Ohio is trying to cut them off at their source, following a years-long effort across the public and private sectors to turn the tide on the scourge of robocalls once and for all.”

Bleeping Computer: WordPress sites hacked with fake Cloudflare DDoS alerts pushing malware. “WordPress sites are being hacked to display fake Cloudflare DDoS protection pages to distribute malware that installs the NetSupport RAT and the RaccoonStealer password-stealing Trojan.”


New York Times: A Teen’s Journey Into the Internet’s Darkness and Back Again. “What science increasingly shows is that virtual interactions can have a powerful impact, positive or negative, depending on a person’s underlying emotional state.”

Vox: Why you (probably) won’t finish reading this story. “A new book by the British journalist Johann Hari, called Stolen Focus, takes a close look at what’s happening — and what’s happened — to our collective attention. Hari argues that we’re all becoming lost in our own lives, which feel more and more like a parade of diversions. And it seems to be getting worse and worse every year.”

The Collegian: Social media’s mental health advice is failing us, destroying community . “Social media is designed to make us feel good. It’s been compared to a drug, because in a way, it is. It’s meant to be addictive — these platforms feed us more and more of what we want to keep us coming back. Nuance and complexity get weeded out by algorithms, while simple and declarative statements are pushed to the top. It’s led to quick-hitting self-help accounts becoming the staples of social media, but the more I see this stuff, I begin to wonder what the real value of it is.”


Utah State University: USU Anthropology Student, Vet Med Faculty Identify Object in Centuries-Old Indigenous Pouch. “Anthropologists sometimes work with animal remains in the course of understanding how human societies lived, but they rarely cross paths with veterinarians, who focus on treating living animals. However, when anthropology graduate student Alexandra Wolberg needed to analyze an unusual Indigenous pouch without damaging it, the College of Veterinary Medicine had a unique opportunity to support one of Utah State University’s anthropologists.” Good morning, Internet…

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