Digital Transgender Archive, Essence Book Project, Agricultural Phosphorus, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, October 13, 2022


UC Irvine School of Humanities: Resources for Resilience: Introducing the Digital Transgender Archive and the Homosaurus. “The Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is an open-access, primary source digital archive that [Dr. K.J.] Rawson created to address the barriers that researchers face when conducting historical research on transgender topics. This presentation will discuss those barriers and the new possibilities for historical discovery that digital archives like DTA can open up for researchers.”

Spotted via a mention in Fine Books & Collections Magazine: the Essence Book Project. “The Essence Book Project is a computational database of Essence Magazine’s bestsellers’ list for fiction, which was published monthly from 1994-2010 and includes nearly 500 discreet works of fiction, most of which were written by and about Black people.”

ScienceDaily: Database tracks agricultural phosphorus use world-wide. “Researchers have released a study quantifying cropland phosphorus budgets around the world, which will help in identifying nutrient management gaps in different regions in food production and consumption systems. This new database will help countries and regions to evaluate their performances in addressing phosphorus pollution and scarcity challenges, and guide actions towards a more sustainable future.”

Pix 11: New NYC Parks tool helps you find fall foliage. “NYC Parks has created the #FallForNYC Fall Foliage Tracker, a website that tracks popular trees’ colors…. From Maple, to Sweetgum, to Ginkgo trees, the tracker is going to be able to tell you all about the different kinds of species of trees you’ll find in the city and when they’re expected to be at their peak.”


Reuters: Google approves Trump’s Truth Social for play store. “Alphabet Inc’s Google has approved former United States President Donald Trump’s social media app Truth Social for distribution in the Google Play Store, a company spokesperson has said. Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which operates Truth Social, is expected to make the app available in the Play Store shortly, Google said on Wednesday.”

Washington Post: Musk appeasement of Putin and China stokes fears of new Twitter policies. “The person most likely to own Twitter next month has proposed solving the war in Ukraine by letting Russia keep territory, won praise from a top Chinese diplomat for suggesting China take control of Taiwan, and welcomed a widely followed celebrity back to Twitter who had just had his Instagram account suspended for threatening Jews — all within the past week. Billionaire industrialist Elon Musk’s moves have heightened alarm about what he will do with Twitter, which he has faulted for being too restrictive about legal but false or hateful speech.”


CNBC: Facebook whistleblower, former defense and intel officials form group to fix social media. “A Facebook whistleblower, two former U.S. defense secretaries, several past lawmakers and intelligence chiefs are forming a new group to address the harmful impacts social media can have on kids, communities and national security. The Council for Responsible Social Media, publicly launched on Wednesday, is a project of the cross-partisan political reform nonprofit Issue One, which focuses on strengthening U.S. democracy and works with many former members of Congress on solutions.”

WIRED: As Stadia Shutters, Developers Are Left to Face the Fallout. “Game developers throughout the industry all tell the same story—that up until the shutdown announcement, working with Stadia was business as usual. One developer had been emailing with Google about Stadia’s SDK updates just days before the news. Another told WIRED that they were days away from launching their game when they saw [Phil] Harrison’s post.”

The Wrap: How BeReal Founders Built a Social Media App So Hot, Even TikTok Is Sweating. “BeReal has shot from 10,000 daily active users in March 2021 to more than 15 million today — helping to snag the company a $600 million valuation, according to the Financial Times.”


North Carolina State University: New Computational Tools to Help Target Sex, Labor Trafficking Operations. “Researchers from North Carolina State University collaborated with a counter-human trafficking organization, Global Emancipation Network, to develop computational models that can help fight human trafficking. The models draw on publicly available data to identify massage businesses that are most likely to be violating laws related to sex trafficking and labor trafficking.”

Brookings Institution: The Supreme Court and social media platform liability. “Over a quarter of a century after its 1996 enactment, the liability shield known as Section 230 is heading to the Supreme Court. Section 230(c)(1) provides, with some exceptions, that ‘No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.'”


Lancaster University: Research explores how WhatsApp and Zoom calls can help young children communicate . “Lancaster University researchers will look at how infants and toddlers learn to communicate using TV streaming, digital books and family Zoom calls in their everyday home lives. Toddlers, Tech and Talk, a ground-breaking project led by researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University, is the most in-depth study to date into how the daily exposure of babies and very young children to digital technologies influences how they speak and interact with others.” Good morning, Internet…

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