Dementia Caregiver Support, ConvoWizard, Minecraft, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 15, 2023


University of Waterloo: DREAM resources support the health and wellness of persons living with dementia. “The [Dementia Resources for Eating, Activity, and Meaningful inclusion] project has developed a new series of learning modules and resources with an aim to improve how community service providers support and include persons living with dementia in their wellness programs and services, especially those related to physical activity and healthy eating.”

Cornell Chronicle: Regret being hostile online? AI tool guides users away from vitriol. “The tool, named ConvoWizard, is a browser extension powered by a deep neural network…. the tool can inform [users] when their conversation is starting to get tense. It can also inform users, in real-time as they are writing their replies, whether their comment is likely to escalate tension.” If you do a Web search for ConvoWizard you’ll find a FAQ for installing it.


How-To Geek: Archeology Is Coming to Minecraft. “Mojang, one of the many game studios under the Microsoft umbrella, confirmed in a blog post that a new feature in Minecraft 1.20 will be archeology. Areas with sand, like beaches and deserts, will have a new block called ‘suspicious sand.’ Brushing the block with a new item, the brush, will extract items hidden within.”

New York Times: Combating Disinformation Wanes at Social Media Giants. “YouTube, like other social media platforms, spent years expanding its efforts to tackle misinformation after the 2016 election…. Last month, the company, owned by Google, quietly reduced its small team of policy experts in charge of handling misinformation, according to three people with knowledge of the decision. The cuts… left only one person in charge of misinformation policy worldwide, one of the people said.” This sounds like the problem is solved so fewer resources are necessary. From everything I can see that is not the case.

MJ Biz Daily: Twitter to allow ads for cannabis, THC products in United States. “In a major policy shift, Twitter Inc. is allowing ‘approved’ and state-legal cannabis companies and other advertisers to post ads in the United States for regulated THC and CBD products, accessories and services, the social media platform has disclosed.”


Emory University: Mellon Foundation awards Emory $2.4 million to advance Indigenous studies and knowledge with the Muscogee Nation. “The Mellon Foundation has awarded Emory University and the College of the Muscogee Nation (CMN) in Oklahoma a $2.4 million grant that will help develop collaborative and independent programs advancing Native and Indigenous Studies and the preservation of the Mvskoke language in a unique partnership between the two schools.”

Platformer: Yes, Elon Musk created a special system for showing you all his tweets first. “Platformer can confirm: after Musk threatened to fire his remaining engineers, they built a system designed to ensure that Musk — and Musk alone — benefits from previously unheard-of promotion of his tweets to the entire user base.”


The Guardian: Revealed: the hacking and disinformation team meddling in elections. “A team of Israeli contractors who claim to have manipulated more than 30 elections around the world using hacking, sabotage and automated disinformation on social media has been exposed in a new investigation.”


Foreign Policy: Turkey Tests Elon Musk’s Grasp of Twitter. “Ankara has never shied away from muzzling critics and the media, and analysts are concerned that the recent blocking of Twitter is a sign of government steps to silence political discourse ahead of highly anticipated elections scheduled for May—and that Twitter may be holding the leash.”

Brookings Institution: Politics and school libraries: What shapes students’ access to controversial content. “My school library sample consists of 5,240 elementary/middle and 1,391 high schools in 48 states. This sample includes schools in rural and urban areas, schools in counties with conservative and liberal political leanings, and schools that serve students of very different backgrounds. I use these data to identify patterns in library resources and content, especially as they relate to political preferences, state laws, and book bans.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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