Banned Books, Penn State Black History, Google Authenticator, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, April 28, 2023


KUOW: Seattle joins effort to give young readers access to banned books. “The initiative, called Books Unbanned, was started by the Brooklyn Public Library last year in response to an increase in books being removed from schools and libraries around the U.S. A majority of those books are written by, or about LGBTQIA+ and communities of color. The Seattle Public Library will provide free access to its entire collection of e-books and audio-books, to youths ages 13-26 regardless of where they are in the U.S.”

Penn State University News: Libraries amplifies ‘Black History and Visual Culture’ with digital collection. “Penn State University Libraries’ Eberly Family Special Collections Library has launched the Black History and Visual Culture digital collection, a celebration and remembrance of Black life at Penn State campuses, broadly across the United States, and around the world.”


Bleeping Computer: Google will add End-to-End encryption to Google Authenticator. “Google has heard users’ concerns about the lack of end-to-end encryption and said they would add it to a future version of Google Authenticator. Google Group Product Manager Christiaan Brand told BleepingComputer that due to the possibility of end-to-end encryption causing users to get locked out of their own data, they are rolling out this feature carefully in their products.”

Associated Press: NYC transit agency ends Twitter alerts, says it’s unreliable. “New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Agency, which for 14 years has provided real-time information on service outages, delays and other important transit updates for its 1.3 million Twitter followers, will no longer do so.”


Whitman Wire: Whitman student creates new social media platform for college students. “Recently, sophomore Sadaat Momin Zada launched a brand-new social media platform, Coho. On the app, users sign up with their college email to join an exclusive space for students from their college email domain. In this space, they can post pictures, text or chat directly with each other.”

Associated Press: Social media posts falsely claim space station footage is faked. “Some social media users are reviving a long-running conspiracy theory that no one is actually manning the wheel in the International Space Station that’s been orbiting Earth for more than two decades now.”

Reuters: Chinese migrants find tips on social media for long trek to U.S.-Mexico border. “By the time [Lihua Wu] and her five-year-old daughter were apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol on a dirt road near the U.S.-Mexico border just before midnight on April 2, Wu said she had relied on social media for detailed instructions for her trip, including footwear (Crocs as well as hiking boots) and how to find and pay for a reliable local guide.”


TechCrunch: EU warns Twitter over disinformation after Musk policy shifts found to boost Kremlin propaganda. “In a pair of tweets sent out today, Vera Jourova, the EU’s values and transparency VP, warned of ‘yet another negative sign’ by Twitter — accusing the platform under Musk of ‘not making digital information space any safer and free from the Kremlin #disinformation & malicious influence’.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Strikes Back: A Legal Victory Against CryptBot Malware Distributors . “Google triumphs in legal action against CryptBot malware distributors, protecting Chrome users and disrupting cybercriminal ecosystems.”

CNN: DeSantis and Florida GOP look to upend public record laws as they attempt to shield his travel and other records ahead of likely White House bid. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his GOP allies have moved to shield the Republican leader from the state’s notoriously robust public records laws as he prepares to launch a campaign for the White House.”


The Citizen Lab: Missing Links: A comparison of search censorship in China. “Across eight China-accessible search platforms analyzed — Baidu, Baidu Zhidao, Bilibili, Microsoft Bing, Douyin, Jingdong, Sogou, and Weibo — we discovered over 60,000 unique censorship rules used to partially or totally censor search results returned on these platforms.”

dotLA: Social Media Platforms Increasingly Dictate what We See. Here’s Why We Can’t Say ‘No’. “For years we’ve been promised a new internet with a greater focus on community. But instead what we’ve been left with is a binary choice between sticking around and putting up with the whims of a tech CEO. Or, going outside and touching grass, permantly.” Good morning, Internet…

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