Drug Dependence Research, Ella Irwin, WhatsApp, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 2, 2023


WHO: WHO launches a single-source repository on drug dependence information. “A new repository of all drug dependence technical reports and resources was launched today allowing its audience to source information within a single webpage…. It represents the only online, freely accessible collection of information and reports on new psychoactive substances and medicines, for medical and scientific use, comprising over 450 substances.”


CNN: Twitter’s head of trust and safety says she has resigned. “Twitter’s head of trust and safety Ella Irwin told Reuters on Thursday that she has resigned from the social media company. In the role, Irwin oversaw content moderation, but the company has faced criticism for lax protections against harmful content since billionaire Elon Musk acquired it in October.”

Ubergizmo: WhatsApp Usernames Are Coming As A New Way To Protect Your Privacy. “WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world (with over 2 billion users), even so, one of the drawbacks of using the app is that you have to share your phone number with anyone you want to chat with — yup, even if you use the QR code option. This can definitely be a privacy concern for some users, especially if they want to communicate with strangers or businesses without having to reveal their personal info, and that’s why WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to create unique usernames for their accounts, according to WABetaInfo.”


Digital Inspiration: How to Sort Google Sheets Automatically with Apps Script. “If you are working with a Google Sheet that has a large number of tabs, it can be difficult to find the sheet you need if they are not organized properly. Use Google Apps Script to sort sheets automatically.”


Engadget: Reddit app developer says the site’s new API rules will cost him $20 million a year. “Reddit’s recently-announced plan to charge for API access could price out the developer of one of the most popular third-party Reddit apps. The developer of Reddit client Apollo is raising the alarm on the new API pricing, saying the changes would require him to spend millions of dollars to keep his app going in its current form.”

Irish Examiner: History and local traditions of Cork citizens to be preserved in online archive. “Photographs, documents, personal stories, and traditions are being stored on a database after four historical groups around Cork were the latest to join the national online digital hub.”

The Hustle: LL Bean gave social media the boot but its business still got the kick. “While we’re still not convinced this wasn’t some weary social media manager’s elaborate ploy, LL Bean signing off from socials for the entire month of May — its ‘off the grid’ initiative to encourage stepping outside for Mental Health Awareness Month — appears to have been a great move.”


NPR: One mom takes on YouTube over deadly social media blackout challenge. “Social media challenges involve people recording themselves doing something dramatic, funny or risky. The videos often go viral. Some of these dares, however, can be dangerous. Like the blackout challenge, which is when someone holds their breath until they pass out. That’s what happened to Griffin one night in February 2018. He did the blackout challenge from his room, while FaceTiming with friends. Only he never woke up.”

Wall Street Journal: Twitter to Face Stress Test This Month, Top EU Tech Regulator Says. “A team of roughly five to 10 digital specialists from the EU plan to put Twitter, and possibly other companies, through their content-policing paces during a visit to San Francisco in late June, Thierry Breton, the bloc’s commissioner for the internal market, said in an interview.”


USC Viterbi School of Engineering: The Internet Has a Dark Side – Can We Teach Machines How To Identify It?. “‘Bad’ information has serious implications. Misinformation, propaganda, and fake news are prevalent on the web and on social media platforms and can become weaponized, which leads to cyber abuse and, in severe cases, civil unrest. The University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), a unit of the Viterbi School of Engineering, is working on two projects aimed at solving this issue from the inside out–by developing technology that can exercise reasoning capabilities when encountering this ‘bad’ information.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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