Digital Citizenship in Africa, Henry Moore Art Exhibit Posters, Spanish-Language Audio and Braille, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, July 31, 2023


Institute of Development Studies: A new era of digital citizenship in Africa. “With contributions from scholars across the continent, Digital Citizenship in Africa illustrates how citizens have been using social media to run hashtag campaigns and VPNs, encryption and privacy protecting browsers to resist limits on their rights to privacy and political speech. In each chapter authors show how positive examples of digital citizenship are limited and constrained by new forms of digital authoritarianism: internet shutdowns, repressive laws, and by state surveillance and disinformation.”

The Guardian: Poster boy: Henry Moore exhibition art through the ages – in pictures. “Sunday 30 July is the 125th anniversary of artist Henry Moore’s birth. To celebrate, the Henry Moore Archive is unveiling a digitised collection of more than 400 posters featuring Moore’s many shows through the years.”

New-to-me, from Library of Congress: NLS Debuts Site for Spanish-Language Audio and Braille. “At the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), we’ve been delighted by the enthusiastic reader response to the rollout of a Spanish site at the top of our home page. Since the site’s February debut, readers have jumped at the chance to find the newest reading materials in Spanish-language audio and Braille. The new site also features Spanish-language guides to our most popular resources, including frequently-asked questions about our BARD Mobile reading app, information about our accessible music scores and details on how to obtain a free currency reader for blind and visually impaired users.”


Bureau of Transportation Statistics: BTS Updates Datasets to National Transportation Atlas Database 07/28/2023. “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released its summer 2023 update to the National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), a set of nationwide geographic databases of transportation facilities, networks, and associated infrastructure.”

NBC News: Ye’s Twitter account is unsuspended months after it was banned over swastika post. “Ye’s account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, was unsuspended Saturday, more than six months after it was banned over a post showing an image of a swastika inside a Star of David.”

Ars Technica: Reddit calls for “a few new mods” after axing, polarizing some of its best. “Reddit is campaigning to replace numerous longstanding moderators who were removed from their positions after engaging in API protests. Over the past week, a Reddit employee has posted to subreddits with ousted mods, asking for new volunteers. But in its search, the company has failed to address the intricacies involved in moderating distinct and, in some cases, well-known subreddits. And it doesn’t look like the knowledge from the previous moderators is being passed down.”


Tom’s Guide: Don’t ‘Bard it’ — Google says you should still Google it to be safe. “Google Bard may be competing with ChatGPT, but it’s also competing with Google Search. Plenty of people are turning to AI chatbots over traditional search engines, which is why Bing Chat and Google Search Generative Experience both exist as AI tools that blend generative AI with traditional search. But unfortunately, generative AI gets things wrong — a lot. So Google is reminding people that when in doubt, you should still Google it rather than Bard it.” Use the whizbang technology, but do not TRUST the whizbang technology. Instead, keep using the old technology, so that it takes twice as long to do a task. But whizbang technology! This is so stupid.

Techdirt: Techdirt Has Been Deleted From Bing And DuckDuckGo. “A few months ago, Jack Yan pointed out to me that if they did a search for Techdirt on DuckDuckGo, it showed only one single link which was (bizarrely) to a random story from like eight years ago. There were literally no other results for Techdirt. I replicated it, but was travelling, and by the time I went back to write about it a few days later, everything seemed back to normal (in the interim there were a few days where it just found a couple hundred Techdirt posts). Jack wrote a short blog post on his own site about it. This morning, however, someone alerted me to the fact that DuckDuckGo currently shows zero results for Techdirt. Not even some random old article. Zero. None. Zilch.”

Huffpost: There’s A Deadly Drinking Problem On TikTok. “While the app has strict rules prohibiting branded content promoting alcohol, creators are still allegedly making money drinking to excess — and at least one has died.”


New York Times: Russia Takes Its Ukraine Information War Into Video Games. “These games and adjacent discussion sites like Discord and Steam are becoming online platforms for Russian agitprop, circulating to new, mostly younger audiences a torrent of propaganda that the Kremlin has used to try to justify the war in Ukraine. In this virtual world, players have adopted the letter Z, a symbol of the Russian troops who invaded last year; embraced legally specious Russian territorial claims in Crimea and other places; and echoed President Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to denigrate Ukrainians as Nazis and blame the West for the conflict.”

Euractiv/Reuters: Sweden says it’s target of Russia-backed disinformation over NATO, Koran burnings. “Sweden is the target of a disinformation campaign by ‘Russia-backed actors’ intended to hurt the image of the NATO-candidate country by implying it supported recent burnings of the Koran, its Minister for Civil Defence said on Wednesday (26 July).”


North Carolina State University: Citizen Science Inspires Kids to Take Local Action. “North Carolina State University researchers recently found that a program designed to get Girl Scouts involved in citizen science – programs where members of the public can participate in real scientific research – not only taught girls about the process of science, but also motivated them to tackle scientific or environmental problems in their communities.” Good morning, Internet…

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