Intuit, Reddit, Google Slides, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 27, 2023


ProPublica: TurboTax Parent Company’s Latest Argument Against Free Tax Filing: It Will Harm Black Taxpayers. “Articles published around the country repeat Intuit’s assertion — sometimes almost word for word — that the upcoming IRS pilot program would hurt Black Americans. A researcher whose work is cited by Intuit says the company is misstating her findings.”

Engadget: Reddit turns top contributors’ Reddit Gold into real-world money. “Reddit announced today that it will begin paying top contributors for gold. The platform’s new Contributor Program allows redditors who meet certain requirements to receive real-world money (distributed monthly) for their awarded content. The company is also revamping how post / comment rewards work by eliminating Reddit Coins (and all associated awards) in favor of all gold all the time.”


Make Tech Easier: 13 Free Google Slides Templates for Teachers . “As an educator, you may want to use a visual tool but don’t have much time beyond lesson plans, grading, and lectures. If you’d like to create a presentation for your students or fellow staff members, this list includes several free Google Slides templates for teachers to get you started.”

MakeUseOf: The 7 Best Apps to Track Your Daily Activities. “Finding ways to enhance productivity and make the most of every moment is paramount in today’s world. One of the best strategies you can apply to optimize your daily routine is activity tracking. Analyzing your time welcomes many benefits for your personal growth and time management goals. You can identify and replace unhelpful habits with more productive ones by tracking your daily activities. Make better use of your time using these everyday activity-tracking apps.”


Search Engine Land: Google accused of downplaying ad price manipulation. “Advertisers are becoming increasingly frustrated with Google due to long-held suspicions around ad price manipulation and a lack of transparency. … Christine Yang, vp of media at Iris, told Ad Week that she believes the real range of fluctuation can sometimes be as much as 100%.”

Rolling Stone: How Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Distort Reality to Sell Fantasy. “In an exclusive excerpt from Jonathan Taplin’s new book ‘End of Reality’, the author rejects the promises of our new class of oligarchs and their online libertarian fantasias meant to keep us complacent and calls for artists to to make some good trouble.”


New York Times: The Man Who Trapped Us in Databases. “Hank Asher was a drug smuggler with a head for numbers — until he figured out how to turn Americans’ private information into a big business.”

Ars Technica: SEC obtains Wall Street firms’ private chats in probe of WhatsApp, Signal use . “The US Securities and Exchange Commission has ‘collected thousands of staff messages from more than a dozen major investment companies’ as it expands a probe into how employees and executives at Wall Street firms use private messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Signal, Reuters reported today, citing ‘four people with direct knowledge of the matter.'”


The Conversation: Social media is a double-edged sword for the public image of Canadian labour unions . “Our recent research reveals that rather than revitalize the public image of unions, social media can sometimes have the opposite effect, underscoring a serious concern: the potential for unions to become invisible online.”

PsyPost: New study uncovers a “vicious cycle” between feeling less socially connected and increased smartphone use. “Using smartphones for extended periods could negatively impact mental well-being and social connectedness, according to a recent study from researchers at the University of British Columbia and a media lab in Germany. Unlike earlier research that relied on self-reported data, this study from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships employed direct tracking of screen time, revealing a ‘vicious cycle’ in which feeling less socially connected leads to increased smartphone use.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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