15th Century Italian Banking, Megan Thee Stallion, Texas State Symbols, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, September 29, 2023


Queen Mary University of London: Historical Treasures from the 15th Century: new website offers a treasure trove of data and research tools. “Queen Mary University of London academics launch new web resource, revealing historical records of two fifteenth-century ledgers of the Bruges and London branches of the Milanese bank Filippo Borromei and partners.”

NME: Megan Thee Stallion launches mental health resources site, Seize The Awkward. “Megan Thee Stallion has launched a new mental health resources website called Seize The Awkward…. Seize The Awkward features a series of videos in which Megan Thee Stallion opens up about various topics like checking in on friends and being vulnerable. There’s also videos from other stars like Noah Cyrus, Ava Max, Tyler Posey and athletes like American football player Caleb Williams and wrestler Big E.” This is the second mental health resources site launched by Ms. Thee Stallion.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Texas State Library and Archives Commission Launches New State Symbols Website. “The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has announced a new web page featuring the official legislatively-designed State Symbols of Texas. The new site, accessible at, features each official state symbol with a photograph and citation of the relevant resolution from the Texas Legislature. State symbols have been designated since 1901, when the bluebonnet was chosen as the official flower of Texas by the 27th Legislature.”


Rolling Stone: Twitter Fires Election Integrity Team Ahead of 2024 Elections. “Several European staffers working on a threat disruption team for the social platform, including senior manager Aaron Rodericks, have been fired this week, according to a report in the tech publication The Information that cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Site owner Elon Musk confirmed the termination of the team members on Wednesday.”


USC Annenberg Media: Turning the page on banned books: LA libraries widen access to restricted titles. “In response to increasing book challenges in California schools, a new motion from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors aims to widen access to restricted titles by giving every California resident access to LA County libraries’ e-book database.”

Irish Times: TikTok discovers ‘covert influence operation’ targeting Ireland. “Video-sharing service TikTok dismantled a ‘covert influence operation’ network dedicated to targeting users in Ireland with ‘divisive’ content to “intensify social conflict”, the company has disclosed. The influence network was made up of 72 accounts that together had a following of some 94,743 users, and was shut down earlier this year.”

CPA Practice Advisor: IRS Rolls Out New Chatbot Feature for Certain CP Notices. “Chatbots will be used to provide information to taxpayers on the following tax notices: CP2000, CP2501, and CP3219A. These notices inform taxpayers if the tax information the IRS received from third parties, such as employers or financial institutions, does not match the information they provided to the IRS themselves. This discrepancy could cause an increase or a decrease in the amount of taxes a person owes.”


Talking Points Memo: EXCLUSIVE: 5th Circuit’s Craven Ruling In Biden Social Media Case Was A ‘Clerical Error’. “The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this morning abruptly withdrew Monday’s order giving red states a chance for an even bigger win in a case that has blocked much of the Biden administration from flagging misinformation on social media sites. The 5th Circuit’s Clerk of Court told TPM that the original order was a ‘clerical error.'”

Ars Technica: FCC details plan to restore the net neutrality rules repealed by Ajit Pai. “Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today announced plans to restore net neutrality rules similar to those that were adopted during the Obama era and then repealed by the FCC when Donald Trump was president.”

Washington Post: He live-streamed his attacks on Indian Muslims. YouTube gave him an award.. “He chased cow transporters on foot and beat them on camera. In return, his fans on YouTube and Facebook left comments full of heart emojis, praising him for doing the work of God. For a century, vigilantes in north India have worked discreetly in a legal gray zone to protect cows, an animal worshiped by Hindus. But these enforcers have become more extreme and flamboyant in the past decade, thanks to American social media companies that reward them with online followings, and officials from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who offer them political protection and champion their militant brand of Hindu nationalism.”


North Carolina State University: State COVID-19 Websites Fail to Meet Accessibility Standards. “Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. states and territories all created websites designed to share information with the public about the disease, vaccinations and related public health recommendations. However, a new study finds these sites do not meet accessibility standards – meaning that some members of the public, such as individuals who are blind or visually impaired, are not able to access all of the relevant information on the sites.”

University of Queensland: Problem drinking linked to alcohol on social media. “A University of Queensland study highlights a direct link between young people’s exposure to alcohol-related social media content and problem drinking. The study led by PhD candidate Brandon (Hsu-Chen) Cheng from UQ’s Australian National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research examined results from 30 international studies of more than 19,000 people aged 24 and younger.” Good morning, Internet…

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