Emerging Research in Online Governance, WordPress, Dark Patterns, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 13, 2023


Yale Law School: To Build a Better Online Community, Initiative Looks Beyond Moderation. “…ways to create a healthier online community are detailed in ‘Beyond Moderation: Emerging Research in Online Governance,’ a new collection of essays from Justice Collaboratory’s Social Media Governance Initiative (SMGI).” The essays are freely-available.


WordPress: New to Earn More By Adding a Paywall . “While there are many ways to monetize your website, there’s one strategy that stands out for its potential and simplicity: the paywall. We’re excited to tell you that this feature is now available on all sites.”


The Conversation: Dark patterns: how online companies strive to keep your money and data when you try to leave. “Have you signed up to an online service for a free trial, decided it isn’t for you, but still ended up paying for it months – or even years – later? Or tried cancelling a subscription, and found yourself giving up during the painstaking process? If so, there’s a good chance you have encountered a ‘dark pattern’.”


Baptist News: Black Gospel Music Preservation Program: Securing the legacy of Black Gospel music. “Already the largest resource of its type in the world, the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University will continue to build its collection of rare recordings while seeking new ways to share the archive with the public, said Stephen Newby, the program’s new leader.”

Robb Report: Fine Dining Has Officially Entered Its TikTok Era. “Over the summer, a new restaurant opened in Los Angeles. On its own, that isn’t newsworthy—L.A. has one of the biggest dining scenes in the country, and restaurant openings there are a dime a dozen. But this particular restaurant, an upscale Vietnamese spot in West Hollywood, had a rather interesting pedigree: Its head chef and co-owner, Tue Nguyen, had gotten the opportunity to open her own space in part because she was big on TikTok.”


ABC News: ‘Addictive’ social media feeds that keep children online targeted by New York lawmakers. “New York would restrict the way online platforms like Instagram and YouTube can collect and share children’s personal information and let parents keep their kids from being bombarded by ‘addictive’ feeds from accounts they don’t follow, under legislation proposed Wednesday.”

Amnesty International: Global: ‘Predator Files’ spyware scandal reveals brazen targeting of civil society, politicians and officials  . “Shocking spyware attacks have been attempted against civil society, journalists, politicians and academics in the European Union (EU), USA and Asia, according to a major new investigation by Amnesty International. Among the targets of Predator spyware are United Nations (UN) officials, a Senator and Congressman in the USA and even the Presidents of the European Parliament and Taiwan.”


Harvard Medical School: An AI Tool That Can Help Forecast Viral Outbreaks. “The COVID-19 pandemic seemed like a never-ending parade of SARS-CoV-2 variants, each equipped with new ways to evade the immune system, leaving the world bracing for what would come next. But what if there were a way to make predictions about new viral variants before they actually emerge? A new artificial intelligence tool named EVEscape, developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford, can do just that.”

Slate: X Is a Fog-of-War Machine. “As Musk and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino have rolled back the platform’s rules of engagement and rid their ranks of the content-moderation teams and tools that actually keep X trustworthy, they’ve also put in place a system that fundamentally incentivizes the spread of misinformation during times of mass panic and confusion, in part because X is now a platform that pays for viral content. The end result is that Twitter, more so than any other platform right now, is fertile ground for a new kind of war profiteering.”

NBC News: A group of 67 X accounts spread coordinated disinformation about Israel-Hamas war, says research group. “Researchers have uncovered a propaganda network of 67 accounts on the X social platform that are coordinating a campaign of posting false, inflammatory content related to the Israel-Hamas war.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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