Low-Head Dams, FBArchive, OpenAI, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, October 23, 2023


Brigham Young University: Deceivingly dangerous: BYU team creates first nationwide database tracking low-head dams across U.S.. “Low-head dams — man-made barriers just a few feet tall that change the level of a river — are commonly referred to as ‘drowning machines.’… BYU research finds that more than 1,000 people have drowned because of low-head dams. In a massive effort to prevent future tragedies, BYU professor Rollin Hotchkiss created a national task force, and with the help of BYU students, built the first nationwide database cataloging the location of more than 13,000 low-head dams.”

The Journalist’s Resource: FBarchive: A searchable repository of Facebook whistleblower documents . “In November 2021, Harvard Kennedy School’s Public Interest Tech Lab received an anonymous drop of information from the Haugen leak, comprising roughly 20,000 images and more than 800 internal Facebook documents, such as chat threads and research, starting from 2016. As of October 18, 2023, that information is available to the public, in a searchable format, via a virtual tool called FBarchive. Users need to register for a free account to access the archive.”


Bloomberg: OpenAI Says New Tool Will Detect Images Made by Dall-E. “Mira Murati, chief technology officer of the maker of popular chatbot ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, said on Tuesday that OpenAI’s tool is ‘99% reliable.’ It’s being tested internally ahead of a planned public release, she said, without specifying a timeline.”

Google Blog: A new collaboration to improve nutrition information. “The Food is Medicine Institute at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is working to bring reliable access to high-quality nutrition information and affordable, nutritious food to more people. We’re collaborating with them to explore how our technology can help provide people around the world with accessible, evidence-based nutrition information. This includes examining the use of artificial intelligence, which has already shown potential for addressing global health problems.”

Search Engine Journal: WordPress 6.4 Release Contains +100 Performance Wins. “WordPress 6.4, releasing on November 7th, is packed with over 100 improvements to site performance which promises to make this release one of the most important ones to get right away.”


Bellingcat: X’s Community Notes is Spreading False Information About Taylor Swift’s Bodyguard. “Social media platform X’s Community Notes is spreading false information about Taylor Swift’s Bodyguard. On Tuesday October 17, Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom reported that an Israeli bodyguard who worked for Swift returned to his home country to volunteer as a reservist in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as it prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.”

The Messenger: Weibo, a Chinese Social Media Giant, Will Force Its Most Popular Accounts to Reveal Their Identities. “Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media platforms, will make its most popular accounts display their real names, breaking with long-held tradition on the internet for users to be able to hide their identities. Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei said the policy will apply to users with over one million followers and comment on topics including politics, finance and entertainment, Reuters reports.”


New York Times: Supreme Court Lifts Limits for Now on Biden Officials’ Contacts With Tech Platforms. “The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Biden administration officials to continue to contact social media platforms to combat what the officials say is misinformation, pausing a sweeping ruling from a federal appeals court that had severely limited such interactions.”

Global Legal Post: UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal approves consolidation of Google claims in ad tech litigation. “The Competition Appeal Tribunal has approved the consolidation of two multi-billion-pound claims against Google on advertising technology. Consolidation of the claims, brought by Charles Arthur and Claudio Pollack, will now proceed to a certification hearing in January 2024. Both parties sought to bring an opt-out collective claim on behalf of website publishers and app developers, who they say had suffered loss due to Google’s abuse of its dominant position.”

Baker Hostetler: New York State Is on the Brink of Creating the Nation’s First Public Database of LLC Owners, Aimed at Curbing Crime by Lifting the Veil of LLC Anonymity. “Under the NYTA, limited liability companies (LLCs) formed or registered to do business in New York are required to disclose in their formation or registration documents, as applicable, the same beneficial ownership information required to be disclosed under the federal Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Unlike the CTA, the NYTA will make the names and addresses of the beneficial owners of such LLCs publicly available in a searchable database.”


NBC News: 7 influential accounts are warping Israel-Hamas news on X, researchers find. “A handful of influential but unreliable accounts, some of which have been promoted by Elon Musk, are dominating the flow of news on X around the Israel-Hamas war and easily outpacing established mainstream news outlets, according to research published Friday by the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public.”

Semafor: Welcome To The Post-Social Media Era In News. “With two wars raging and consequential elections approaching, those of us who love and rely on journalism find ourselves stuck between the chaos of declining social media and the walled gardens of legacy publications. We believe there’s a third way: synthesizing the authority of legacy media with the openness and diversity of sources that has always been the best of the internet.” I’ve been doing that a long time. IT’S CALLED AN RSS FEED READER. Good morning, Internet…

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