Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: July 24, 2018

Forbes “deletes” opinion piece by economist advocating replacing public libraries with Amazon

Quartz: “On Saturday morning Forbes published an opinion piece by LIU Post economist Panos Mourdoukoutas with the headline “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money.” It quickly received enthusiastic backlash from actual American libraries and their communities. As of around 10am US eastern time this morning, the story had nearly 200,000 views, according to a counter on the page. As of 11am, though, the story’s URL has been down. “Forbes advocates spirited dialogue on a range of topics, including those that often take a contrarian view,” a Forbes spokesperson says in a statement. “Libraries play an important role in our society. This article was outside of this contributor’s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed.” In his article, Mourdoukoutas argued that local libraries are no longer useful. If libraries closed, he wrote, taxpayers would save money, and Amazon could open bookstores to provide those communities with physical books.“[Libraries] don’t have the same value they used to,” the article argued. The functions of the library, Mourdoukoutas said, have been replaced: community and wifi are now provided by Starbucks; video rentals by Netflix and Amazon Prime; and books by Amazon…”

Poynter guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world

Poynter has updated this very useful guide – Here’s where governments are taking action against online misinformation – subject matter includes hate speech law, misinformation. media literacy, fake news, election misinformation, political bots and advertising, foreign disinformation campaigns, media regulation, internet regulation. Continue Reading

Paper – Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning

Lazy, not biased: Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning. Gordon Pennycook and David G. Rand. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.06.011. Cognition. Available online 20 June 2018 [paywall – but Table of Contents, Abstract, Figures and Supplementary Data are available at no fee] Participants rated perceived accuracy of fake and… Continue Reading

YouTube, WhatsApp, Twitter, FB take new steps to combat fake news

Poynter: “YouTube will be surfacing authoritative sources in search results during breaking news in order to push out the regular dribble of conspiracy theories, but defining “authoritative” might be tricky. WhatsApp is now labeling forwarded messages and working with fact-checkers and researchers, but will it be enough to limit the spread of viral rumors? Facebook launched its data-sharing partnership with academics, but will… Continue Reading

Firefox browser adds feature to block autoplaying web audio

Engadget: “Firefox is finally joining the ranks of web browsers that block autoplaying web sounds. Mozilla’s latest Nightly builds for Firefox now include an option to mute autoplaying audio, hopefully saving you from jumping out of your seat when an obnoxious video ad makes its presence felt. It’s finer-grained than Chrome’s recently removed automatic muting,… Continue Reading

Chrome is flagging HTTP sites as “not secure”

In case you have not noticed, your workplace security team has no doubt started blocking your access to websites that are not using HTTPS encryption – via ZDNet: “Chrome will today start marking sites that don’t use HTTPS as “not secure. First announced two years ago, Google said it would flag any site that still… Continue Reading

DHS signals intent to reopen all immigration cases that were administratively closed

Via Sarah Pierce @SarahPierceEsq Policy Analyst/Immigration Attorney “In a memo to ICE attorneys, @DHSgov says it intends to reopen ALL immigration cases that were administratively closed. That is over 355,000 cases. This is a result of Sessions’ decision in Castro-Tum, that judges do not have the authority to admin close.” https://www.dropbox.com/s/9h1k4942zcomwku/Castro%20Tum%20OPLA%20guidance.pdf?dl=0 Continue Reading

Half Of U.S. Voters Say Russians Have Something On Trump, Quinnipiac University National Poll

Half Of U.S. Voters Say Russians Have Something On Trump, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; But Voters Say Both Sides At Fault For Bad Relations PDF format Trend Information Sample and Methodology detail “American voters believe 51 – 35 percent “that the Russian government has compromising information about President Trump,” according to a Quinnipiac University… Continue Reading

Another article identifies why public libraries are amazing

Current Affairs: “…It’s worth appreciating just how extraordinary libraries are, why they matter, and what they can tell us about the kinds of institutions we should build. They’re spaces of absolute equality, where anyone can come, regardless of financial resources, to study, learn, and hang out. You don’t have to purchase anything in order to… Continue Reading