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Daily Archives: September 26, 2019

At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds

The New York Times – “…Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs. The researchers compiled information from news organizations, civil society groups and governments to create one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation. In addition, Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries…”

The Google Feature Magnifying Disinformation

The Atlantic – “…Google calls a “knowledge panel,” a collection of definitive-seeming information (dates, names, biographical details, net worths) that appears when you Google someone or something famous. Seven years after their introduction, in 2012, knowledge panels are essential internet infrastructure: 62 percent of mobile searches in June 2019 were no-click, according to the research… Continue Reading

The US and Canadian Collective Print Book Collection: A 2019 Snapshot

OCLC – by Brian Lavoie – “In this position paper, Lavoie traces the contours of the US and Canadian collective print book collection—the collective print book holdings of all libraries in the US and Canada whose collections are registered in WorldCat, the world’s largest shared registry of library collections. Collective collections are growing in importance… Continue Reading

Who doesn’t read books in America?

“Roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7. Who are these non-book readers? Several demographic traits correlate with non-book reading, Pew… Continue Reading

Contributing Data to Deepfake Detection Research

Google Blog: “…So-called “deepfakes“—produced by deep generative models that can manipulate video and audio clips—are one of these. Since their first appearance in late 2017, many open-source deepfake generation methods have emerged, leading to a growing number of synthesized media clips. While many are likely intended to be humorous, others could be harmful to individuals… Continue Reading

This Website Will Turn Wikipedia Articles Into “Real” Academic Papers

BuzzFeedNews – “The digital product agency MSCHF released a site called M-Journal on Tuesday that will turn any Wikipedia article into a “real” academic article. You can screenshot it, you can cite it — and you can send a link to your teacher. What MSCHF did was republish the entirety of Wikipedia under its own… Continue Reading

BBC experiments with negative news filters on its homepage to help readers with anxieties – As one third of audience switches off from news, the public broadcaster is testing a tool that would allow readers to blur out stories that may impact their mental health – “Would you filter out bad news if you could? This is the question that Alicia Grandjean, software engineer at BBC and Tim Cowlishaw,… Continue Reading

Immigration Officials Have Used Google Translate to Vet Refugees

ProPublica – “It’s a common internet experience: throw a foreign phrase into Google Translate or any other online translation tool and out comes a farcical approximation of the real thing. That’s why many experts — even Google itself — caution against relying on the popular Google Translate for complex tasks. Google advises users that its… Continue Reading

Congress releases whistleblower complaint alleging Trump abused his office

The New York Times – “After hearing that President Trump tried to persuade Ukraine to investigate a 2020 campaign rival, senior officials at the White House scrambled to “lock down” records of the call, a whistle-blower alleged in an explosive complaint released Thursday. In an attempt to “lock down” all records of the call, in… Continue Reading