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Daily Archives: March 6, 2023

How to Take Back Control of What You Read on the Internet

The Atlantic – “How to Take Back Control of What You Read on the Internet Social-media algorithms show us what they want us to see, not what we want to see. But there is an alternative. By Yair Rosenberg. “The social-media web is built on a lie. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enticed countless users to join with the promise that they could see everything their friends or favorite celebrities posted in one convenient location. Over time, though, the sites were carefully calibrated to filter what users saw—regardless of their stated preferences—in order to manipulate their attention and keep them on the platform. Algorithmic timelines quietly replaced chronological ones, until our social-media feeds no longer took direction from us, but rather directed us where they wanted us to go. Lately, this deception has become more transparent. Last month, Elon Musk reportedly had his engineers alter Twitter’s algorithm so that it fed his own tweets to the platform’s users, whether they followed him or not. (Musk denies having done so.) This might seem to say more about Musk’s vanity than about social media in its entirety. But in his typically crass way, Musk was just making obvious what was always the case for his industry. Meta did the same when it launched Meta Verified, a subscription service that promised it would provide paying users with “increased visibility and reach.” These developments underscore a stark reality: As long as we rely on social-media sites to curate what we read, we allow them to control what we read, and their interests are not our interests. Fortunately, there already exists a long-standing alternative that provides users with what social media does not deliver: RSS…” For researchers who have employed #RSS for multidisciplinary research for decades, this is not news, but a good reminder that new applications are not necessarily better applications, and ownership and control over critical technology impacts the scope and validity of our work. We need to continue to be vigilant and exercise choice. See also beSpacific on Mastodon – Newsie Social – where I ‘toot’ daily on many issues including research and technology.

Democracy Report 2023

DEMOCRACY REPORT 2023 #Defiance in the Face of #Autocratization. “Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) produces the largest global dataset on #democracy with over 31 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2022. Involving almost 4,000 scholars and other country experts, V-Dem measures hundreds of different attributes of democracy. V-Dem enables new ways to study… Continue Reading

How to save a ChatGPT conversation to revisit later

ZDNet: “ChatGPT is an AI tool that produces a variety of content with many different applications. Whether it’s a breakthrough in your code, progress on your essay or just a funny interaction with the chatbot, you may want to revisit some of your conversations with the chatbot later. Luckily for you, saving your chat is no… Continue Reading

Wildland Fire Trends Tool

Wildland Fire Trends Tool By Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center November 8, 2022. Overview Data Multimedia Web Tools The Wildland Fire Trends Tool (WFTT) is a data visualization and analysis tool that calculates and displays wildfire trends and patterns for the western U.S. based on user-defined regions of interest, time periods, and ecosystem types.… Continue Reading

LC Lunch and Learn – Recent Developments in US Foreign Relations Law and Research Strategies

In Custodia Legis: “Join Us on 3/23 for a Lunch and Learn Webinar: “Recent Developments in US Foreign Relations Law and Research Strategies” On Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 12 p.m. EDT, legal reference specialist Louis Myers and Librarian-in-Residence Olivia Kane-Cruz will present our next Lunch and Learn Webinar, “Recent Developments in U.S. Foreign Relations… Continue Reading

Twitter v. Mastodon v. Post v. Other Possibilities

Twitter v. Mastodon v. Post v. Other Possibilities by Teri Kanefield 1. “Twitter – Twitter has done a lot of good. It allowed communities to form. It allowed marginalized voices to be heard. It allowed crucial information to be disseminated. It even saved lives. Like Facebook and other platforms that rely on algorithms to stimulate… Continue Reading

Moderating the Fediverse: Content Moderation on Distributed Social Media

Rozenshtein, Alan Z., Moderating the Fediverse: Content Moderation on Distributed Social Media (November 23, 2022). 2 Journal of Free Speech Law (2023, Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: or “Current approaches to content moderation generally assume the continued dominance of “walled gardens”: social media platforms that control who can use their services and how. But… Continue Reading