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Category Archives: Internet

How rumors spread on social media during weather disasters

National Science Foundation – New research shows that social media can spread information quickly, but its accuracy cannot be assumed

After hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research to investigate the broad impacts of these disasters. A year later, some of the researchers funded by awards from the agency’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate are reporting results produced to date. This is the second article in the series. Jun Zhuang, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University at Buffalo, used a combination of social networking, content analysis and surveys to understand the role of social media in communicating during disaster preparedness and response. When disasters strike, people increasingly rely on social media to learn about the appropriate response and to inform their decisions. The downside is that rumors can spread rapidly across social media platforms. Some of these rumors can have serious detrimental outcomes for public safety. For example, after both hurricanes Harvey and Irma, false information was spread over social media that immigration status would be checked at evacuation shelters. Rumors like this could affect evacuation decision-making and put both local residents and emergency responders at greater risk.

Our research has shown that the general public is not very good at differentiating truth from rumor related to disasters. The public tends to spread rumors and is unlikely to correct false information, even after it has been debunked. On the bright side, our research also shows that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other official governmental accounts have the power to stop rumors, especially when these agencies act quickly….”

 

If You See Disinformation Ahead of the Midterms, We Want to Hear From You

The New York Times: “As November’s midterm elections approach, The New York Times is looking for examples of online ads, posts and texts that contain political disinformation or false claims and are being deliberately spread on internet platforms to try to influence local, statewide, and federal elections. Times journalists are hoping to use your tips… Continue Reading

Internet Archive – Revised wish list now available: 1.5M books we want

“Earlier this year we released our Open Libraries wish list, which brought together four datasets to help inform our collection development priorities for Open Libraries.  After working with the wish list for a few months and reviewing our approach, we decided to make a few revisions to the ways in which we brought together the… Continue Reading

Commentary – The Rise and Demise of RSS

The Rise and Demise of RSS: “There are two stories here. The first is a story about a vision of the web’s future that never quite came to fruition. The second is a story about how a collaborative effort to improve a popular standard devolved into one of the most contentious forks in the history… Continue Reading

Want to defend democracy? Start with your public library.

Washington Post Opinion: “In “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” the character Ron — channeling his friend Hermione — says to Harry Potter: “When in doubt, go to the library.” In the United States today, there is plenty to doubt. Complex arguments are being whittled down to 280 characters. And of course, the president… Continue Reading

Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers

The Intercept: “Google built a prototype of a censored search engine for China that links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers,thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries, The Intercept can reveal. The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s… Continue Reading

10 Investigative Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Global Investigative Journalism Network: “Investigations, the saying goes, are just regular stories with a lot more labor put in. Investigative reporters spend inordinate amounts of time sifting through documents, verifying sources and analyzing data — and that’s if they can even get the data. As an investigative reporter with way too many stories I want… Continue Reading

The text and data mining exception in the proposal for a directive on copyright: why the European Union needs to go further than the laws of member states

Nicolas Jondet, ‘The text and data mining exception in the proposal for a directive on copyright: why the European Union needs to go further than the laws of member states’, Propriétés Intellectuelles , no. 67 (April 2018): 25– 35. “The European Union is currently debating the adoption of a copyright exception for text and data… Continue Reading

Google Knows Where You’ve Been, but Does It Know Who You Are?

Google Knows Where You’ve Been, but Does It Know Who You Are? (New York Times Magazine) “The overwhelming volume of this information demonstrates just how deep, and inescapable, our relationships with the company have become. And it can be sneakily transformative. To see months of your own search history repeated back to you in list… Continue Reading

Satellite Images and Shadow Analysis: How The Times Verifies Eyewitness Videos

The New York Times: Understanding the times Visual investigations based on social media posts require a mix of traditional journalistic diligence and cutting-edge internet skills. “Visual investigations based on social media posts require a mix of traditional journalistic diligence and cutting-edge internet skills. In an effort to shed more light on how we work, The… Continue Reading

Security Risks of Government Hacking

Schneider on Security: “Some of us — myself included — have proposed lawful government hacking as an alternative to backdoors. A new report from the Center of Internet and Society looks at the security risks of allowing government hacking. They include: Disincentive for vulnerability disclosure Cultivation of a market for surveillance tools Attackers co-opt hacking… Continue Reading

Facebook Expanding Fact-Checking to Photos and Videos

Facebook Newsroom: “We know that people want to see accurate information on Facebook, so for the last two years, we’ve made fighting misinformation a priority. One of the many steps we take to reduce the spread of false news is working with independent, third-party fact-checkers to review and rate the accuracy of content. To date,… Continue Reading