Global News (Canada): ’13 Reasons Why’ series led to a spike in Google suicide searches, study warns. “It’s a highly controversial show: a teenage girl dies by suicide, leaving behind a series of tapes that chronicle her plight and those who hurt her in her downward spiral. Now, a new study suggests that the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why triggered a steep spike in searches on suicide.”
TechCrunch: Sick of SoundCloud? Anchor offers podcast transfer with free hosting . “SoundCloud is on shaky financial footing, saying it only has enough money to last a few more months unless someone buys or invests in it. That’s sure to cause anxiety in content creators with their life’s work stored on SoundCloud. Now some new startups are nipping at SoundCloud’s heels by focusing on podcasting in ways the music streaming service never did.”
Vox: Snopes, the internet’s foremost fact-checking website, may die in a messy legal battle. “Launched in 1994, Snopes is the internet’s most thorough and reliable site dedicated to debunking hoaxes, myths, and fake news. It’s so trustworthy that last year, when Facebook began enlisting fact-checking organizations to help it weed out fake news stories from its news feeds, Snopes was one of the five entities entrusted with the task, along with the Associated Press and other news outlets. But now Snopes’s future is very much in doubt.” Best overview of the whole Snopes debacle I’ve seen.
MetaFilter has changed ownership, but it looks like it’ll be business as usual. “Big news: a few days ago Matt Haughey and I signed paperwork to transfer ownership of MetaFilter from him to me. This is sorta huge and sorta not a big deal at the same time: things are fine and basically nothing is changing on the site as a result, we’re just keeping on as before. I’ll talk about the whole thing below the fold.”
Penn State: College of Arts and Architecture launches searchable photo archive. “After three years of planning and design, the College of Arts and Architecture has launched a public, searchable photo archive of images from within the college. The online photo archive, Arts and Architecture Resource Collaborative (AARC), is the product of a partnership among the College of Arts and Architecture Alumni and Communications Office, the Visual Resources Centre (VRC), and Arts and Architecture Information Technology (AAIT).” I went to glance at this and then got kind of lost in the images of the pipe organ being taken apart…
The Guardian: Facebook ‘dark ads’ can swing political opinions, research shows. “Using ‘psychographic’ profiles of individual voters generated from publicly stated interests really does work, according to new research presented at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The controversial practice allows groups to hone their messages to match the personality types of their targets during political campaigning, and is being used by firms including Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ to better target voters with political advertising with so-called ‘dark ads’.”
Digital Trends: Microsoft’s City Art Search App Now Documents Over 8,000 Great Works. “Microsoft has released a new update to its City Art Search app, making it an even more comprehensive directory of the world’s greatest works of art. It now covers a total of 8,614 different artworks, situated in major metropolitan areas all over the world.”
MakeUseOf: Really Private Browsing: An Unofficial User’s Guide to Tor. “When Edward Snowden revealed the PRISM (NSA) and Tempora (GCHQ) global surveillance programs, shock was met with apathy. Those that suspected this level of surveillance found their suspicions vindicated. But the average man or woman on the street? Many didn’t even pause for thought. This sort of invasion of privacy makes a number of people very nervous; they’re not just criminals, dissidents, and terrorists, either. This level of surveillance directly affects everyone. There are a number of tools focused on protecting the privacy of regular citizens, like you and I. One of the most powerful tools at our disposal is Tor.”
Ubergizmo: Facebook Shuts Down Its AI After Invents Its Own Language. “If you were to watch a reality cooking show like Hell’s Kitchen for the first time, you might be a bit confused by the cooking terms and shorthand that chefs use to communicate with each other. To you it might sound like gibberish, but to them it makes perfect sense, and that’s exactly the kind of situation that Facebook accidentally created with its AI efforts.”
Salon: A new parent’s guide to social media. “Before baby, you were a Facebooking, Instagramming, texting fool, sharing everything from your perfect pasta dish to your hella-good manicure. Now, looking at your little bundle of joy, you may be wondering: Is it safe to post pictures of baby? What’s OK to share and what’s TMI? What are the easiest tech tools to preserve those precious moments, without broadcasting to the world? These tips can help.” More substantive than the headline would lead you to believe.
The Next Web: Latin American presidents love Twitter – and that’s not a good thing. “Politics is not just about running the government, it’s also about creating opportunities for citizens to realise their aspirations. Because Latin American democracy was, in most cases, rolled out without a robust consultative process, decent education system or a plan to address structural poverty, it’s systematically exclusionary…. There are two ways to fill this gap. The first is suppression via the use of force. Though this is fairly common in Latin America, as an official policy it undermines state legitimacy. The other option is to create new mechanisms for state-society relations.” A very interesting read.
TechCrunch: With 200M daily users, Giphy will soon test sponsored GIFs. “Giphy, the four-year-old search engine for GIFs, is going to finally start testing monetization. According to a source close to the company, Giphy will begin testing sponsored GIFs within messaging experiences. This means that users who search for GIFs may be served a sponsored GIF within the messaging tab.”
Neowin: Verified businesses accounts could be coming to WhatsApp. “Over the weekend, it appears that an update to WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone was released, bringing the app up to version 2.17.234. In terms of newly incorporated functionality, nothing has appeared to have changed aside from the inability to use the check mark emoji within your display name. While this, in itself, seems rather insignificant, reports have surfaced with regards to this forthcoming limitation.”
The Daily Star (Bangladesh): Apparel mapping project launched. “A four-year project to create a publicly available, online map providing a detailed industry-wise database of all apparel factories in Bangladesh was launched by Brac University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Development yesterday. ‘Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh’ (DRFM-B) will collect credible, comprehensive and accurate data on factories across Bangladesh and disclose factory names, locations, number of workers, product type, export country, certifications and brand customers.”
Washington Post: Google’s new program to track shoppers sparks a federal privacy complaint. “A prominent privacy rights watchdog is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a new Google advertising program that ties consumers’ online behavior to their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. The legal complaint from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, to be filed with the FTC on Monday, alleges that Google is newly gaining access to a trove of highly sensitive information — the credit and debit card purchase records of the majority of U.S. consumers — without revealing how they got the information or giving consumers meaningful ways to opt out. “