Beyond “yellow banners on websites”: How to restore moral and technical order in a time of misinformation (NiemanLab)

NiemanLab: Beyond “yellow banners on websites”: How to restore moral and technical order in a time of misinformation. “With just four (!) weeks left in 2020, Dr. Joan Donovan, the research director of the Shorenstein Center, says that now is the time to think about what we can do to ‘restore moral and technical order’ at time when so many people — from journalists, public servants, and civil society leaders to public health professionals — are paying the price (and consequences) of misinformation.”

The Art Newspaper: Jewish collections looted by the Nazis to be examined and traced in new database

The Art Newspaper: Jewish collections looted by the Nazis to be examined and traced in new database . “A new database that aims to provide a comprehensive registry of all the Jewish collections looted by the Nazis has announced a pilot project focussing on the fate of the collection of Adolphe Schloss, whose store of Dutch Old Masters was seized by the Gestapo from the French chateau where they had been hidden for safekeeping. One third of the collection is still missing.”

TechCrunch: Facebook’s latest ad tool fail puts another dent in its reputation

TechCrunch: Facebook’s latest ad tool fail puts another dent in its reputation. “Reset yer counters: Facebook has had to ‘fess up to yet another major ad reporting fail. This one looks like it could be costly for the tech giant to put right — not least because it’s another dent in its reputation for self-reporting. (For past Facebook ad metric errors check out our reports from 2016 here, here, here and here.)”

Orient XXI: France. The Inaccessible Archives of the Algerian War

Orient XXI: France. The Inaccessible Archives of the Algerian War. “The French law dated 7 Thermidor Year II (25 July 1794) stipulates that every citizen should be able to be informed of whatever had been done in their name. This was the origin of the public service of the National Archives of France, a body created four years earlier by the Constituent Assembly. But while this principle of transparency was thus officially enacted, the raison d’Etat did not easily accommodate it. The disappearance of Maurice Audin, an activist in the cause of Algerian independence and the bloody repression in and around Paris of the 17 October 1961 protest called by the National Liberation Front are two emblematic instances of information retention on the quiet.”

Variety: The Life and Death of the Instagram Influencer Who Never Was

Variety: The Life and Death of the Instagram Influencer Who Never Was. “Instagram is full of wannabes, but there was only one Sylvia. Describing herself as a ‘coffee-operated robot living her best life,’ Sylvia was born in May 2020, made her online debut on July 4 at the age of 30, and passed away last week at the grand old age of 80.”

BBC: Spotify reveals 2020’s most-streamed songs

BBC: Spotify reveals 2020’s most-streamed songs. “Drake, Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa and The Weeknd are among the most-streamed artists of 2020, according to figures from Spotify. Drake was the most popular artist in the UK, reclaiming the number one position from Ed Sheeran. The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights was the most-played song in the UK, while Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was the top album.”

Search Engine Land: How DuckDuckGo (and Microsoft) benefit from Google’s sprawling advertising business

Search Engine Land: How DuckDuckGo (and Microsoft) benefit from Google’s sprawling advertising business. “DuckDuckGo is a search engine that was founded in 2008 with a focus on protecting searchers’ privacy, notably showing all searchers the same search results and refraining from building profiles of its users. Its search volume has risen steadily over the years, and in October 2020 was up to nearly 60 million queries daily.”

Reddit: Italian newspaper’s online archive is going to get lost because Flash won’t be supported anymore

Reddit: Italian newspaper’s online archive is going to get lost because Flash won’t be supported anymore. “Italian newspaper’s online archive is going to get lost because Flash won’t be supported anymore – edit: might get lost, they are actually working on it but my hopes aren’t too high.” I am linking to Reddit instead of the original article because a) the original is in Italian; b) I liked the Reddit discussion.

New York Times: Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth

New York Times: Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth. “In the past several months, as Facebook has come under more scrutiny for its role in amplifying false and divisive information, its employees have clashed over the company’s future. On one side are idealists, including many rank-and-file workers and some executives, who want to do more to limit misinformation and polarizing content. On the other side are pragmatists who fear those measures could hurt Facebook’s growth, or provoke a political backlash that leads to painful regulation.”

The Verge: The cockroach emoji proposal is a story about texting through the apocalypse

The Verge: The cockroach emoji proposal is a story about texting through the apocalypse. “A slate of new emoji was announced in January. Months later, they’ve finally trickled onto most people’s phones… but in one case, it’s really more of a skitter. I’m talking about the cockroach, arguably the most shudder-inducing emoji of 2020 — and the product of a great little short story about the looming end of the world.”

Tubefilter: This Streamer Took The Sims’ Lack Of Diversity Into Her Own Hands — And Then Became An Advisor To EA

Tubefilter: This Streamer Took The Sims’ Lack Of Diversity Into Her Own Hands — And Then Became An Advisor To EA. “Amira Virgil was an avid streamer of The Sims — but she became frustrated when she couldn’t create characters that reflected her reality. And so Virgil, who goes by the online moniker XMiraMira, took matters into her own hands, creating a downloadable ‘Melanin Pack’ — enabling users to create characters with 18 different skin tones and makeup looks to suit a diverse array of character preferences. In the latest episode of Creator News, Virgil shares that her custom packs have been downloaded more than 1 million times to date, which led her to create other mod packs in realms like hair, clothing, and more.”

Neowin: UK government sets less ambitious gigabit broadband goal

Neowin: UK government sets less ambitious gigabit broadband goal. “The UK’s Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that the country’s original plan to bring gigabit broadband to every home in the country by 2025 has been scaled back so that the technology will be available in 85% of residences. While those in towns and cities around the country will likely be unaffected by the watering down of the plan, those out in more rural areas will be left with poorer internet connections.”

The Mayor: Finnish town offers a free home in exchange for social media marketing

The Mayor: Finnish town offers a free home in exchange for social media marketing. “In a bid to make a name for the city they govern, officials in the Finnish municipality of Luumäki have come up with an ingenious marketing scheme – offering a rent-free home to a family that is willing to promote the town on social media. The winning family will be telling the story of their life in Luumäki through its official Facebook and Instagram accounts, bringing some much-needed attention to its area.”

Montsame: Online database for Mongolian flora to be established

Montsame: Online database for Mongolian flora to be established. “Currently, there are two herbaria in Mongolia: the herbarium of the Botanic Garden and Research Institute of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (UBA) with 80 thousand pages, and the herbarium of the Faculty of Biology at the National University of Mongolia (UBU) with 20 thousand pages. By digitizing the herbaria as according to internationally accepted standards and creating the online database, it will become possible for the highly valuable materials about the flora diversity of Mongolia to be kept safe.”