Fordham News: Getting Through to Google. “It’s widely known in cyber circles that, when the Arab Spring protests happened in Egypt in 2011, website blockage escalated: Certain governments try to control the information flowing into and out of their countries for political and other reasons. But exactly when and where such censorship is being done has proven hard to measure. Now, researchers from the University of Michigan are enlisting 400,000 servers around the world to monitor censorship and network interference. Their project is called Censored Planet.”
Newsweek: Trump’s Tweets Show Why Social Media Could Hurt Democracy. “…the president’s retweets should lead us to ask a deeper question: whether social media, including Twitter, might be corrosive to the very fabric of democracy itself. This wasn’t the first time Trump used his Twitter account to amplify hate speech or propagate obvious falsehoods. He has routinely tweeted absurd theories that would blow a 2.0 on any informational breathalyzer: for instance, his infamous claim that 3 million undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 election—an idea he got online from a total crackpot, and which remains bereft of a single shred of evidence.”
Johns Hopkins News-Letter: How social media influences culture and language. “The creation of AS.300.304, aka ‘Hopkins/Memes/Lost Hopes and Dreams,’ seems to embody the influence that internet culture has had on our generation. As college students, we’re connected to the internet almost every second of every day, whether it be through social media sites like Snapchat and Facebook or through more academically-related pages like Blackboard. Accordingly, this has significantly shaped the ways in which we speak and act in everyday life.”
Digital Trends: New Facebook Messenger tool could let businesses broadcast mass chat messages. “Businesses could soon use Facebook Messenger to send you automated, mass-delivered messages. First spotted by The Next Web’s Matt Navarra, Facebook recently confirmed that it is privately testing Messenger Broadcast, a platform that would allow businesses to send mass messages — though only to Messenger users that have already initiated a conversation.” Ugh.
BuzzFeed: Facebook’s 2016 Election Team Gave Advertisers A Blueprint To A Divided US. “During the 2016 election season, Facebook provided political advertisers with a targetable breakdown of a fractured United States, which could’ve been used as a blueprint for exploiting the country’s divisions. According to a political advertising sales pitch obtained by BuzzFeed News, Facebook carved the US electorate into 14 segments — from left-leaning ‘youthful urbanites’ to a pro-NRA, pro–Tea Party group it bizarrely labeled as ‘the great outdoors.’ It detailed their demographic information — including religion and race in some cases — and offered them to political advertisers via Facebook’s sales teams. For advertisers using Facebook’s self-serve platform, the segments could be reached by purchasing larger bundles ranging from ‘very liberal’ to ‘very conservative.'”
Lifehacker: The Beginner’s Guide to IFTTT . “In our new series Getting It, we’ll give you all you need to know to get started with and excel at a wide range of technology, both on and offline. Here, we’re arming you with everything you need to know to master the world of IFTTT.” I love IFTTT. If you’re looking for a way to get started with it, this is pretty good!
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Heavenly hosting: Pittsburgh institutions helped digitize the archives of the late English Cardinal. “Devotees of the late Cardinal John Henry Newman believe he has a spot in heaven, and they’re hoping the pope soon formally declares him a saint. In the meantime, the 19th century English Catholic priest has already achieved a durable perch in another ethereal location: cyberspace.”