BBC: Social media data shared by spy agencies. “UK spy agencies are collecting citizens’ social media and medical data, a court has heard. The details emerged in a case brought by Privacy International, looking at the legality of mass data collection. It said it was concerned that the information could have been shared with foreign governments and corporate partners. The body which oversees UK surveillance did not know that highly sensitive data was being shared, it emerged.”
The Guardian: UK government considers classifying Google and Facebook as publishers. “Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, has said the government is considering changing the legal status of Google, Facebook and other internet companies amid growing concerns about copyright infringement and the spread of extremist material online. The internet groups are considered conduits of information rather than publishers under UK law, meaning they have limited responsibility for what appears on their sites.”
The Guardian: Say moo! Why Instagram loves life on the British farm. “Instagram often gets criticised for triggering Fomo or self-esteem issues, but staring at images of belted galloway calves in the Yorkshire dales could inspire an unfamiliar calm instead. Around the country, farmers are using the app to connect not only with fellow farmers but also with fans of their animals, the rural lifestyle or simply just the picturesque landscapes they capture.”
WiredGov (UK): Researchers release largest ever public collection of British conversations. “The recordings used for the project were carried out between 2012 and 2016. They were gathered by members of the British public, who used their smartphones to record everyday conversations with their families and friends. These included: a newlywed couple reminiscing about their recent honeymoon, students drinking in their halls, a father and daughter chatting in the car and grandparents visiting family for the day. In a landmark moment for social science, the anonymised transcripts of these recordings were released yesterday, free of charge, to the public. This is the largest collection or ‘corpus’ of British English conversations ever made freely available.”
Variety: BFI Launches Huge Database Spanning a Century of British Film. “Judi Dench is the most prolific working female actor in British film today. Michael Caine is the most prolific male actor. Queen Victoria, James Bond, and Sherlock Holmes are, in that order, the characters who have appeared most in British film, while war is the subject covered most. Such are some of the facts now discoverable in the British Film Institute’s new Filmography database, a huge digital repository covering more than 100 years of film in the U.K., with details of more than 10,000 movies and 250,000 cast and crew.”
British Library: Introducing… Playbills In the Spotlight. “Playbills were sheets of paper handed out or posted up (as in the picture of a Portsmouth theatre, below) to advertise entertainments at theatres, fairs, pleasure gardens and other such venues. The British Library has a fantastic collection of playbills dating back to the 1730s. Looking through them is a lovely way to get a glimpse at how Britons entertained themselves over the past 300 years…. We’re launching a project called In the Spotlight soon to make these late 18th – late 19th century digitised playbills more findable online, and to give people a chance to see past entertainments as represented in this collection. In this new crowdsourcing project, members of the public can help transcribe titles, names and locations to make the playbills easier to find.”
Antislavery Usable Past Project: Remembering 1807, Archiving 2007 . “At the Wilberforce Institute we are in the final stages of collecting materials for ‘Remembering 1807’, a digital archive of materials from UK projects which in 2007 commemorated the bicentenary of the abolition of the British transatlantic slave trade. The archive will go live this September, and will be one of the major resources in the Antislavery Usable Past’s online portal, providing primary source materials to be used in future antislavery scholarship, teaching and learning.” The launch party for the new archive is September 20.