The Guardian: ‘Naked intimidation’: how universities silence academics on social media. “Universities increasingly recognise the value in academics having a social media presence – it helps recruit students, disseminate research and increase brand awareness. They also, generally, recognise that you don’t achieve this by tightly controlling what academics say – they need to find their own voice. ‘But when that individual voice is in conflict with the official brand it creates a tension,’ says Martin Weller, professor of educational technology at the Open University.”
Synced: AraNet: New Deep Learning Toolkit for Arabic Social Media. “The performance of natural language processing (NLP) systems has dramatically improved on tasks such as reading comprehension and natural language inference, and with these advances have come many new application scenarios for the tech. Unsurprisingly, English is where most NLP R&D has been focused. Now, a team of researchers from the Natural Language Processing Lab at the University of British Columbia in Canada have proposed AraNet, a deep learning toolkit designed for Arabic social media processing.”
The Scientist: Can Social Media Inform Public Health Efforts?. “On March 14, 2014, HealthMap—an online database created by researchers at Boston’s Children’s Hospital in 2006 to collect accounts of disease cases from various online sources—notified scientists of an article written in French about cases of a ‘strange fever’ in Macenta, Guinea. Nine days later, the World Health Organization officially announced an Ebola outbreak in the area.”
Reuters: French court clears social media tracking plan in tax crackdown. “France’s government can pursue plans to trawl social media to detect tax avoidance, its Constitutional Court ruled on Friday, although it introduced limitations on what information can be collected following a privacy outcry.” French government officials have already used Google Maps to catch swimming pool tax cheaters. Why is anybody surprised?
Military .com: Pentagon Announces Plans to Monitor Foreign Trainees’ Social Media Posts. “The Pentagon has completed re-screening all Saudi students in U.S. military training programs following a deadly Dec. 6 shooting rampage at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Defense Department officials announced Thursday. No indications of additional threats have surfaced, they said. Moving forward, DoD plans to increase vetting practices for Saudi Arabian and other foreign nationals in training at military bases in the U.S., including checks of their social media posts.”
The American Genius: Hear me out – Google Alerts but for Facebook Groups. “You pick a group and a keyword, as well as the frequency of your email updates. Options shown in the demo video include daily and hourly. Once you’ve set up the account, the company takes 1-3 days to set you up on the back end, and then you’re good to go. At the current pricing, a $99/month account lets you track 10 keywords across 5 different groups.”
Ubergizmo: Twitter Now Lets Users Follow Their Favorite Topics. “Twitter lets you follow users where you can get updates based on their tweets. However, not everyone posts things that you might be interested in, in which it would then be easier to try and sort news and topics through hashtags. However, the good news is that Twitter will be making some changes on that front.”