Reuters: Facebook to keep wraps on political ads data despite researchers’ demands. “Facebook (FB.O) said it would not disclose information about political campaign advertising or related data such as how many users click on ads and if advertising messages are consistent across demographics, despite arguments from political scientists who want the data for research.”
TechCrunch: IFTTT’s powerful new initiative connects up with government data streams. “Today, all around cool internet thing IFTTT is hooking all kinds of useful public data into its powerful platform. With the launch of its new Data Access Project, IFTTT will add support for a broad selection of government agencies, organizations and research and cultural groups. That includes public data from federal and state government feeds on down to municipal transit information.” Can’t wait to dive into this. Article later.
National Law Journal: Trump Administration Has a Big Thing Against Public Databases. “Companies, raising reputational concerns, have long griped about agencies that post consumer complaints and other data. Republicans are now taking up that cause.”
Washington Post: The COVFEFE Act would preserve Trump’s tweets as presidential records. “The true definition of ‘covfefe,’ — born from a deleted, after-midnight tweet from President Trump — remains unsettled, even to the commander in chief, who appeared to mistype it into existence on Twitter last month. But a congressman from Illinois wants to bring new meaning to the word. The COVFEFE Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) on Monday, aims to preserve tweets from the president’s personal Twitter account, ensuring that Trump’s social-media posts are archived as presidential records.”
MIT Technology Review: Inspecting Algorithms for Bias. “ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize–winning nonprofit news organization, had analyzed risk assessment software known as COMPAS. It is being used to forecast which criminals are most likely to reoffend. Guided by such forecasts, judges in courtrooms throughout the United States make decisions about the future of defendants and convicts, determining everything from bail amounts to sentences. When ProPublica compared COMPAS’s risk assessments for more than 10,000 people arrested in one Florida county with how often those people actually went on to reoffend, it discovered that the algorithm ‘correctly predicted recidivism for black and white defendants at roughly the same rate.’ But when the algorithm was wrong, it was wrong in different ways for blacks and whites.”
Poynter: Will your FOIA request succeed? This new machine will tell you. “Many journalists know the feeling: There could be a cache of documents that might confirm an important story. Your big scoop hinges on one question: Will the government official responsible for the records respond to your FOIA request? Now, thanks to a new project from a data storage and analysis company, some of the guesswork has been taken out of that question.”
Sunlight Foundation: On Trump, Twitter and transparency. “As with any tweet by @POTUS, the public should be able to know who wrote a @realDonaldTrump tweet. Someday, perhaps Twitter or Facebook will work with a White House to show tweets or updates written by a president differently, adding a Verified layer that acts as a watermark or a simple annotation in the meta data that changes how the text is displayed. In the meantime, there are two strategies to address this…”