Washington Post: Facebook keeps researching its own harms — and burying the findings

Washington Post: Facebook keeps researching its own harms — and burying the findings. “While the stories are noteworthy in themselves, their provenance points to a deeper issue at Facebook. It is that the world’s largest social network employs teams of people to study its own ugly underbelly, only to ignore, downplay and suppress the results of their research when it proves awkward or troubling. Why it would do such a thing is a question whose answer lies at least partly in the company’s culture and organizational structure…. Facebook routes weighty decisions about content policy through some of the same executives tasked with government lobbying and public relations — an arrangement that critics say creates a conflict of interest. Often, they seem to prioritize public perception over transparency.

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.

Wall Street Journal: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.. “Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the aim of the algorithm change was to strengthen bonds between users and to improve their well-being…. Within the company, though, staffers warned the change was having the opposite effect, the documents show. It was making Facebook’s platform an angrier place. Company researchers discovered that publishers and political parties were reorienting their posts toward outrage and sensationalism. That tactic produced high levels of comments and reactions that translated into success on Facebook.”

New York Times: Google Could Be Violating Labor Laws With Pay for Temp Workers

New York Times: Google Could Be Violating Labor Laws With Pay for Temp Workers. “Google’s decision to not immediately correct the pay rates for all current temps was flagged in June in a whistle-blower complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Google may owe more than $100 million in back salaries over nine years of noncompliance in 16 countries with pay parity laws, according to the complaint. The figure does not include possible fines or legal costs.”

CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report

CNBC: Facebook shields millions of VIP users from standard moderation protocols, per report. “Every day Facebook users can have their content taken down immediately if the company’s artificial intelligence technologies or contracted content moderators find their posts to be in violation of the company’s rules. Users in the XCheck program, however, may have their content stay live on Facebook’s services before being routed into a separate moderation system. That process is also staffed by better-trained content moderators who are full-time employees, and XCheck users , according to the report.”

Charlotte Observer: NC criminal justice group launches database to track reports of police misconduct

Charlotte Observer: NC criminal justice group launches database to track reports of police misconduct. “Emancipate NC, a Durham-based criminal justice organization, has launched a platform to track police misconduct throughout North Carolina. The non-profit said its online tool will allow people to report negative experiences with law enforcement officers, and that community responses will be used to form a database.”

Sacramento Bee: Yee releases new database on California’s local government salaries

Sacramento Bee: Yee releases new database on California’s local government salaries. “State Controller Betty Yee has released a new searchable database of local government salaries, covering 602,377 positions with more than $36 billion in wages. The compilation, based on 2014 data reported by 54 of the state’s 58 counties (San Francisco filed as a city) and 468 cities, revealed that average wages in cities fell by more than 3 percent from 2013 levels to $59,614 while those in counties increased by almost 3 percent to $60,993.”

The Center Square Missouri: Voluntary participation questioned as Missouri law creates local government spending database

The Center Square Missouri: Voluntary participation questioned as Missouri law creates local government spending database. “Legislation creating a database to track every penny spent by counties and municipalities was overwhelmingly approved and signed into law in June by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. However, participation – sending financial information for posting on a state website – is voluntary.”

PRNewswire: California Builder Services Launches DREPublicReports .com (PRESS RELEASE)

PRNewswire: California Builder Services Launches DREPublicReports .com (PRESS RELEASE). “The site, maintained by California Builder Services, offers a simple search function to pull up 590,000 reports (and counting) archived over the past few decades. This includes subdivisions and developments in the state of California and developments completed by builders from California. Accessing the records is crucial when conducting research, whether its real estate brokers checking if disclosures are signed to builders researching regions or competitors.” The site is free to access.

Scottish Government transparency: Ministers criticised for lack of back-up system for WhatsApp and text messages (The Scotsman)

The Scotsman: Scottish Government transparency: Ministers criticised for lack of back-up system for WhatsApp and text messages. “Scottish ministers may be deleting controversial text and WhatsApp messages from their phones permanently due to the failure of the Scottish Government to have an adequate back-up system in place.”

TechCrunch: Twitter introduces a new label that allows the ‘good bots’ to identify themselves

TechCrunch: Twitter introduces a new label that allows the ‘good bots’ to identify themselves. “Twitter today is introducing a new feature that will allow accounts to self-identify as bots by adding a label to their profile. This feature is designed to help people better differentiate between automated accounts — like bots that retweet the news, public service announcements, or other updates — from those operated by humans. It’s not, however, designed to help users identify the ‘bad bots’ which are those that pose as people, often to spread misinformation or spam.”

Cal Matters: Use our new tool to learn about your legislators and monitor their voting behavior

Cal Matters: Use our new tool to learn about your legislators and monitor their voting behavior. “Six years ago, we started CalMatters with a bold mission to deliver strong public service journalism that empowers Californians to engage with their state government. I’m excited to share with you that we’re continuing this commitment with the launch of Glass House: California Legislator Tracker.”

KRDO: State adds new vaccine breakthrough data tool

KRDO: State adds new vaccine breakthrough data tool. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated its COVID-19 website to include a new vaccine breakthrough data visualization. The new vaccine breakthrough data, released Wednesday, provides proportional case, hospitalization, and death rates by vaccination status. It also allows the user to display breakthrough data by vaccine type and demographic information like age, gender, and race/ethnicity.”

New York Times: Biden Moves to Declassify Some Documents Related to Sept. 11

New York Times: Biden Moves to Declassify Some Documents Related to Sept. 11 . “Making good on a campaign promise, President Biden directed the Justice Department and other federal agencies on Friday to oversee the review and declassification of documents related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In an executive order, Mr. Biden instructed Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to publicly release the declassified documents over the next six months.”