Weekly Mozilla News Beat, September 4, 2020
I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying
Beirut is still reeling from the tragic explosion last month. This video will give you all the feels of people being reunited with their lost pets weeks later. I’m totally crying. Via Twitter
What’s Old is New Again
Feeling nostalgic for the internet of old when you could hack together your own site all about the random things you were into? Back before Facebook algorithms sparked anger all the time? That internet is trying to make a comeback and we’re here for it! Via MIT Technology Review
The global pandemic forced this year’s Chess Olympiad online. In one of the most 2020 things ever, India and Russia were declared joint winners when two players from India lost their internet connection and couldn’t finish their matches. Via BBC
Yard Signs Don’t Vote
Players of Animal Crossing, the video game of the pandemic, can now add political yard signs to their island. Islanders have their choice of 4 different sign designs to voice their support. Just don’t expect Isabelle to call the election results November 3. Via The Guardian
Out Of Control
Lines of code—called algorithms—written by humans control our lives in all sorts of consequential ways. Mashable put together a list of decisions made about your life via code you might find surprising—everything from if you can eat out to if you are a crime risk. Via Mashable
Back In Control
Fortunately, Mashable also put together a useful guide on how to reduce the influence of the decision-making algorithms in your life, at least in a few places like Facebook and YouTube. Via Mashable
Microsoft has partnered with the AI Foundation to make a new deepfake detection tool available to news outlets and political campaigns. It identifies manipulated videos to help fight misinformation during the US election. Via TechCrunch
Too Little Too Late?
Facebook announced this week it won’t allow any new political ads seven days before the US election. It will still let existing ads run and be microtargeted, making this move feel rather shallow. Via BBC
Flood of Falsehoods
This week saw a wave of false and deceptively edited videos, shared on Twitter and Facebook, by high profile US politicians and political campaigns. Those social media platforms aren’t doing a very good job keeping this harmful content from spreading. Via CNN
No Laptops For Learning
Thanks to the pandemic there’s a global laptop shortage. This shortage has hit particularly hard for the low-cost laptops many students, especially low-income students, need for remote learning, widening the already growing inequality gap. Via Vox
Lack Of Consent
A rapidly growing number of deepfake porn videos are created and shared on porn sites without the consent of the people inserted into the videos, often female celebrities. Porn sites frequently won’t remove these videos because laws aren’t keeping up with the technology. Via Wired
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