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Daily Archives: August 17, 2023

Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takeover

Trends in Ecology, Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takeover. Published: August 15, 2023. DOI: – “In our sample of 380,000 environmentally oriented users, nearly 50% became inactive on Twitter after it was sold in October 2022, a rate much higher than a control sample. Given Twitter’s importance for public communication, our finding has troubling implications for digital environmental information sharing and public mobilization. Twitter’s importance for public discourse – Twitter has been the dominant social media platform for diverse environmental interests to communicate and organize around advocacy goals, exchange ideas and research, and find new opportunities for collaboration. As a result, Twitter has been used to track a broad array of topics important to conservation and environmental research, ranging from biodiversity conservation, human–nature interactions, climate change beliefs, extreme weather disaster responses, and environmental policy preferences, as well as to disseminate information and mobilize public interest by environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and public agencies. There is currently no platform equivalent to Twitter. Thus, any changes in engagement by environmentally minded users raises serious questions about where to track discourse about environmental conservation and how to mobilize pro-environmental segments of the public. We provide evidence that the recent acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk has led to the rapid decline of pro-environmental Twitter users (henceforth, ‘Environmental Twitter’) at a rate higher than comparable online communities.”

A survey conducted by Nature suggests that Jarochowska, now at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, is far from alone in curtailing her use of the platform. Since entrepreneur Elon Musk took control in October 2022, he has made a series of largely unpopular changes to Twitter, including cutting down on content moderation; ditching its ‘blue-check’ verification system in favour of one that grants paying members additional clout and privileges; charging money for access to data for research; limiting the number of tweets users can see; and abruptly changing the platform’s name and familiar logo to simply ‘X’. His management has left scientists reconsidering the value of X, and many seem to be leaving. To get a better sense of how researchers are currently interacting with the site formerly known as Twitter, Nature reached out to more than 170,000 scientists who were, or still are, users; nearly 9,200 responded. More than half reported that they have reduced the time they spend on the platform in the past six months and just under 7% have stopped using it altogether. Roughly 46% have joined other social-media platforms, such as Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads and TikTok.”

Are YouTube Advertisers Inadvertently Harvesting Data From Millions of Children?

The New York Times [read free]: YouTube Ads May Have Led to Online Tracking of Children, Research Says. “YouTube’s advertising practices on kids’ channels could have resulted in companies tracking children across the web, a report said.This year, BMO, a Canadian bank, was looking for Canadian adults to apply for a credit card. So the… Continue Reading

Inside the right’s effort to build a voter fraud hunting tool

NBC News: “Experts warn that EagleAI, a database that helps voters examine the voter rolls themselves, could drown election workers in unreliable reports of ineligible voters…For several months, activists around the country, organized in part by influential Trump ally Cleta Mitchell and the Election Integrity Network she founded, have been learning to use the program… Continue Reading

Government’s own experts found ‘barbaric’ and ‘negligent’ conditions in ICE detention

NPR Investigative Report: “Immigrants await processing at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Adelanto, California. By filing a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, NPR obtained a trove of inspection reports detailing serious problems at this ICE facility and others across the United States. In Michigan, a man in the custody… Continue Reading

Revising the Analytic Framework for Assessing Financial Stability Risk

Letters to FSOC in Support of Increased Supervision of Nonbank Companies, Revising the Analytic Framework for Assessing Financial Stability Risk View or download a PDF of the full technical letter and coalition letter. “AFREF submitted comment letters to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) on two proposals that would strengthen its toolbox for addressing threats… Continue Reading

How To Prepare for Cyber Disclosures In a New Era of Transparency

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, Matt Gorham, Barbara Berlin, and Kevin Vaugh, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP: “The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its final rule on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure on July 26, 2023. This gives your organization approximately five months to confirm your compliance plans before the new disclosure… Continue Reading

Open challenges in LLM research

Aug 16, 2023 – Chip Huyen – “Never before in my life had I seen so many smart people working on the same goal: making LLMs better. After talking to many people working in both industry and academia, I noticed the 10 major research directions that emerged. The first two directions, hallucinations and context learning,… Continue Reading

Will Artificial Intelligence Make Contract Interpretation Easier?

ContractsProf Blog – By Jeremy Telman: “In case you’ve been on a Barbieheimer binge for the last few weeks and missed it, Yonathan Arbel (below, left) and David Hoffman (below, right) have posted Generative Interpretation on SSRN, and the early reviews, e.g. here, are glowing. A new land speed record has been established in that… Continue Reading

C-SPAN and Library of Congress Announce New Primetime Book Series for Fall 2023

Library of Congress: “C-SPAN and the Library of Congress today announced a joint original feature production for fall 2023: “Books That Shaped America.” The 10-part series – which C-SPAN will air LIVE on Mondays, starting Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. ET – will be a literary journey, tracing America’s history by exploring masterpieces in literature… Continue Reading