Weekly Mozilla News Beat, July 3, 2020

By Mozilla | July 2, 2020 | Moz News Beat

Mozilla News Beat

Smiles For Days

Her son has cerebral palsy and always wanted to skateboard. So, Mom built a contraption to let her son realize his skateboarding dream. The smile at the end will get you, I promise. Via Twitter

OMG So Cool!

Lego announced a new line of portrait-like posters you can build and hang on your wall. The $120 customizable Lego Art line will include Star Wars, Iron Man, and The Beatles. Via The Verge

Looking For Love

TikTok is fast becoming a popular dating app for lesbians. With 69% of TikTok users between the ages of 16 and 24, those who are too young to join dating apps or visit bars are finding love and community through Lesbian TikTok. Via NY Times

Will It Matter?

Facebook announced this week it would prioritize “original reporting” in news feed over content it considers “more engaging.” Word is still out on whether this will have any impact on the platform’s fake news problems. Via Gizmodo

Not Doing It Right

A computer engineering student analyzed one billion username and password combos leaked online after data breaches from various companies and found one out of every 142 passwords was the super weak ‘123456’. Do better people! Via ZDNET

Always Listening

Researchers found over 1,000 phrases that can incorrectly trigger always-listening Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant devices. So don’t let your smart speaker listen in on Game of Thrones or the local news because it could trigger recordings that will be passed along to Amazon or Google. Via Ars Technica

More Work To Do

Hundreds of major brands have agreed to temporarily stop advertising on Facebook to put pressure on the platform to deal with its hate speech problem. Unfortunately, most of the 100 biggest advertisers on Facebook still haven’t joined the boycott. #StopHateForProfit
Via CNN & Mozilla

Spies, Lies & Stonewalling

In a world where most journalists need Facebook more than Facebook needs journalists, how does the media cover the company often accused of using dirty and dishonest tactics to get the coverage it wants? One journalist digs into this issue. Via Columbia Journalism Review

Good Lord, Really?!

MIT—a respected American university—was forced to permanently remove a huge dataset used to train AI systems on how to recognize people and objects in images. The reason? It taught the AI using super racist and misogynistic slurs. Via The Register

No Safe Space

Researchers have found a dramatic increase in the use of stalkerware—invasive surveillance software domestic abusers use to track their victims—since the start of lockdowns due to the global pandemic, making it even harder for abuse victims to reach out for support. Via Cyberscoop

96% Failure Rate

Detroit’s police chief said this week the facial recognition software the department uses—almost exclusively on Black people—appears to misidentify faces 96% of the time. Why on earth is something so bad at its job still in use? Via Vice

Too Much Toxic Trash

Take the weight of every adult in Europe and it still wouldn’t add up to all the electronic trash humans generated last year. That’s tons of toxic chemicals like mercury and billions of dollars worth of gold, copper, and other minerals filling up landfills around the world. Via The Verge

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