Weekly Mozilla News Beat, October 9, 2020
Pooping in space goes...differently than pooping here on Earth. That’s why toilets on the International Space Station use suction to keep it all in the bowl. Now, a newer model has been unveiled, offering tilted seats, updated funnels and, most importantly, a new shape to accommodate the female anatomy.
One million. That’s how many new U.S. voters Snapchat has registered to vote via its platform — up from 750K two weeks ago and 400K three weeks ago. Now that’s a snap streak if we’ve ever seen one.
Q’Anon Be Gone
Finally. Facebook is updating its policies so that groups like Q’Anon will no longer live on the site. The policy update resulted in 1,500 pages being removed from the social network.
Hashtag Proud Boys
When Trump said “stand back & stand by,” it energized the Proud Boys, a group known for white supremacy and toxic masculinity. Now, the hashtag #ProudBoys is being co-opted by gay men, showcasing love for their partners and burying non-wholesome uses of the hashtag.
Spreadsheets, Not Viruses
Why the surprise spike in U.K. COVID-19 cases? A mistake in Excel caused developers with Public Health England to nearly miss-out on contact tracing 48,000 people who came across COVID-carriers. Save as .XLSX format for the greater good.
Hand Over Your Data
You remember Amazon Go, the store that tracks your every move so you can leave without paying. Now Amazon’s stores will identify you by scanning your palm — five fingerprints and all. Making this the most Black Mirror Amazon innovation all year, hands down.
Alexa, Bust This Union
37 members of European Parliament signed a letter to Jeff Bezos, asking if the Amazon founder is spying on union activists. The letter is in response to a leaked memo saying the company would invest thousands of dollars into detecting “threats” from within the company.
Lawmakers in the U.S. issued a 449-page report where they called out Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google for their monopolistic practices. After studying the companies for 16 months, the committee likened them and their leaders to the oil barons of the past.
New court records reveal investigators can ask Google to cough up everyone who has searched for a specific term. This is opposite of how information-gathering for court cases used to happen, with investigators typically requesting information on a specific person.
A recent study from Harvard examined the way election disinformation spreads within the U.S.. The findings? The biggest spreaders of false info in the U.S. aren’t foreign actors, but Donald Trump and Fox News.
Women face more abuse than men on social media. So when Twitter announced it would take action against tweets wishing for Trump’s death, many prominent female Twitter users were confused why this rule wasn’t applied when they received death threats.
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