Are you battling the back to school blues this week? A dose of The Weekly Download is just what you need to turn your mood around.
This week we’re chatting about the devastation brought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, an update from Facebook about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election, a new interactive site for Google how-to’s, YouTube’s live stream updates, a third royal baby on the way and a creepy three year-old clown.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma make headlines
Hurricane season has started and it has been unimaginably horrific so far.
Between Harvey, Irma and other closely following storms, there are images, videos and real life stories of devastation being shared daily across mainstream and social media.
— Antigua News Room (@AntiguaNewsRoom) September 6, 2017
Our thoughts are with everyone who’s being affected by these tragic events.
Facebook issues an update on information operations
Following the 2016 US election, a number of questions were raised about Russia’s interference with the electoral process. One question was whether there was a connection between these alleged Russian efforts and ads purchased on Facebook.
- Approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017 — associated with roughly 3,000 ads — was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies
- These accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia
- The vast majority of ads didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate, but instead, appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages – from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights
Since this discovery, Facebook has shut down the associated accounts and Pages that were still active. The white paper, and the update, further the conversation on “fake news”, false content and bring into question the validity of what we hear and see online.
Google’s new interactive site reveals top 100 “how-to” questions
It’s no surprise that Google is the first place so many of us start when we have a question. Now, thanks to a new site created by Google’s News Lab and visual data journalist Xaquin G.V., you can take a deeper dive into Google’s most-asked how-tos.
The website, called how-to-fix-a-toilet.com, compiles data from 100 of the most popular “how to” Google searches worldwide, giving users the option to filter results by location for a better understanding of trends.
According to search data, people around the world wonder how to make money, write cheques, tie ties, lose weight and boil eggs (yes, really).
YouTube makes live streaming faster
Ever watched a live stream that wasn’t quite so… live?
YouTube knows that technological challenges typically prevent live streams from broadcasting that quickly, resulting in a seconds-long delay. To cut down on this delay, called “latency”, YouTube has added a new setting to ensure streams are reaching viewers in nearly real time.
Now YouTubers can select an “ultra-low latency” setting when they live stream, cutting down the lag time that so many typically experience on other live streaming platforms to just a few seconds.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Faster live streaming could come with more buffering for viewers, since there’s less time for YouTube to get the necessary data to users’ phones.
According to YouTube, the ultra-low latency setting won’t be a fit for every creator, but for live streamers who do a lot of engaging with their audience in real time, the new setting will be a welcome addition.
Also new to YouTube’s live stream setting is an optional comment moderation feature that will automatically filter comments and hold those that are identified as potential spam or abuse.
This three year-old dressed as Pennywise will give you nightmares
Meet Louie Tilghman, a three year-old who’s “clowning around” in the creepiest way possible.
A photoshoot of Louie doing his best Pennywise imitation is getting lots of attention online. Louie’s older brother, Eagan, got the idea for the shoot from the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s “It”.
According to Eagan, Louie often volunteers to participate in other fun photo shoots with his older brother and six other siblings.
Will you be seeing “It” this weekend?
People are already betting on names for Royal Baby #3
Just a few short days ago, Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting again, and It didn’t take long for people to start betting on what his/her name will be.
UK-based betting company Ladbrokes has already released the odds for potential royal baby names, with Alice, Victoria, Alexandra and Arthur in the lead.
— Jessica Bridge (@LadsJess) September 4, 2017
What moniker would you bet on?