Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Holding algorithms (and the people behind them) accountable is still tricky, but doable
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Aug. 20, 2009, 7:02 p.m.

Links on Twitter: The Guardian’s “local data landgrab,” a Firefox plugin for the PACER database, an embed-this-post feature

The Guardian, already the UK’s leader in database journalism, is making a smart “local data landgrab” »

If you ever tangle with the federal court system’s tortuous PACER database, this Firefox plugin is for you »

Bigger isn’t better: Study finds smaller online ads can be more effective than large banners »

Sky News ran @Joe‘s crime-scene Twitpic. He asked for pay, launched a hashmob: #skypic. Now he’s getting £330 »

Think giving it away on the web cannibalizes the print edition? @peterfeld offers a succinct rebuttal »

Silicon Alley Insider: “Go ahead, embed this post!” In comments, @hblodget says they might seek sponsors »

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Holding algorithms (and the people behind them) accountable is still tricky, but doable
“We were able to demystify this black box, this algorithm that had very scary connotations, and break it down into what ended up being a very simple linear model.”
Fill in the blanks: What’s still missing from the study of fake news? (A whole lot.)
A big new report from the Hewlett Foundation pulls together existing research on social media, political polarization, and disinformation to show where we still need to know more.
Google announces a $300M ‘Google News Initiative’ (though this isn’t about giving out grants directly to newsrooms, like it does in Europe)
Also: an easier subscription flow, $10 million for media literacy in U.S. high schools, fact-checking efforts in search around health issues, and more.