The founder, editor, and other members of the The Intercept Brasil staff said they have received threats on email and social media following their publication of politically sensitive stories this month. Beginning on June 9, the independent investigative news website published a series of stories based on documents, recordings, and private WhatsApp messages leaked anonymously to the news outlet, which raised ethical and legal questions about the conduct of Brazil's justice minister and the chief prosecutor in "Operation Car Wash," the investigation into political corruption that has been ongoing since 2014. The outlet's founder, Glenn Greenwald, and his husband, David Miranda, a Congressman with the left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party, have since received threats of death and violence.
Fake photos of faces are getting increasingly easy to create — and difficult to spot. “While we are proud of the impact that Photoshop and Adobe’s other creative tools have made on the world, we also recognize the ethical implications of our technology,” Adobe wrote in a blog post. To address this, Adobe and UC Berkeley researchers have developed a method that automatically detects edits made to images using Photoshop’s Face Aware Liquify feature, which is frequently used to modify facial expressions. In their experiments, the neural network tool they created spotted altered faces with 99% accuracy. However, this tool is not ready to be rolled out to the public — at the moment, it’s just a research project.
Source: Digital Trends
The 12 winners of this year’s Data Journalism Awards were revealed at the GEN Summit held in Athens on June 14. The award for investigation of the year went to “Hurricane Maria’s Dead,” a collaboration between AP, Quartz and the Center for Investigative Journalism to uncover the true death toll of the hurricane that ravaged Puerto Rico. The open data award went to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project for the OCCRP Data platform, which allows users to search through vast amounts of leaked document sets, public records and scraped data that the organization has collected.
Source: Data Journalism Awards
While the MapChecking tool has been around for a couple of years, Samatha Sunne reminded us about it in her recent Tools for Reporters newsletter. In 2017, Poynter noted how French developer Anthony Catel created it in “one hour” after hearing the campaign of French presidential candidate François Fillon talk about the candidate’s ability to bring 200,000 people in the Parisian Place du Trocadéro to support him. The tool uses a drag and drop map that helps you estimate the maximum number of people who can stand in a given area. It’s pretty intuitive, but Poynter put together a how to and how it works.
Facebook’s Graph Search allowed anyone to search a wealth of public data on Facebook in very specific ways, such as searching content for keywords in a particular point in time. Late last week Facebook quietly made changes to a set of advanced features that previously allowed users to search the social network in powerful ways, such as finding all posts on Facebook by a keyword and within a certain date range, all of the people who like a certain Facebook Page and live in a particular city, or places visited by two specific users. All of the information gathered by these search features is from user's public profiles, but the news highlights Facebook's recent emphasis on privacy, and comes after a series of privacy and security incidents at the company.
ProPublica launched a new feature for their Nonprofit Explorer database: The ability to search the full text of nearly 3 million electronically filed nonprofit tax filings sent to the IRS since 2011. Nonprofit Explorer already lets researchers, reporters and the general public search for tax information from more than 1.8 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, as well as allowing users to search for the names of key employees and directors of organizations. Now, users of their free database can dig deep and search for text that appears anywhere in a nonprofit’s tax records, as long as those records were filed digitally, which, according to the IRS, covers about two-thirds of nonprofit tax filings in recent years.