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1. YouTube has an elite group of content killers
YouTube has been on a comment-pruning mission in recent months to make the site a little more family friendly — if it'll ever get that far — by removing harmful comments and tying Google+ accounts to comment threads to remove the air of anonymity. Going one step further, YouTube is now enlisting "trusted flaggers" to help police the site, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. These some-200 individual super-flaggers will help remove content that fall foul of Google's guidelines, the report said.
Image: Spencer E Holtaway/Flickr
2. Algorithms can write breaking news
Move over, assignment editor — you're not needed for this one — particularly in the case of the California earthquake this week, reported by the Los Angeles Times, which published just three minutes after the quake hit. How? Because an algorithm wrote it, according to Slate. But, anyone who was on the east coast during the quake will know that no matter how fast your journalists (or robots) are, they will never be faster than those Twitter users jolted awake in the early hours by an semi-regular seismic shift.
Image: LA Times
3. Microsoft gets as much as $200 from the FBI for user data requests
Microsoft was reimbursed by more than a millions dollars over the course of 2013 for U.S. data requests by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), reports The Daily Dot, which leaked documents that were hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army earlier this year. A single request for data costs the U.S. taxpayer as much as $200, but the figure varies, the documents show. It's not unique to Microsoft, either. Many other tech companies, including Yahoo and Google, are paid a certain amount for (legal) access to its systems, based on earlier leaks.
Image: White House