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The 20th Century Time Machine

13 oktober 2017 - 4:24am

by Nancy Watzman & Katie Dahl

Jason Scott

With the turn of a dial, some flashing lights, and the requisite puff of fog, emcees Tracey Jaquith, TV architect, and Jason Scott, free range archivist, cranked up the Internet Archive 20th Century Time Machine on stage before a packed house at the Internet Archive’s annual party on October 11.

Eureka! The cardboard contraption worked! The year was 1912, and out stepped Alexis Rossi, director of Media and Access, her hat adorned with a 78 rpm record.

1912

D’Anna Alexander (center) with her mother (right) and grandmother (left).

“Close your eyes and listen,” Rossi asked the audience. And then, out of the speakers floated the scratchy sounds of Billy Murray singing “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” written by Thomas S. Allen. From 1898 to the 1950s, some three million recordings of about three minutes each were made on 78rpm discs. But these discs are now brittle, the music stored on them precious. The Internet Archive is working with partners on the Great 78 Project to store these recordings digitally, so that we and future generations can enjoy them and reflect on our music history. New collections include the Tina Argumedo and Lucrecia Hug 78rpm Collection of dance music collected in Argentina in the mid-1930s.

1927

Next to emerge from the Time Machine was David Leonard, president of the Boston Public Library, which was the first free, municipal library founded in the United States. The mission was and remains bold: make knowledge available to everyone. Knowledge shouldn’t be hidden behind paywalls, restricted to the wealthy but rather should operate under the principle of open access as public good, he explained. Leonard announced that the Boston Public Library would join the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project, by authorizing the transfer of 200,000 individual 78s to digitize for the 78rpm collection, “a collection that otherwise would remain in storage unavailable to anyone.”

David Leonard and Brewster Kahle

Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, then came through the time machine to present the Internet Archive’s Internet Archive Hero Award to Leonard. “I am inspired every time I go through the doors,” said Kahle of the library, noting that the Boston Public Library was the first to digitize not just a presidential library, of John Quincy Adams, but also modern books.  Leonard was presented with a tablet imprinted with the Boston Public Library homepage.

1942

Kahle then set the Time Machine to 1942 to explain another new Internet Archive initiative: liberating books published between 1923 to 1941. Working with Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a copyright scholar at Tulane University, the Internet Archive is liberating these books under a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law, Section 108h, which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold. The name of the new collection: the Sony Bono Memorial Collection, named for the now deceased congressman and former representative who led the passage of the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which had the effect of locking up most books from the public domain back to 1923.

One of these books includes “Your Life,” a tome written by Kahle’s grandfather, Douglas E. Lurton, a “guide to a desirable living.” “I have one copy of this book and two sons. According to the law, I can’t make one copy and give it to the other son. But now it’s available,” Kahle explained.

1944

Sab Masada

The Time Machine cranked to 1944, out came Rick Prelinger, Internet Archive board president, archivist, and filmmaker. Prelinger introduced a new addition to the Internet Archive’s film collection: long-forgotten footage of an Arkansas Japanese internment camp from 1944.  As the film played on the screen, Prelinger welcomed Sab Masada, 87, who lived at this very camp as a 12 year old.

Masada talked about his experience at the camp and why it is important for people today to remember it, “Since the election I’ve heard echoes of what I heard in 1942. Using fear of terrorism to target the Muslims and people south of the border.”

1972

Next to speak was Wendy Hanamura, the director of partnerships. Hanamura explained how as a sixth grader she discovered a book at the library, Executive Order 9066, published in 1972, which told the tale of Japanese internment camps during World War II.

“Before I was an internet archivist, I was a daughter and granddaughter of American citizens who were locked up behind barbed wires,” said Hanamura. That one book – now out of print – helped her understand what had happened to her family.

Inspired by making it to the semi-final round of the MacArthur 100&Change initiative with a proposal that provides libraries and learners with free digital access to four million books, the Internet Archive is forging ahead with plans despite not winning the $100 million grant. Among the books the Internet Archive is making available: Executive Order 9066.

1985

The year display turned to 1985, Jason Scott reappeared on stage, explaining his role as a software curator. New this year to the Internet Archive are collections of early Apple software, he explained, with browser emulation allowing the user to experience just what it was like to fire up a Macintosh computer back in its hay day. This includes a collection of the then wildly popular “HyperCards,” a programmatic tool that enabled users to create programs that linked materials in creative ways, before the rise of the world wide web.

2017

After Vinay Goelthis tour through the 20th century, the Time Machine was set to present day, 2017. Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine and Vinay Goel, senior data engineer, stepped on stage. Back in 1996, when the Wayback Machine began archiving websites on the still new world wide web, the entire thing amounted to 2.2 terabytes of data. Now the Wayback Machine contains 20 petabytes. Graham explained how the Wayback Machine is preserving tweets, government websites, and other materials that could otherwise vanish. One example: this report from The Rachel Maddow Show, which aired on December 16, 2016, about Michael Flynn, then slated to become national security advisor. Flynn deleted a tweet he had made linking to a falsified story about Hillary Clinton, but the Internet Archive saved it through the Wayback Machine.

Goel took the microphone to announce new improvements to Wayback Machine 2.0 search. Now it’s possible to search for keywords, such as “climate change,” and find not just web pages from a particular time period mentioning these words, but also different format types — such as images, pdfs, or yes, even an old Internet Archive favorite, gifs from the now-defunct GeoCities–including snow globes!

Thanks to all who came out to celebrate with the Internet Archive staff and volunteers, or watched online. Please join our efforts to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge, whatever century it is from.

 

Syncing Catalogs with thousands of Libraries in 120 Countries through OCLC

12 oktober 2017 - 6:37pm

We are pleased to announce that the Internet Archive and OCLC have agreed to synchronize the metadata describing our digital books with OCLC’s WorldCat. WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of thousands of libraries in more than 120 countries that participate in the OCLC global cooperative.

What does this mean for readers?
When the synchronization work is complete, library patrons will be able to discover the Internet Archive’s collection of 2.5 million digitized monographs through the libraries around the world that use OCLC’s bibliographic services. Readers searching for a particular volume will know that a digital version of the book exists in our collection. With just one click, readers will be taken to archive.org to examine and possibly borrow the digital version of that book. In turn, readers who find a digital book at archive.org will be able, with one click, to discover the nearest library where they can borrow the hard copy.

There are additional benefits: in the process of the synchronization, OCLC databases will be enriched with records describing books that may not yet be represented in WorldCat.

“This work strengthens the Archive’s connection to the library community around the world. It advances our goal of universal access by making our collections much more widely discoverable. It will benefit library users around the globe by giving them the opportunity to borrow digital books that might not otherwise be available to them,” said Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “We’re glad to partner with OCLC to make this possible and look forward to other opportunities this synchronization will present.”

“OCLC is always looking for opportunities to work with partners who share goals and objectives that can benefit libraries and library users,” said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development. “We’re excited to be working with Internet Archive, and to make this valuable content discoverable through WorldCat. This partnership will add value to WorldCat, expand the collections of member libraries, and extend the reach of Internet Archive content to library users everywhere.”

We believe this partnership will be a win-win-win for libraries and for learners around the globe.

Better discovery, richer metadata, more books borrowed and read.

Boston Public Library’s Sound Archives Coming to the Internet Archive for Preservation & Public Access

11 oktober 2017 - 8:06pm

Today, the Boston Public Library announced the transfer of significant holdings from its Sound Archives Collection to the Internet Archive, which will digitize, preserve and make these recordings accessible to the public. The Boston Public Library (BPL) sound collection includes hundreds of thousands of audio recordings in a variety of historical formats, including wax cylinders, 78 rpms, and LPs. The recordings span many genres, including classical, pop, rock, jazz, and opera – from 78s produced in the early 1900s to LPs from the 1980s. These recordings have never been circulated and were in storage for several decades, uncataloged and inaccessible to the public. By collaborating with the Internet Archive, Boston Public Libraries audio collection can be heard by new audiences of scholars, researchers and music lovers worldwide.

Some of the thousands of 20th century recordings in the Boston Public Library’s Sound Archives Collection.

“Through this innovative collaboration, the Internet Archive will bring significant portions of these sound archives online and to life in a way that we couldn’t do alone, and we are thrilled to have this historic collection curated and cared for by our longtime partners for all to enjoy going forward,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

78 rpm recordings from the Boston Public Library Sound Archive Collection

Listening to the 78 rpm recording of “Please Pass the Biscuits, Pappy,” by W. Lee O’Daniel and his Hillbilly Boys from the BPL Sound Archive, what do you hear? Internet Archive Founder, Brewster Kahle, hears part of a soundscape of America in 1938.  That’s why he believes Boston Public Library’s transfer is so significant.

Boston Public Library is once again leading in providing public access to their holdings. Their Sound Archive Collection includes hillbilly music, early brass bands and accordion recordings from the turn of the last century, offering an authentic audio portrait of how America sounded a century ago.” says Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive’s Digital Librarian. “Every time I walk through Boston Public Library’s doors, I’m inspired to read what is carved above it: ‘Free to All.’”

The 78 rpm records from the BPL’s Sound Archives Collection fit into the Internet Archive’s larger initiative called The Great 78 Project. This community effort seeks to digitize all the 78 rpm records ever produced, supporting their  preservationresearch and discovery. From about 1898 to the 1950s, an estimated 3 million sides were published on 78 rpm discs. While commercially viable recordings will have been restored or remastered onto LP’s or CD, there is significant research value in the remaining artifacts which include often rare 78rpm recordings.

“The simple fact of the matter is most audiovisual recordings will be lost,” says George Blood, an internationally renowned expert on audio preservation. “These 78s are disappearing right and left. It is important that we do a good job preserving what we can get to, because there won’t be a second chance.”

George Blood LP’s 4-arm turntable used for 78 digitization.

The Internet Archive is working with George Blood LP, and the IA’s Music Curator, Bob George of the Archive of Contemporary Music  to discover, transfer, digitize, catalog and preserve these often fragile discs.  This team has already digitized more than 35,000 sides.  The BPL collection joins more than 20 collections  already transferred to the Internet Archive for physical and digital preservation and access. Curated by many volunteer collectors, these collections will be preserved for future generations.

The Internet Archive began working with the Boston Public Library in 2007, and our scanning center is housed at its Central Library in Copley Square.  There, as a digital-partner-in-residence, the Internet Archive is scanning bound materials for Boston Public Library, including the John Adams Library, one of the BPL’s Collections of Distinction.

To honor Boston Public Library’s long legacy and pioneering role in making its valuable holdings available to an ever wider public online, we will be awarding the 2017 Internet Archive Hero Award to David Leonard, the President of BPL, at a public celebration tonight at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco.

 

 

Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!

10 oktober 2017 - 9:18pm

The Internet Archive is now leveraging a little known, and maybe never used, provision of US copyright law, Section 108h, which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold. Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a copyright scholar at Tulane University calls this “Library Public Domain.”  She and her students helped bring the first scanned books of this era available online in a collection named for the author of the bill making this necessary: The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Thousands more books will be added in the near future as we automate. We hope this will encourage libraries that have been reticent to scan beyond 1923 to start mass scanning their books and other works, at least up to 1942.

While good news, it is too bad it is necessary to use this provision.

Trend of Maximum U.S. General Copyright Term by Tom W Bell

If the Founding Fathers had their way, almost all works from the 20th century would be public domain by now (14-year copyright term, renewable once if you took extra actions).

Some corporations saw adding works to the public domain to be a problem, and when Sonny Bono got elected to the House of Representatives, representing part of Los Angeles, he helped push through a law extending copyright’s duration another 20 years to keep things locked-up back to 1923.  This has been called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act due to one of the motivators behind the law, but it was also a result of Europe extending copyright terms an additional twenty years first. If not for this law, works from 1923 and beyond would have been in the public domain decades ago.

Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig

Creative Commons founder, Larry Lessig fought the new law in court as unreasonable, unneeded, and ridiculous.  In support of Lessig’s fight, the Internet Archive made an Internet bookmobile to celebrate what could be done with the public domain. We drove the bookmobile across the country to the Supreme Court to make books during the hearing of the case. Alas, we lost.

Internet Archive Bookmobile in front of
Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh: “Free to the People”

But there is an exemption from this extension of copyright, but only for libraries and only for works that are not actively for sale — we can scan them and make them available. Professor Townsend Gard had two legal interns work with the Internet Archive last summer to find how we can automate finding appropriate scanned books that could be liberated, and hand-vetted the first books for the collection. Professor Townsend Gard has just released an in-depth paper giving libraries guidance as to how to implement Section 108(h) based on her work with the Archive and other libraries. Together, we have called them “Last Twenty” Collections, as libraries and archives can copy and distribute to the general public qualified works in the last twenty years of their copyright.  

Today we announce the “Sonny Bono Memorial Collection” containing the first books to be liberated. Anyone can download, read, and enjoy these works that have been long out of print. We will add another 10,000 books and other works in the near future. “Working with the Internet Archive has allowed us to do the work to make this part of the law usable,” reflected Professor Townsend Gard. “Hopefully, this will be the first of many “Last Twenty” Collections around the country.”

Now it is the chance for libraries and citizens who have been reticent to scan works beyond 1923, to push forward to 1941, and the Internet Archive will host them. “I’ve always said that the silver lining of the unfortunate Eldred v. Ashcroft decision was the response from people to do something, to actively begin to limit the power of the copyright monopoly through action that promoted open access and CC licensing,” says Carrie Russell, Director of ALA’s Program of Public Access to Information. “As a result, the academy and the general public has rediscovered the value of the public domain. The Last Twenty project joins the Internet Archive, the HathiTrust copyright review project, and the Creative Commons in amassing our public domain to further new scholarship, creativity, and learning.”

We thank and congratulate Team Durationator and Professor Townsend Gard for all the hard work that went into making this new collection possible. Professor Townsend Gard, along with her husband, Dr. Ron Gard, have started a company, Limited Times, to assist libraries, archives, and museums implementing Section 108(h), “Last Twenty” collections, and other aspects of the copyright law.

Prof. Elizabeth
Townsend Gard

Tomi Aina
Law Student

Stan Sater
Law Student

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hundreds of thousands of books can now be liberated. Let’s bring the 20th century to 21st-century citizens. Everyone, rev your cameras!

Internet Archive’s Annual Bash this Wednesday! — Get your tickets now before we run out!

10 oktober 2017 - 12:32am

Limited tickets left for 20th Century Time Machine — the Internet Archive’s Annual Bash – happening this Wednesday at the Internet Archive from 5pm-9:30pm. In case you missed it, here’s our original announcement.

Tickets start at $15 here.

Once tickets sell out, you’ll have the opportunity to join the waitlist. We’ll release tickets as spaces free up and let you know via email.

We’d love to celebrate with you!

History is happening, and we’re not just watching

10 oktober 2017 - 12:02am
  1. Which recent hurricane got the least amount of attention from TV news broadcasters?
    1. Irma
    2. Maria
    3. Harvey
  2. Thomas Jefferson said, “Government that governs least governs best.”
    1. True
    2. False
  3. Mitch McConnell shows up most on which cable TV news channel?
    1. CNN
    2. Fox News
    3. MSNBC

Answers at end of post.

The Internet Archive’s TV News Archive, our constantly growing online, free library of TV news broadcasts, contains 1.4 million shows, some dating back to 2009, searchable by closed captioning. History is happening, and we preserve how broadcast news filters it to us, the audience, whether it’s through CNN’s Jake Tapper, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or others. This archive becomes a rich resource for journalists, academics, and the general public to explore the biases embedded in news coverage and to hold public officials accountable.

Last October we wrote how the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive was “hacking the election,” then 13 days away. In the year since, we’ve been applying our experience using machine learning to track political ads and TV news coverage in the 2016 elections to experiment with new collaborations and tools to create more ways to analyze the news.

Helping fact-checkers

Since we launched our Trump Archive in January 2017, and followed in August with the four congressional leaders, Democrat and Republican, as well as key executive branch figures, we’ve collected some 4,534 hours of curated programming and more than 1,300 fact-checks of material on subjects ranging from immigration to the environment to elections.

 

The 1,340 fact-checks–and counting–represent a subset of the work of partners FactCheck.orgPolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, as we link only to fact-checks that correspond to statements that appear on TV news. Most of the fact-checks–524–come from PolitiFact; 492 are by FactCheck.org, and 324 from The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

We’re also proud to be part of the Duke Reporter’s Lab’s new Tech & Check collaborative, where we’re working with journalists and computer scientists to develop ways to automate parts of the fact-checking process.  For example, we’re creating processes to help identify important factual claims within TV news broadcasts to help guide fact-checkers where to concentrate their efforts. The initiative received $1.2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project and the Craig Newmark Foundation.

See the TrumpUS Congress, and executive branch archives and collected fact-checks.

TV News Kitchen

We’re collaborating with data scientists, private companies and nonprofit organizations, journalists, and others to cook up new experiments available in our TV News Kitchen, providing new ways to analyze TV news content and understand ourselves.

Dan Schultz, our senior creative technologist, worked with the start-up Matroid to develop Face-o-Matic, which tracks faces of selected high level elected officials on major TV cable news channels: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and BBC News. The underlying data are available for download here. Unlike caption-based searches, Face-o-Matic uses facial recognition algorithms to recognize individuals on TV news screens. It is sensitive enough to catch this tiny, dark image of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., within a graphic, and this quick flash of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky.

The work of TV Architect Tracey Jaquith, our Third Eye project scans the lower thirds of TV screens, using OCR, or optical character recognition, to turn these fleeting missives into downloadable data ripe for analysis. Launched in September 2017, Third Eye tracks BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and collected more than four million chyrons captured in just over two weeks, and counting.

Download Third Eye data. API and TSV options available.

Follow Third Eye on Twitter.

Vox news reporter Alvin Chang used the Third Eye chyron data to report how Fox News paid less attention to Hurricane Maria’s destruction in Puerto Rico than it did to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which battered Florida and Texas. Chang’s work followed a similar piece by Dhrumil Mehta for FiveThirtyEight, which used Television Explorer, a tool developed by data scientist Kalev Leetaru to search and visualize closed captioning on the TV News Archive.

 

FiveThirtyEight used TV News Archive captions to create this look at how cable networks covered recent hurricanes.

CNN’s Brian Stelter followed up with a similar analysis on “Reliable Sources” October 1.

We’re also working with academics who are using our tools to unlock new insights. For example, Schultz and Jaquith are working with Bryce Dietrich at the University of Iowa to apply the Duplitron, the audiofingerprinting tool that fueled our political ad airing data, to analyze floor speeches of members of Congress. The study identifies which floor speeches were aired on cable news programs and explores the reasons why those particular clips were selected for airing. A draft of the paper was presented in the 2017 Polinfomatics Workshop in Seattle and will begin review for publication in the coming months.

What’s next? Our plans include making more than a million hours of TV news available to researchers from both private and public institutions via a digital public library branch of the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive. These branches would be housed in computing environments, where networked computers provide the processing power needed to analyze large amounts of data. Researchers will be able to conduct their own experiments using machine learning to extract metadata from TV news. Such metadata could include, for example, speaker identification–a way to identify not just when a speaker appears on a screen, but when she or he is talking. Metadata generated through these experiments would then be used to enrich the TV News Archive, so that any member of the public could do increasingly sophisticated searches.

Going global

We live in an interdependent world, but we often lack understanding about how other cultures perceive us. Collecting global TV could open a new window for journalists and researchers seeking to understand how political and policy messages are reported and spread across the globe. The same tools we’ve developed to track political ads, faces, chyrons, and captions can help us put news coverage from around the globe into perspective.

We’re beginning work to expand our TV collection to include more channels from around the globe. We’ve added the BBC and recently began collecting Deutsche Welle from Germany and the English-language Al Jazeera. We’re talking to potential partners and developing strategy about where it’s important to collect TV and how we can do so efficiently.

History is happening, but we’re not just watching. We’re collecting, making it accessible, and working with others to find new ways to understand it. Stay tuned. Email us at tvnews@archive.org. Follow us @tvnewsarchive, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Answer Key

  1. b. (See: “The Media Really Has Neglected Puerto Rico,” FiveThirtyEight.
  2. b. False. (See: Vice President Mike Pence statement and linked PolitiFact fact-check.)
  3. c. MSNBC. (See: Face-O-Matic blog post.)

Members of the TV News Archive team: Roger Macdonald, director; Robin Chin, Katie Dahl, Tracey Jaquith, Dan Schultz, and Nancy Watzman.

TV News Record: 1,340 fact checks collected and counting

5 oktober 2017 - 2:07pm

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

In an era when social media algorithms skew what people see online, the Internet Archive TV News Archive’s collections of on-the-record statements by top political figures serves  as a powerful model for how preservation can provide a deep resource for who really said what, when, and where.

Since we launched our Trump Archive in January 2017, and followed in August with the four congressional leaders, Democrat and Republican, as well as key executive branch figures, we’ve collected some 4,534 hours of curated programming and more than 1,300 fact-checks of material on subjects ranging from immigration to the environment to elections.

The 1,340 fact-checks–and counting–represent a subset of the work of partners FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, as we link only to fact-checks that correspond to statements that appear on TV news. Most of the fact-checks–524–come from PolitiFact; 492 are by FactCheck.org, and 324 from The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

As a library, we’re dedicated to providing a record – sometimes literally, as in the case of 78s! – that can help researchers, journalists, and the public find trustworthy sources for our collective history. These clip collections, along with fact-checks, now largely hand-curated, provide a quick way to find public statements made by elected officials.

See the Trump, US Congress, and executive branch archives and collected fact-checks.

The big picture

Given his position at the helm of the government, it is not surprising that Trump garners most of the fact-checking attention.  Three out of four, or 1008 of the fact-checks, focus on Trump’s statements. Another 192 relate to the four congressional leaders: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky.; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y.; House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif. We’ve also logged 140 fact-checks related to key administration figures such as Sean Spicer, Jeff Sessions, and Mike Pence.

pie chart

The topics

The topics covered by fact-checkers run the gamut of national and global policy issues, history, and everything in between. For example, the debate on tax reform is grounded with fact-checks of the historical and global context posited by the president. Fact-checkers have also examined his aides’ claims on the impact of the current reform proposal on the wealthy and on the deficit. They’ve also followed the claims made by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis., the leading GOP policy voice on tax reform.

Another large set of fact-checks cover health care, going back as far as this claim made in 2010 by Pelosi about job creation under healthcare reform (PolitiFact rated it “Half True.”) The most recent example is the Graham-Cassidy bill that aimed to repeal much of Obamacare. One of the most sharply contested debates about that legislation was whether or not it would require coverage of people with pre-existing conditions. Fact-checkers parsed the he-said he-said debate as it unfolded on TV news, for example examining dueling claims by Schumer and Trump.

Browse or download  fact-checked TV clips by topic

The old stuff

The collection of Trump fact checks include a few dating back to 2011, long before his successful presidential campaign. Here he is at the CPAC conference that year claiming no one remembered now-former President Barack Obama from school, part of his campaign to question Obama’s citizenship. (PolitiFact rated: “Pants on Fire!”) And here he is with what FactCheck.org called a “100 percent wrong” claim about the Egyptian people voting to overturn a treaty with Israel.

This fact-check of McConnell dates back to 2009, when PolitiFact rated “false” his claim of how much federal spending occurred under Obama’s watch: “In just one month, the Democrats have spent more than President Bush spent in seven years on the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina combined.”

Meanwhile, this 2010 statement by Schumer, rated “mostly false” by PolitiFact, asserted that the U.S. Supreme Court “decided to overrule the 100-year-old ban on corporate expenditures.” The ban on giving directly to candidates is still in place; however,  corporations are free to spend unlimited funds on elections providing they do so separate from a candidate’s official campaign.

The repetition

Twenty-four million people will be forced off their health insurance, young farmers have to sell the farm to pay estate tax, NATO members owe the United States money, millions of women turn to Planned Parenthood for mammograms, and sanctuary cities lead to higher crime. These are all examples of claims found to be inaccurate or misleading, but that continued or continue to be repeated by public officials.

The unexpected

Whether you lean one political direction or another, there are always surprises from the fact-checkers that can keep all our assumptions in check. For example, if you’re opposed to building a wall on the southern border to keep people from crossing into the U.S., you might guess Trump’s claim that people use catapults to toss drugs over current walls is an exaggeration. In fact, that statement was rated “mostly true” by PolitiFact. Or if you’re conservative, you might be surprised to learn an often repeated quote ascribed to Thomas Jefferson, in this case by Vice President Mike Pence, is in fact falsely attributed to him.

How to find

If you’re looking for the most recent TV news statements with fact-checks, you can see the latest offerings on the TV Archive’s homepage by scrolling down.

screen grab of place on tv homepageYou can review whole speeches, scanning for just the fact-checked claims by looking for the fact-check icon  on a program timeline. For example, starting in the Trump Archive, you can choose a speech or interview and see if and how many of the statements were checked by reporters.

screen grab of timeline w icons

You can also find the fact-checks in the growing table, also available to download, which includes details on the official making the claim, the topic(s) covered, the url for the corresponding TV news clip, and the link to the fact-checking article.

image of fact-checks table

To receive the TV News Archive’s email newsletter, subscribe here.

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Wayback Machine Playback… now with Timestamps!

5 oktober 2017 - 6:16am

The Wayback Machine has an exciting new feature: it can list the dates and times, the Timestamps, of all page elements compared to the date and time of the base URL of a page.  This means that users can see, for instance, that an image displayed on a page was captured X days before the URL of the page or Y hours after it.  Timestamps are available via the “About this capture” link on the right side of the Wayback Toolbar.  Here is an example:

The Timestamps list includes the URLs and date and time difference compared to the current page for the following page elements: images, scripts, CSS and frames. Elements are presented in a descending order. If your cursor over a list element on the page, it will be highlighted and if you click on it you will be shown a playback of just that element.

Under the hood

Web pages are usually a composition of multiple elements such as images, scripts and CSS. The Wayback Machine tries to archive and playback web pages in the best possible manner, including all their original elements.  Each web page element has its own URL and Timestamp, indicating the exact date and time it was archived. Page elements may have similar Timestamps but they could also vary significantly for various reasons which depend on the web crawling process. By using the new Timestamps feature, users can easily learn the archive date and time for each element of a page.

Why this is important

The Wayback Machine is increasingly used in critical procedures such as legal evidence or political debate material.  It is important that what is presented is clear and transparent, even in the light of a web that was not designed to be archived. One of the ways a web archive could be confusing is via anachronisms, displaying content from different dates and times than the user expects. For example, when a archived page is played back, it could include some images from the current web, making it look like the image came from the past when it did not. We implemented Timestamps to provide users with more context about, and in turn hopefully greater confidence in, what they are seeing.

TV News Record: Wayback Machine saves deleted prez tweets

29 september 2017 - 4:17pm

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

In this week’s TV News Archive roundup, we explain how presidential tweets are forever, show how different TV cable news networks summarized NFL protests via Third Eye chyron data, and present FiveThirtyEight’s analysis of hurricane coverage (hint: Puerto Rico got less attention.)

Wayback Machine preserved deleted prez tweets; PolitiFact fact-checks legality of prez tweet deletions (murky)

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has preserved President Donald Trump’s deleted tweets praising failed GOP Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Luther Strange following his defeat by Roy Moore on September 26. So does the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism site ProPublica, through its Politwoops project.

Kudos @propublica saving @realDonaldTrump deleted tweets. Also @internetarchive on Waybackhttps://t.co/FMkJNZ4xNShttps://t.co/xAPRTzCCb0 pic.twitter.com/zXkHzDvkLP

— TV News Archive (@TVNewsArchive) September 27, 2017

The story of Trump’s deleted tweets about Strange was reported far and wide, including this segment on MSNBC’s “Deadline Whitehouse” that aired on September 27.

In a fact-check on the legality of a president deleting tweets, linked in the TV News Archive clip above, John Kruzel, reports for PolitiFact that the law is murky but still being fleshed out:

Experts were split over how much enforcement power courts have in the arena of presidential record-keeping, though most seemed to agree the president has the upper hand.

“One of the problems with the Presidential Records Act is that it does not have a lot of teeth,” said Douglas Cox, a professor at the City University of New York School of Law. “The courts have held that the president has wide and almost unreviewable discretion to interpret the Presidential Records Act.”

That said, many of the experts we spoke to are closely monitoring how the court responds to the litigation around Trump administration record-keeping.

He also provides background on that litigation, a lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The case is broadly about requirements for preserving presidential records, and a previous set of deleted presidential tweets is a part of it.

Fact Check: NFL attendance and ratings are way down because people love their country (Mostly false)

Speaking of Trump’s tweets, the president ignited an explosion of coverage with an early morning tweet on Sunday, Sept. 24, ahead of a long day of football games: “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country.”

Manuela Tobias of PolitiFact rated this claim as “mostly false,” reporting, “Ratings were down 8 percent in 2016, but experts said the drop was modest and in line with general ratings for the sports industry. The NFL remains the most watched televised sports event in the United States.” “As for political motivation, there’s little evidence to suggest people are boycotting the NFL. Most of the professional sports franchises are dealing with declines in popularity.”

How did different cable TV news networks cover the NFL protests?

We first used the Television Explorer tool to see where there was a spike in the use of the word “NFL” near the word “Trump.” It looked like Sunday showed the most use of these words. After a  closer look, we saw MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN all showed highest mentions of these terms around 2 pm Pacific.

Spike at 2 pm (PST) for CNN, MSNBC, and CNN

Then we downloaded data from the new Third Eye project, which turns TV News chyrons into data, filtering for that date and hour. We were able to see how the three cable news networks were summarizing the news at that particular point in time.

At about 2:02, CNN broadcast this chyron: “NFL teams kneel, link arms in defiance of Trump.”

Screen grab of chyron caught by Third Eye from 2:02 pm 9/24/17 on CNN

Fox News chose the following, also seen below tweeted from one of the Third Eye twitter bots: “Some NFL owners criticize Trump’s statements on player protests, link arms with players”

FOXNEWS 2:02pm SOME NFL OWNERS CRITICIZE TRUMP’S STATEMENTS ‘. . ON PLAYER PROTESTS, LINK ARMS WITH PLAYERS i
FOX N EWS ALERT

— The Third Eye (@tvThirdEyeF) September 24, 2017

Meanwhile, MSNBC chose a different message:  “Taking a knee: NFL teams send a message.”

Screen grab of chyron caught by Third Eye from 2:02 pm 9/24/17 on MSNBC

About eight minutes later, all three cable channels were still reporting on the NFL protests:

Puerto Rico’s hurricane Maria got less media attention than hurricanes Harvey & Irma

Writing for FiveThirtyEight.com, Dhrumil Mehta demonstrated that both online news sites and TV news broadcasters paid less attention to Puerto Rico’s hurricane Marie than to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit mainland U.S. primarily in Texas and Florida. Mehta used TV News Archive data via Television Explorer, as well as data from Media Cloud on online news coverage, to help make his case:

While Puerto Rico suffers after Hurricane Maria, much of the U.S. media (FiveThirtyEight not excepted) has been occupied with other things: a health care bill that failed to pass, a primary election in Alabama, and a spat between the president and sports players, just to name a few. Last Sunday alone, after President Trump’s tweets about the NFL, the phrase “national anthem” was said in more sentences on TV news than “Puerto Rico” and “Hurricane Maria” combined.

To receive the TV News Archive’s email newsletter, subscribe here.

 

 

Experiments Day Hackathon 2017

22 september 2017 - 4:45pm

Join us this Saturday, September 23 @ 10:30am PT for our Experiments Day Hackathon

It’s almost that time again — October 11 — the day the Internet Archive invites you to celebrate another year of preserving our cultural heritage and the progress our community has made towards  building tools that facilitate universal access to all knowledge.

Making these collections as discoverable and accessible as possible is a huge task, and we need your help! It’s often our community members who bring our items to life.

Now’s your chance!

Champions of open-access, unite: This Saturday, September 23 @ 10:30am PT,  join us in person at the  Internet Archive HQ or joins us remotely online for an Experiments Day Hackathon; a day of camaraderie and civic action fuelled by fresh ground coffee and abundant amounts of pizza.

Let’s team up to prototype experimental interfaces, remix content, and build tools to make knowledge more accessible to those who need it most.

What experiments would you craft with 2M hours or tv news, 5B archived images, 3M books, and petabytes of free storage? Proposed themes include #decentralization, #accessibility, #books, #scholarly-papers, #annotations.

We’ve helped backup over 2M hours of television news, hundreds of billions of webpages through time, audio for tens of thousands of live music concerts and 78rpms, and have helped digitize and lend millions of public domain and modern books. The breadth, archival quality, and uniqueness of our collections make the Internet Archive a rich terrain for experimentation and hacking.  Many of our top engineers will be on hand to guide you through the APIs to build with.

Then, be sure to come back on October 11 for our annual celebration, where many of our experiments will be on display!

Register/RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/internet-archive-experiments-hackathon-2017-tickets-37012125263

Join our chat: https://gitter.im/ArchiveExperiments/Lobby

Schedule + more event details: https://experiments.archivelab.org/hackathon

Watch remotely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJov5X5Sht4

TV news chyron data provide ways to explore breaking news reports & bias

21 september 2017 - 2:14pm

Today the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive announces a new way to plumb our TV news collections to see how news stories are reported: data feeds for the news that appears as chyrons on the lower thirds of TV screens.  Our Third Eye project scans the lower thirds of TV screens, using OCR, or optical character recognition, to turn these fleeting missives into downloadable data ripe for analysis.  At launch, Third Eye tracks BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and contains more than four million chyrons captured in just over two weeks.

Download Third Eye data. API and TSV options available.

Follow Third Eye on Twitter.

Third Eye joins a growing suite of TV News Archive tools that help researchers, journalists, and the public analyze how news is filtered through TV and presented to the public. These include Face-o-Matic, created through a partnership with Matroid, which uses facial recognition to find top political leaders on TV news shows; and Television Explorer, an interface created by data scientist Kalev Leetaru that allows easy searching and visualization of TV News Archive closed captioning. The Political TV Ad Archive used audio fingerprinting to find airings of political ads in the 2016 elections, and the Trump and U.S. Congress archives provide a quick way to see news clips featuring top political figures, alongside associated fact checks by FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker.

Breaking news often appears as chyrons on TV before newscasters begin reporting or video is available, whether the subject is a hurricane or a breaking political story. Which chyrons a TV news network chooses to display often reveals editorial decisions that can demonstrate a particular slant on the news. With Third Eye data, investigations by journalists, fact-checkers, researchers, can explore how messages are delivered to the public in near real-time.

Third Eye on Twitter tweets the most clear, representative chyron from a one-minute period on a particular TV news channel. This can serve as a alert system, showing how TV networks are reporting news.

For example, on September 6, 2017, in the midst of a heavy news day featuring Hurricane Irma, the debate over a deal on immigration, and other stories, TV news cable networks began to show the breaking news that Facebook had turned over information about $100,000 in ads purchased by Russian sources during the 2016 elections to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Our Third Eye CNN Twitter bot tweeted out this chyron recorded at 2:38 pm Pacific Standard Time.

CNN 2:38pm FACEBOOK: SOLD ADS TO FAKE RUSSIAN ACCOUNTS DURING ELECTION CAMPAIGN
CNN 2:38pm FACEBOOK: SOLD ADS TO FAKE…

— The Third Eye (@tvThirdEye) September 6, 2017

Here is the corresponding clip as it appears on the TV News Archive.

At 2:51 p.m., MSNBC ran this chyron: “FACEBOOK: WE SOLD POLITICAL ADS DURING ELECTION TO COMPANY LIKELY OPERATED IN RUSSIA.” The corresponding clip is below.

However, our data do not show Fox News running any chyrons on the Facebook ad news that day. To cross-check, we used Television Explorer, a tool for searching TV News Archive closed captions. (Captions differ from chyrons; captions capture what news anchors are actually saying, as opposed to chyrons, which feature text chosen by the TV channel to run at the bottom of the screen.) Television Explorer shows CNN and MSNBC covering the story on September 6, but not Fox News.

However, the Facebook ad story did make it on to the Fox News website during the 2 p.m. hour, as this search on the Wayback Machine shows.

This is just one example of the way that researchers might use Third Eye chyron data in conjunction with other tools to explore how a particular story is portrayed on TV news. We’d love for others to dig in, explore, and give us feedback on this new public data source.

More on Third Eye data

The work of the Internet Archive’s TV architect Tracey Jaquith, the Third Eye project applies OCR to the “lower thirds” of TV cable news screens to capture the text that appears there. The chyrons are not captions, which provide the text for what people are saying on screen, but rather are narrative display text that accompanies news broadcasts.

Created in real-time by TV news editors, chyrons sometimes include misspellings. The OCR process also frequently adds another element where text is not rendered correctly, leading to entries that may be garbled. To make sense out of the noise, Jaquith applies algorithms that choose the most representative chyrons from each channel collected over 60-second increments. This cleaned-up feed is what fuels the Twitter bots that post which chyrons are appearing on TV news screens.

We provide options to download this filtered feed and/or the raw feed nearly as soon as it appears on the TV screen. Both may be useful depending on the type of project. In addition, the Twitter feed itself is a good source to see what the filtered feed looks like.

Some notes:

  • Chryons are derived in near real-time from the TV News Archive‘s collection of TV news. The constantly updating public collection contains 1.4 million TV news shows, some dating back to 2009.
  • At launch, Third Eye captures four TV cable news channels: BBC News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
  • Data can be affected by temporary collection outages, which typically can last minutes or hours, but rarely more. If you are concerned about a specific time gap in a feed and would like to know if it’s the result of an outage, please inquire at tvnews@archive.org.
  • The “raw feed” option provides all of the OCR’ed text from chryons at the rate of approximately one entry per second. The “filtered tweets feed” provides the data that fuels our Twitter bots; this has been filtered to find the most representative, clearest chyrons from a 60-second period, with no more than one entry/tweet per minute (though the duration may be shorter than 60 seconds.) The filtered feed relies on algorithms that are a work in progress; we invite you to share your ideas on how to effectively filter the noise from the raw data.
  • Dates/times are in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) in raw feeds, PST (Pacific Standard Time) in Twitter feed.
  • Because the size of the raw data is so large (about 20 megabytes per day), we limit results to seven days per request.
  • We began collecting raw data on August 25, 2017; the filtered feed begins on September 7, 2017.
  • “Duration” column is in seconds–the amount of time that particular chyron appeared on the screen.
  • To view clips in context on the TV News Archive, paste “https://archive.org/details/” before the field that begins with a channel name. For example, “FOXNEWSW_20170919_100000_FOX__Friends/start/792” becomes “https://archive.org/details/FOXNEWSW_20170919_100000_FOX__Friends/start/792”

We want to hear from you! Please contact us with questions, feedback, concerns – and also to tell us what project you’ve done with the TV News Archive’s Third Eye project: tvnews@archive.org. Follow us @tvnewsarchive, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Thanks to Robin Chin, Katie Dahl, Dan Schultz, and the TV News Archive director, Roger Macdonald, for contributing to this project.

 

 

MacArthur Foundation’s $100 Million Award Finalists

19 september 2017 - 8:09pm

Today, the MacArthur Foundation announced the finalists for its 100&Change competition, awarding a single organization $100 million to solve one of the world’s biggest problems. The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries project, one of eight semifinalists, did not make the cut to the final round. Today we want congratulate the 100&Change finalists and thank the MacArthur Foundation for inspiring us to think big. For the last 15 months, the Internet Archive team has been building the partnerships that can transform US libraries for the digital age and put millions of ebooks in the hands of more than a billion learners. We’ve collaborated with the world’s top copyright experts to clarify the legal framework for libraries to digitize and lend their collections. And we’ve learned an amazing amount from the leading organizations serving the blind and people with disabilities that impact reading.  

To us, that feels like a win.

In the words of MacArthur Managing Director, Cecilia Conrad:

The Internet Archive project will unlock and make accessible bodies of knowledge currently located on library shelves across the country. The proposal for curation, with the selection of books driven not by commercial interests but by intellectual and cultural significance, is exciting. Though the legal theory regarding controlled digital lending has not been tested in the courts, we found the testimony from legal experts compelling. The project has an experienced, thoughtful and passionate team capable of redefining the role of the public library in the 21st Century.

Copyright scholar and Berkeley Law professor, Pam Samuelson (center), convenes a gathering of more than twenty legal experts to help clarify the legal basis for libraries digitizing and lending physical books in their collections.

So, the Internet Archive and our partners are continuing to build upon the 100&Change momentum. We are meeting October 11-13 to refine our plans, and we invite interested stakeholders to join us at the Library Leaders Forum. If you are a philanthropist interested in leveraging technology to provide more open access to information—well, we have a project for you.

For 20 years, at the Internet Archive we have passionately pursued one goal: providing universal access to knowledge. But there is almost a century of books missing from our digital shelves, beyond the reach of so many who need them. So we cannot stop. We now have the technology, the partners and the plan to transform library hard copies into digital books and lend them as libraries always have. So all of us building Open Libraries are moving ahead.

Members of the Open Libraries Team at the Internet Archive headquarters, part of a global movement to provide more equitable access to knowledge.

Remember: a century ago, Andrew Carnegie funded a vast network of public libraries because he recognized democracy can only exist when citizens have equal access to diverse information. Libraries are more important than ever, welcoming all of society to use their free resources, while respecting readers’ privacy and dignity. Our goal is to build an enduring asset for libraries across this nation, ensuring that all citizens—including our most vulnerable—have equal and unfettered access to knowledge.

Thank you, MacArthur Foundation, for inspiring us to turn that idea into a well thought-out project.

Onward!

–The Open Libraries Team

TV News Record: Debt ceiling, hurricane funding, GDP

14 september 2017 - 7:21pm

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

In this week’s TV News Archive roundup, we examine the latest Face-O-Matic data (you can too!); and present our partner’s fact-checks on Sen. Ted Cruz’s claims that Hurricane Sandy emergency funding was filled with “unrelated pork” and President Donald Trump’s claims about other country’s GDPs.

What got political leaders sustained face-time on TV news last week?

What got Trump, McConnell, Schumer, Ryan, and Pelosi the longest clips on TV cable news screens this past week? Thanks to our new trove of Face-O-Matic data developed with the start-up Matroid’s facial recognition algorithms, reporters and researchers can get quick answers to questions like these.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., got almost six minutes – an unusually large amount of sustained face-time for the Democrat from California – from “MSNBC Live” on September 7 covering her press conference following President Donald Trump’s surprise deal with congressional Democrats on the debt ceiling.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., also enjoyed his longest sustained face-time segment last week on the debt ceiling, clocking in at 34 seconds on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis., got 11 minutes on September 7 on Fox News’ “Happening Now,” for his weekly press conference, where he was shown discussing a variety of topics, including Hurricane Harvey, tax reform, and also debt relief. For Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., the topic that got him the most sustained time–21 seconds–was also his unexpected deal with the president on the debt ceiling.

For President Donald Trump, however, who never lacks for TV news face-time, his longest sustained appearance on TV news this past week was his speech at this week’s 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.

Fact-check: Hurricane Sandy relief was 2/3 filled with pork and unrelated spending (false)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Sen. Ted Cruz, R., Texas, came under criticism by supporting federal funding for Harvey victims while having opposed such funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2013.  Cruz defended himself by saying, “The problem with that particular bill is it became a $50 billion bill that was filled with unrelated pork. Two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy.”

But Lori Robertson of FactCheck.org labeled this claim as “false,” noting that a Congressional Research Service study pegged at least 69 percent of that bill’s funding as related to Sandy, and that even more of the money could be attributed to hurricane relief funding: “Cruz could have said he thought the Sandy relief legislation included too many non-emergency items. That’s fair enough, and his opinion. But he was wrong to specifically say two-thirds of the bill “had nothing to do with Sandy,” or “little or nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy.”

Fact-check: Trump spoke with world leader unhappy with nine percent GDP growth rate (three Pinocchios)

At a recent press conference on his tax reform plan, President Donald Trump remarked that other foreign leaders are unhappy with higher rates of growth in gross domestic product (GDP) than the U.S. has. “I spoke to a leader of a major, major country recently. Big, big country. They say ‘our country is very big, it’s hard to grow.’ Well believe me this country is very big. How are you doing, I said. ‘Cause I have very good relationships believe it or not with the leaders of these countries. I said, how are you doing? He said ‘not good, not good at all. Our GDP is 7 percent.’ I say 7 percent? Then I speak to another one. ‘Not good. Not good. Our GDP is only 9 percent.’”

Nicole Lewis of The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave this claim “three Pinocchios”: “Of the 58 heads of state he’s met or spoke with since taking office, not one can claim 9 percent GDP growth. Perhaps Trump misheard. Or perhaps the other leader was fibbing. Or maybe Trump just thought the pitch for a tax cut sounded better if he could quote two leaders….In any case, Trump is making a major economic error in comparing the GDP of a developed country to a developing one. For his half-truths, and for comparing apples to oranges, Trump receives Three Pinocchios.”

To receive the TV News Archive’s email newsletter, subscribe here.

Rubbing the Internet Archive

13 september 2017 - 7:58am

In July 2017, Los Angeles-based artist Katie Herzog visited our headquarters in San Francisco and created Rubbing the Internet Archive — a 10-foot high by 84-foot wide rubbing of the exterior of the building, made using rubbing wax on non-fusible interfacing. The imposing 1923 building—formerly a Christian Science church and now a library—features an intricate facade that translated well into two dimensions.

The drawing is now adhered to the walls of Klowden Mann’s main exhibition space allowing the to-scale exterior of the Internet Archive to form the interior built-environment of the gallery.

Rubbing the Internet Archive is on view at Klowden Mann, 6023 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, through October 14th.



Face-O-Matic data show Trump dominates – Fox focuses on Pelosi; MSNBC features McConnell

6 september 2017 - 5:06pm

For every ten minutes that TV cable news shows featured President Donald Trump’s face on the screen this past summer, the four congressional leaders’ visages were presented  for one minute, according an analysis of Face-O-Matic downloadable, free data fueled by the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive and made available to the public today.

Face-O-Matic is an experimental service, developed in collaboration with the start-up Matroid, that tracks the faces of selected high level elected officials on major TV cable news channels: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. First launched as a Slack app in July, the TV News Archive, after receiving feedback from journalists, is now making the underlying data available to the media, researchers, and the public. It will be updated daily here.

Unlike caption-based searches, Face-O-Matic uses facial recognition algorithms to recognize individuals on TV news screens. Face-O-Matic finds images of people when TV news shows use clips of the lawmakers speaking; frequently, however, the lawmakers’ faces also register if their photos or clips are being used to illustrate a story, or they appear as part of a montage as the news anchor talks.  Alongside closed caption research, these data provide an additional metric to analyze how TV news cable networks present public officials to their millions of viewers.

Our concentration on public officials and our bipartisan tracking is purposeful; in experimenting with this technology, we strive to respect individual privacy and extract only information for which there is a compelling public interest, such as the role the public sees our elected officials playing through the filter of TV news. The TV News Archive is committed to doing this right by adhering to these Artificial Intelligence principles for ethical research developed by leading artificial intelligence researchers, ethicists, and others at a January 2017 conference organized by the Future of Life Institute. As we go forward with our experiments, we will continue to explore these questions in conversations with experts and the public.

Download Face-O-Matic data here.

We want to hear from you:

What other faces would you like us to track? For example, should we start by adding the faces of foreign leaders, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and South Korea’s Kim Jong-un? Should we add former President Barack Obama and contender Hillary Clinton? Members of the White House staff? Other members of Congress?

Do you have any technical feedback? If so, please let us know what they are by contacting tvnews@archive.org or participating in the GitHub Face-O-Matic page.

Trump dominates, Pelosi gets little face time

Overall, between July 13 through September 5, analysis of Face-O-Matic data show:

  • All together, we found 7,930 minutes, or some 132 hours, of face-time for President Donald Trump and the four congressional leaders. Of that amount, Trump dominated with 90 percent of the face time. Collectively, the four congressional leaders garnered 15 hours of face time.
  • House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., got the least amount of time on the screen: just 1.4 hours over the whole period.
  • Of the congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s face was found most often: 7.6 hours, compared to 3.8 hours for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis.; 1.7 hours for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., and 1.4 hours for Pelosi.
  • The congressional leaders got bumps in coverage when they were at the center of legislative fights, such as in this clip of McConnell aired by CNN, in which the senator is shown speaking on July 25 about the upcoming health care reform vote. Schumer got coverage on the same date from the network in this clip of him talking about the Russia investigation. Ryan got a huge boost on CNN when the cable network aired his town hall on August 21.

Fox shows most face time for Pelosi; MSNBC, most Trump and McConnell

The liberal cable network MSNBC gave Trump more face time than any other network. Ditto for McConnell. A number of these stories highlight tensions between the senate majority leader and the president. For example, here, on August 25, the network uses a photo of McConnell, and then a clip of both McConnell and Ryan, to illustrate a report on Trump “trying to distance himself” from GOP leaders. In this excerpt, from an August 21 broadcast, a clip of McConnell speaking is shown in the background to illustrate his comments that “most news is not fake,” which is interpreted as “seem[ing] to take a shot at the president.”

MSNBC uses photos of both Trump and McConnell in August 12 story on “feud” between the two.

While Pelosi does not get much face time on any of the cable news networks examined, Fox News shows her face more than any other. In this commentary report on August 20, Jesse Waters criticizes Pelosi for favoring the removal of confederate statues placed in the Capitol building. “Miss Pelosi has been in Congress for 30 years. Now she speaks up?” On August 8, “Special Report With Bret Baier” uses a clip of Pelosi talking in favor of women having a right to choose the size and timing of her family as an “acid test for party base.”

Example of Fox News using a photo of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to illustrate a story, in this case about a canceled San Francisco rally.

While the BBC gives some Trump face time, it gives scant attention to the congressional leaders. Proportionately, however, the BBC gives Trump less face time than any of the U.S. networks.

On July 13 the BBC’s “Outside Source” ran a clip of Trump talking about his son, Donald Trump, Jr.’s, meeting with a Russian lobbyist.

For details about the data available, please visit the Face-O-Matic page. The TV News Archive is an online, searchable, public archive of 1.4 million TV news programs aired from 2009 to the present.  This service allows researchers and the public to use television as a citable and sharable reference. Face-o-Matic is part of ongoing experiments in generating metadata for reporters and researchers, enabling analysis of the messages that bombard us daily in public discourse.

 

Why Bitcoin is on the Internet Archive’s Balance Sheet

2 september 2017 - 6:09pm

 

A foundation was curious as to why we have Bitcoin on our balance sheet, and I thought I would explain it publicly.

The Internet Archive explores how bitcoin and other Internet innovations can be useful in the non-profit sphere– this is part of it. We want to see how donated bitcoin can be used, not just sold off. We are doing this publicly so others can learn from us.   And it is fun.  And it is interesting.

We started receiving donations in bitcoin in 2012, the first year we got about 2,700 and we sold them to an employee who was heavily involved (for the prevailing $2 per bitcoin). The next year, we held onto them and offered them to employees as an optional way to get their salary– ⅓ took some. We set up an ATM at the Internet Archive. We got the sushi place next door to take bitcoins, and encouraged our employees to buy books at Green Apple Books in bitcoin. We set up a vanity address. Started taking bitcoin in our swag store. Tried (and failed) to get our credit union to help bitcoin firms.

Another year we gave a small amount to people as an xmas bonus to those that set up a wallet (from a matching grant of bitcoins from me).

We paid vendors and contractors in bitcoin when they wanted it. Starting getting micropayments from the Brave Browser. Hosted a movie with filmmakers on living on bitcoin. We publicly tested if people are stealing bitcoins like the press was saying (didn’t steal ours).

A few years later, the price had gone up so much, I personally bought some at the going rate to decrease financial risk to the Internet Archive, but then I did not just cash those in for dollars. We may seem like we are geniuses, bit we are not, we saw the price go down as well and we did not sell out then either.

Recently Zcash folks helped us set up a Zcash address, and would love people to donate there.

What we are doing is trying to “play the game” and see how it works for non-profits. It is not an investment for us, it is testing a technology in an open way. If you want to see the donations to us in bitcoin, they are here. Zcash here.

Bitcoin donations have been decreasing in recent years, which may reflect we are not moving with the times. I am hoping that someone will say, gosh, I will donate a thousand bitcoins to these guys who have been so good :). Here is to hoping.

So the Internet Archive has some bitcoin on its balance sheet to be a living example of an organization that is trying this innovative Internet technology. We do the same with bittorrent, tor, and decentralized web tech.

Please donate and we will the them to good use supporting the Internet Archive’s mission.

 

The Internet Archive’s Annual Bash – Come Celebrate With Us!

30 augustus 2017 - 10:50pm

What’s your personal rabbit hole?

78 rpm recordings?
20th Century women writers?
Friendster sites?
Vintage software?
Educational films from the 50s?

Find out at the Internet Archive’s Annual Bash:

The Internet Archive invites you to enter our 20th Century Time Machine to experience the audio, books, films, web sites, ephemera and software fast disappearing from our midst. We’ll be connecting the centuries—transporting 20th century treasures to curious minds in the 21st. Come explore the possibilities at our annual bash on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, from 5-9:30 pm.

Tickets start at $15 here.

We’ll kick off the evening with cocktails, food trucks and hands-on demos of our coolest collections. Come scan a book, play in a virtual reality arcade, or spin a 78 rpm recording. When you arrive, be sure to get your library card. If you “check out” all the stations on your card, we’ll reward you with a special Internet Archive gift.

Starting at 7 p.m., we’ll unveil the latest media the Internet Archive has to offer, presented by the artists, writers, and scientists who lose themselves in our collections every day. And to keep you dancing into the evening, DJ Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, will once again be spinning records from 8-9:30. Come join our celebration!

Event Info:                    Wednesday, October 11th
5pm: Cocktails, food trucks, and hands-on demos
7pm: Program
8pm: Dessert and Dancing

Location:  Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco

Get your tickets now!

 

TV News Record: Trump eclipses sun (at least on TV news)

25 augustus 2017 - 6:00pm

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

In this week’s round up, we ask whether the eclipse eclipsed politicians on TV news; we hearken back to a 2016 political ad in which President Donald Trump talks about the wall he wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico; and finally, we link fact-checks from our national partners on the president’s speech in Phoenix, Arizona.

Trump eclipses sun (at least on TV news)

The total eclipse of the sun that was viewable coast to coast in the U.S. was big news this week–but not big enough to merit more mentions than President Donald Trump. The chart below illustrates how much coverage major cable news stations gave over a 24-hour period starting August 21 for the president and congressional leaders versus the solar eclipse. In every case, Trump got more air time than the celestial event; among congressional leaders, only House Speaker Paul Ryan, R., Wis., beat the sun, and then only on CNN (and that’s because CNN ran coverage of a town hall meeting he hosted that day). Of course, cable news shows, by their very nature, devote more time to politics than they do to science, and congressional leaders don’t have the public profile a sitting president does; nevertheless, here’s an example of how our TV news diet continues to be dominated by the president.

Source: Television News Explorer, fueled by TV News Archive closed captioning. Represents percent of sentence mentions devoted to Trump and congressional leaders vs. eclipse/sun over 24-hour period.

Trump on the wall

On August 22, at a rally in Phoenix, Trump raised the stakes on building his promised border wall between the U.S. and Mexico by threatening a government shut down over the issue: “[W]e are building a wall on the southern border, which is absolutely necessary…. [T]he obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, we have to close down that government. We’re building that wall.”

Trump is keenly aware of his campaign promise that he would build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico; for example, the political nature of his promise–and that Mexico would pay for it–was a key theme of his phone conversation with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto following the election.

In January 2016, Trump’s campaign ran the following ad more than 1,400 times in key TV markets reaching voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to data analyzed by the TV News Archive’s Political Ad Archive. Interestingly, in the ad he talks about the wall–but not the promise to pay:

“I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message. We are going to take our country and we’re going to fix it, we’re going to make it great again. We are going to fix our health. We are going to take care of our vets. We are going to fix our military. We are going to strengthen our borders, we’re going to build the wall, but we are going to strengthen our borders, we are going to make it great again, we’re going to make it greater than ever before, thank you.”

Fact-checks: The Phoenix rally

During the rally in Phoenix, Trump made many factual assertions that PolitiFact and FactCheck.org found wanting. (View the full rally here on the TV News Archive.) Among them: the president’s claim that “There aren’t too many people outside protesting,” which PolitiFact reporter Miriam Valverde rated as “false”:

“Thousands of people were out on the streets of Phoenix protesting Trump’s speech, according to multiple media accounts and the Phoenix police chief, who said the city’s downtown had “tens of thousands” of people exercising their right to free speech….Trump significantly underestimated crowds in Phoenix.”

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The Battle to Save Net Neutrality – Please Join Us

23 augustus 2017 - 12:09am

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality, the principle that broadband companies like Comcast and AT&T shouldn’t pick winners and losers on the Internet, is under attack in Washington, DC. The Trump Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing to repeal the strong 2015 net neutrality rules, which are overwhelmingly popular with Americans all across the country, regardless of political affiliation. At the same time, some members of Congress are pushing to put a weaker form of net neutrality into law and at the same time free broadband companies from FCC oversight.

Mozilla and the Internet Archive will host a discussion featuring former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler; Representative Ro Khanna; Mozilla Chief Legal and Business Officer Denelle Dixon; Amy Aniobi, Supervising Producer, Insecure (HBO); Luisa Leschin, Co-Executive Producer/Head Writer, Just Add Magic (Amazon); and Malkia Cyril, Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice. The panel will be moderated by Gigi Sohn, Mozilla Fellow and former Counselor to Chairman Wheeler, and will discuss how net neutrality promotes democratic values, social justice and economic opportunity, what the current threats are, and what the public can do to preserve it.

Doors open at 6:00pm. A reception will precede the discussion from 6:30-7:15, and the discussion (followed by audience Q&A) will run from 7:30-9:00.

Please RSVP here.

What: The Battle to Save Net Neutrality

When: Monday, September 18th, 2017
6:30pm Reception
7:30 pm Discussion & Q&A

Where: Internet Archive Headquarters
300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94118

TV News Record: Charlottesville edition

17 augustus 2017 - 9:35pm

A weekly round up on what’s happening and what we’re seeing at the TV News Archive by Katie Dahl and Nancy Watzman. Additional research by Robin Chin.

It was an extraordinary week on TV news. Cable news hosts and guests are known for brawling, and there was plenty of that, but this week there were also tears, revulsion, and outright astonishment in response to President Donald Trump’s declaration at a press conference on August 15 that there were “very fine people on both sides” at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. We’ve preserved it all at the TV News Archive, and here present some highlights–or some might say lowlights–in public discourse.

Vice captured white supremacists chanting “Jews will not replace us”

When white supremacists carrying tiki torches marched at the University of Virginia on the evening of August 11 to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, Vice news was there recording their chants of “blood and soil,” “Jews will not replace us,” and “Whose streets, our streets.” CNN later aired this clip from the Vice video that shows the marchers chanting and counter protesters confronting them and yelling, “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

Trump responded by blaming “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville

The protest turned deadly on Saturday, August 14, when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters leaving dozens wounded and a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, dead. Trump came under criticism for making a public statement, saying: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on may sides, on many sides.”

On Monday, Trump denounced the KKK and neo-Nazis

After a barrage of criticism, on Monday, Trump made a statement denouncing white supremacists by name: “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

On Tuesday, Trump was back to finding fault with “both sides”

On August 15, at a press conference in New York City on infrastructure policy, Trump lashed out at reporters asking about Charlottesville during the question and answer period and stated, “I think there’s blame on both sides… you had some bad people in that group, but you also had people who were very fine people on both sides.”

How top-rated cable TV news shows reported on Charlottesville

Source: TV News Archive; content hand-coded by coverage subject

As the Charlottesville controversy unfolded on Monday and Tuesday, the Nielsen top-rated shows on TV cable news revealed a sharp contrast in the editorial decisions made in covering it.

On Monday evening, MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” spent around 79 percent of the show on Charlottesville and its aftermath. Sixteen percent of the show was spent on ongoing investigations of Trump and his campaign and five percent on presidential pardons. Maddow’s guests included Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Carol Anderson. Maddow began her show with a monologue detailing a history of criminal activity to financially support the neo-Nazi agenda, including a new civil war.

The same night, Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” devoted about one-third of the show’s time to Charlottesville; 14 percent on the Democratic National Committee email hack; 27 percent on a memo by a former Google employee about gender; 11 percent on U.S. “no-go” zones of Sharia law; 14 precent on North Korea, and three percent on a Georgia congressional race. His guests included former NYPD officer Dan Bongino, White House aide Omarosa Newman, former NSA technical director Bill Binney, fired Google employee James Damore, Breitbart London editor-in-chief Nigel Farage, and author and political commentator Charles Krauthammer.

On both Monday and Tuesday, Anderson Cooper devoted 100 percent of coverage to Charlottesville during the first hour of his show, “Anderson Cooper 360.” His guests on Monday included Susan Bro, the mother of slain counter protester, Heather Heyer; Harvard University’s Cornel West; former director of black outreach for George W. Bush, Paris Dennard; The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman; news commentator and author Van Jones; Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis; former Republican National Committee chief of staff Mike Shields; and photographer Ryan Kelly, who snapped the photograph of  James Fields, Jr., plowing his car through a crowd of counter protesters.

Several Fox hosts and guests expressed emotion about Trump’s statements

While much of the Fox News coverage put a positive spin on Trump’s statements, what stuck out were the exceptions to that general rule on the conservative cable news channel.

Fox News host Kat Timpf, on air Tuesday when Trump gave his press conference, reacted by saying, “It shouldn’t be some kind of bold statement to say a gathering of white supremacists doesn’t have good people in it. Those are all bad people, period. The fact that’s controversial… I have too much eye makeup on now to start crying right now. It’s disgusting.”

Here is GOP strategist Gianno Caldwell, fighting tears on “Fox and Friends,” as he says, “I come today with a a very heavy heart… last night I couldn’t sleep at all, because President Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country… good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists.”

Fact-check: Trump’s Tuesday press conference (provides context and timeline)

FactCheck.org’s Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley quickly published a post after Trump’s Tuesday press conference putting several of his assertions in context and providing a timeline of events. For example, they noted that while Trump had said, “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts,” that “Trump hasn’t always waited for ‘the facts’ after a tragedy. For example, he speculated that ‘yet another terrorist attack’ was to blame for an EgyptAir plane that disappeared May 19, 2016. The cause is still unknown.”

Fact-check: Counter-protestors lacked a permit (four Pinocchios)

At his Tuesday press conference, Trump said, “You had a lot of people in that [white nationalist] group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know — I don’t know if you know — they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit.”

“[T]hey did have permits for rallies on Saturday — and they did not need one to go into or gather near Emancipation Park, where white nationalists scheduled their rally. No permits were needed to march on the U-Va. campus on Friday night,” wrote Glenn Kessler for The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. He gave the president’s claim “four Pinocchios.”

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