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Friday News: The Dear Author Defense Fund, Facebook promises circumspection, JP Morgan Chase breach ubiquitous, and Roxane Gay to write for The Toast

Friday News: The Dear Author Defense Fund, Facebook promises circumspection, JP...

Dear Author/Jane Litte Defense Fund – Many people have been asking if and how they can contribute to Dear Author and Jane Litte’s legal defense. Consequently, this campaign was created. The Dear Author Jane Litte Legal Defense Fund will be run through Go Fund Me. Any donations made to this fund will be used for Jane Litte’s defense against the defamation suit filed against her and Dear Author Media Network LLC by Ellora’s Cave.

Why a fund?

Because lawsuits are expensive (that’s why they’re so often used as a threat, if you’ve ever wondered). Because of that, and because the duration of the litigation is undetermined, Jane will need financial assistance. Jane’s attorney, Marc Randazza, is contributing by discounting his hourly rate. Even with a generous discount, it’s still expensive.

Jane Litte has set aside $20,000.00 of her own funds to fight this defamation suit and has paid the large retainer out of the fund but that money will be depleted quickly as the case progresses.

If you’d like to donate to the legal fund, you can follow this link to the GoFundMe site, and make your donation. Please note: these are NOT tax deductible donations, as this is NOT a 501(c)3 not-for-profit
entity.

All funds will be used for Jane’s legal defense, minus the fees charged by GoFundMe, and because we don’t know what the end result will be, we have no way of knowing what the total amount required will be. If there are any funds left over when the suit is finished, they will be donated to the Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund ( http://www.spj.org/ldf.asp).

If the fees do not exceed $20,000, we will attempt to refund the donations per the GoFundMe policies ( http://support.gofundme.com/entries/22603558-How-do-I-issue-a-refund-to-a-donor-). Countries with the following currencies are supported: $ USD, £ GBP, $ CAD, $ AUD and € EUR.

Any amount that you can contribute is most appreciated. –GoFundMe

Mr. Schroepfer, who declined an interview request, wrote that Facebook’s researchers had been given clearer guidelines for their work, although he did not specify what those were. The company’s engineers will also get training in research ethics as part of their six-week boot camp when they join the company. And the most sensitive research will now be reviewed by a panel of high-ranking Facebook officials, including people involved in the legal, policy and privacy arenas. –New York Times

In an SEC filing, JPMorgan Chase  said names, addresses, phone numbers, emails and internal company information about 76 million households were impacted by a cyber attack  Seven million small businesses are also hit. There are about 115 million U.S. households, so likely your data could have been impacted in some way, perhaps from your credit and debit card accounts and other associations with the bank on Chase.com, mobile apps and other sites.–Forbes

You cannot possibly understand how bad I am at keeping news to myself, nor what a toll keeping this particular news took on my frail and mortal frame, but please share in my joy: Roxane Gay is coming to The Toast, where she will be running our very first vertical, The Butter. She’s officially starting on October 15th, and there will be plenty more details to come, but in the meantime please join me in dancing excitedly about the room. –The Toast

Thursday News: Facebook apologizes for “fake name” snafu, E-books and research libraries, global gender bias in film, and the DA ad book is open

Thursday News: Facebook apologizes for “fake name” snafu, E-books and research...

Below is part of Cox’s apology letter, and you can read it in its entirety by clicking on the story link.

In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it. We’ve also come to understand how painful this has been. We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we’re going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were.

The way this happened took us off guard. An individual on Facebook decided to report several hundred of these accounts as fake. These reports were among the several hundred thousand fake name reports we process every single week, 99 percent of which are bad actors doing bad things: impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams, hate speech, and more — so we didn’t notice the pattern. The process we follow has been to ask the flagged accounts to verify they are using real names by submitting some form of ID — gym membership, library card, or piece of mail. We’ve had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it’s done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here. –Gigaom

The article does make some good points — about, for example, how digital books are currently not available through interlibrary loan and also subject to page download quotas — but comparing digital research books to payday loans and insisting that they are making people dumb threatens to eclipse some of the more legitimate issues.

E-books prevent deep reading, their use is highly restricted, and they can vanish without notice, so why are the CSU and the UC libraries experimenting with replacing paper with computer files? Is the e-book phenomenon yet another example of university administrators chasing after the latest e-fad? Like MOOCs (which even Sebastian Thrun of Udacity called “a lousy product”), e-books trade something that works for something that doesn’t, and even worse, threaten to destroy the very notion of a library. What’s the attraction? The answer is that e-books seem like a cheap way to access hundreds, if not thousands, of expensive books essential for research and teaching. Right now, the subscription packages Proquest and Ebsco offer may sound like they cost a lot (between $500-$800,000 a year), but the price is “extremely low relative to the number of books acquired,” to quote the CSU report on the e-book pilot project. The average cost per book for Ebrary’s package is between $5 and $9, a spectacular savings given that the average price for a hardcover scholarly book in the humanities is around $100, and many are much more expensive. –Times of San Diego

When thinking about gender representation in media, it’s essential to look at who is making our media. Female directors are more likely to work on projects with more women on screen. There’s no country that has gender balance behind the scenes in the film industry, but some do better than others. At the bottom of the pile is France, where male directors, writers, and producers outnumber women nine to one. Brazil is the most equitable overall, but the UK gets the special distinction of being the only film market where women make up a majority of film writers. –Bitch Magazine