8.30.16: Blocking Terrorist Propaganda & How to Choose a Partner

Aug 30, 2016

Social media networks have too few people to monitor and shut down the volume of Islamic State propaganda accounts. Today, a Dartmouth professor has created a tool to flag violent, extremist videos and recruitment tools and keep them off social media feeds...still, some companies fear accusations of censorship.

And, an experienced philosophical take on a question that family, fortune and circumstance once made non-negotiable, and is now is the province of self-help books and fortune tellers... How do you choose a partner in a culture where everything is available and laid out like a superstore?

Listen to the full show. 

Learning to Block Terrorist Propaganda

Although their locations, backgrounds and methods differ, more than one terrorist incident was preceded by posts on Facebook or Twitter denigrating western countries and pledging allegiance to ISIS.  Social media networks have stepped up their campaigns to shut down pro-ISIS propaganda and recruitment accounts, but stopping distribution of gruesome videos and imagery is a slippery task. Relying on algorithms to identify offensive content is tougher with videos, so they have to rely on humans to monitor more than 500 million tweets and more than a billion Facebook log-ins a day.

Hany Farid is the chair of Dartmouth's Computer Science department and is a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project. He developed PhotoDNA a system used to detect child pornography online and stop it from spreading. Earlier this summer similar software was in development to flag terrorist propaganda online.

How YouTube Videos Saved a Small Missouri Town

The football team at Penney High School in the tiny town of Hamilton, Missouri has won a number of state championships in the past few years, but football fame only travels so far. If you're from Australia or Iran, you're more likely to know Hamilton for another reason - because it's become the quick-quilting capital of the world.  Producer Esther Honig has the story of how a YouTube series helped build an unlikely textile empire.  

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

How to Choose a Partner

People have always enjoyed a love story, but up until very recently, our ancestors didn't live one. Historically, marriage was founded less on passion than pragmatism. Then romantic love became the benchmark, supported by countless novels, pop songs and rom coms. Now, we approach finding a mate with bigger expectations and heavier pressure than ever - while feeling too busy, mobile, or isolated to get there.  How to Choose a Partner is a new book by Susan Quilliam, that offers guidance, practical exercises, and research on the patterns and influences that affect the decisions we make about love....it is not "the rules", but the latest from the “School of Life” series, which draws from the humanities, psychology and science to approach life's most profound questions.

Susan Quilliam, is a relationship psychologist, author, and sex and relationship agony aunt for Fabulous magazine in Britain. She's also a faculty member at the "School of Life," and our relationship guide today. 

Paul and Laura

Last august, Paul Hammond and Laura Jackman were getting ready to tie the knot when they saw a post online from the Museum of Durham History requesting stories of love. All they had to do was show up and a producer would record their story. Producer Emma Miller narrates this audio piece in which Paul and Laura tell the story of how they met, fell in love and then decided to share their vows with their town on their wedding day.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

You can listen to the full unedited audio from Paul and Laura’s story, as well as the other participants in the Museum of Durham History’s project “Durham Love Stories” here.