This week we begin with an article on data privacy and how Big Techs have been exploiting user data — by selling user-profiles to advertisers and using images to train biased facial recognition systems — and further causing data breaches and hacks. Next is an analysis of Twitter’s announcement to make data available for free to third-party academic researchers interested in social media discourse about online misinformation, election interference, hate speech, and other platform trends. Following this is an article on how much damage a Reddit army of retail traders caused to the US stock market, by chasing a handful of the most-shorted hedge funds and causing a surge in stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings. The following piece is on hedge funds, and how they are seeking real-time data about discussions on Reddit and Twitter — to identify the most talked-about companies, determine trade sentiments, and mitigate investment risks. Next is an analysis of AI’s role in collecting, analysing, and reporting economic data in India. To end, we have a piece on Digital Maps, interactive data hubs powered by a geographic information system (GIS), and how they help businesses make decisions related to market and customer analysis, operational efficiency, supply chain digitisation, and more.
Companies are selling, manipulating, or stealing data. It’s time to do something about it
THERE IS A CURIOUS trend afoot these days. As profits among tech’s biggest players have risen, so too have the number of breaches and hacks. Their trajectories nearly mirror each other: up, and to the right. This is no coincidence, of course. User data, that digital treasure craved by hackers and businesses alike, is wildly lucrative.
Twitter is opening up its full tweet archive to academic researchers for free
Twitter on Tuesday announced a significant shift in the type of data it makes available for free to third-party academic researchers interested in studying user behaviors and trends related to online discourse. Now, Twitter says it will no longer require researchers pay for premium or enterprise developer access and will instead make the “full history of public conversation” — what the company refers to as its full-archive search endpoint — available to any researcher or developer who applies as part of the launch of a new academic research track.
A Reddit army descends on hedge funds chained by risk models
A hellish week for hedge funds will be remembered for how much damage Reddit traders caused by chasing a handful of the most-shorted names in the $43 trillion U.S. stock market. But just why were the institutional pros forced to downsize their market exposures at the fastest pace since pandemic-spurred March rout? One reason is that their risk models told them to. As a flood of retail money sent stocks like GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. surging, the trading signals that guide how the smart money invest flashed red.
Hedge funds rush to get to grips with retail message boards
Hedge funds accustomed to poring through arcane corners of earnings reports in search of companies to bet against are turning their sights on foul-mouthed online message boards in an effort to stay ahead of day traders who have started beating them at their own game. Since early 2020, alternative data provider Quiver Quantitative has been scraping data off the now 4.5m-strong Reddit message board r/WallStreetBets, identifying the most talked-about companies, and using language processing to determine whether the sentiment is positive or negative.
Artificial Intelligence is India’s solution to fix data gaps
India is turning from man to machines to improve the quality and speed of its economic data, which has been criticized as inadequate, delayed or even confusing due to sharp and unexpected revisions. The Ministry of Statistics is ramping up use of artificial intelligence for collecting, analyzing and reporting data to better monitor the economy. The measures include a $60 million program with World Bank help using an information portal that collates real-time data.
In a time of uncharted events, businesses lean heavily on a time-tested tool: Maps
During a year forever marked by a pandemic, protests, a contentious election, and other life-altering events, government officials and business executives have turned to a timeless means of communication: the map. Not a static image but dynamic, digital smart maps that help us see and understand complex issues by sharing, analyzing, and visualizing large volumes of data.