UTW Episode 25: Nigel Shadbolt

Semantic Web Science

In this special 25th episode of Untangling the Web, we talk with one of the founders of web science, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt. He’s Principal of Jesus college and professorial Research Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Oxford.  As information adviser to the United Kingdom government, he encouraged the release of many 1000s of public sector data sets. He was knighted in 2013 for services to science and engineering.

During this episode, Nigel recounts some of those founding conversations and intentions surrounding the creation of the web science field, as well as some of his more recent work. Nigel, who was on the forefront of the Semantic Web, also explains exactly what that means — and what the web might look like today if it had expanded. To hear to this and more, listen to this episode.


Russian Government spat with YouTube over misinformation

The Russian government has threatened to block YouTube and take “other retaliatory measures” unless it reinstates two German-language channels of the state broadcaster RT which have fallen foul of YouTube’s expanded misinformation policies around vaccines

On Wednesday, YouTube deleted the two channels for violating Covid-19 misinformation guidelines prompting the Russian foreign ministry to call YouTube’s action an ‘unprecedented act of media aggression’ 

YouTube has stated that it would now block all anti-vaccine posts that contradict health authorities’ medical information about vaccines such as claims that flu shots causes infertility or the MMR vaccine can cause autism.

Posts that contain misinformation on the substances in vaccines will also be blocked as part of the updated policy.

The BBC reported that, RT’s YouTube channel RT DE had already received a warning from the platform for violating Covid-19 misinformation guidelines and was also issued a one week suspension from uploading content on the platform RT DE proceeded to use a second channel – Der Fehlende Part – to post videos that also violated YouTube policies. As a result, YouTube deleted both channels on Wednesday.

RT’s channels have been accused by German authorities of ‘manipulative’ reporting on anti-lockdown protests, and spreading divisive content ahead of last week’s election.


This article orginally appeared in Computing 30th September, 2021