BuzzFeed: This Is How Steve Bannon And Breitbart Tried To Sabotage Twitter. “For more than a year before he became Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon sought to wage war against Twitter, tasking Milo Yiannopoulos and other Breitbart News employees to look into editorial, financial, and legal ways they could harm the Jack Dorsey–led social network.” Trying to sabotage Twitter is like trying to keep an elephant from flying.
ABC News: Ethiopia faces social media blackout after new ethnic unrest. “Ethiopia faces a social media blackout as clashes intensify between ethnic groups in various parts of the country. Facebook and Twitter are down Tuesday after reports emerged of killings on Monday by security forces in the Oromia region.”
The Verge: Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society. “Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels ‘tremendous guilt’ about the company he helped make. ‘I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,’ he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a ‘hard break’ from social media.”
New York Times: The ‘Alt-Right’ Created a Parallel Internet. It’s an Unholy Mess.. “If you’ve lost sleep worrying about the growing power of the alt-right — that shadowy coalition that includes white nationalists, anti-feminists, far-right reactionaries and meme-sharing trolls — I may have found a cure for your anxiety. Just try using its websites.”
BuzzFeed: YouTubers Made Hundreds Of Thousands Off Of Bizarre And Disturbing Child Content. “Before YouTube pulled the ads from ‘Ted’’s channel, it was making him tens of thousands of dollars a month. The father of two, who asked to use a pseudonym for fear of retaliation from YouTube, left a job with a six-figure salary to make YouTube videos of his young kids. These videos feature his children being “scared” by clowns, and adults mock-wrestling and handling a diaper covered in fake poop. As such, they fall into the broad category of ‘family-friendly’ content — that is, home videos featuring children in situations ranging from merely silly to potentially exploitative — which YouTube recently began cracking down on after public outcry and media attention.”
Salon: Can virtual reality change minds on social issues?. “In 2004, Cathy Hackl may have watched more violent videos than anyone in America. While working in video production at CNN, part of Hackl’s job was to watch the raw video coming in from the Iraq War and flag sensitive material so that the cable channel’s local partners could warn viewers before they saw something graphic. In order to put this protection in place for viewers, Hackl had to immerse herself in such images and scenes for hours at a time. She sifted through beheadings, the bodies of soldiers being dragged, anything that might set off cable’s red flags. It was exhausting and traumatizing, but Hackl was most disturbed by how it began to change her.”
Fast Co Design: Pinterest Sees The Future. “It all started 16 months ago with an avocado. (This is California, after all.) This particular avocado was set on a boardroom table in Pinterest’s San Francisco headquarters. Surrounded by half a dozen colleagues, Albert Pereta approached the fruit and carefully aimed his phone. The creative director from Pinterest was testing the company’s latest invention, a feature called Lens, which–if it performed correctly–would not only identify the fruit but also search through billions of photos that had been uploaded to the service for the past seven years to find similar images.”