Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes? (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes?. “Memes, often in the form of humorous images and videos, are a major part of how people communicate on the internet, but they can also be used to spread disinformation. We’ve been looking at how these memes can present false and misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines, feeding into concerns about their efficacy or safety.”

MassLive: Pat Quinn, co-founder of viral social media ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies at 37

MassLive: Pat Quinn, co-founder of viral social media ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies at 37. “A co-founder of the social media ALS ice bucket challenge, which has raised more than $200 million worldwide for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, died Sunday at the age of 37, according to the ALS Association. Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013, a month after his 30th birthday, the organization said in a statement announcing his death.”

BuzzFeed News: People Are Making Vaccine Memes About Moderna And Pfizer

BuzzFeed News: People Are Making Vaccine Memes About Moderna And Pfizer. “With an end to the pandemic perhaps in sight, people gathered to celebrate the only way we really can in 2020: with an outpouring of memes about the rivalry between two big pharmaceutical companies.”

BBC: Shazam reveals most searched-for songs of all time

BBC: Shazam reveals most searched-for songs of all time. “Australian pop star Tones And I has the most-Shazamed song of all time, with her 2019 breakout hit Dance Monkey. More than 200 million people a month use the Shazam app to identify songs they have heard but don’t know the names of. Dance Monkey, which was written about the singer’s experiences of busking in Byron Bay, has been Shazamed 36.6 million times, the company said.”

Nylon: An Oral History Of The Mid-2000s Scene Queens

Nylon: An Oral History Of The Mid-2000s Scene Queens. “Myspace was the creation of a mysterious man known simply as Tom, but by then, it was clear who really ruled the site. This was the era when the Scene Queens were at the top of the world — or, at least, at the top of your Top 8. They controlled the blogosphere with a heavy-hand of eyeliner and a searing hot flatiron, mingling offline with some of the era’s biggest bands, effectively making them the objects of obsession on LiveJournal and beyond. And then, just as quickly as Ryan Ross left Panic! at the Disco, they all but disappeared from the mainstream — or did they?”

Beached Whale Blow-Up: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Florence Exploding Whale (Oregon Historical Society)

Oregon Historical Society: Beached Whale Blow-Up: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Florence Exploding Whale. “On the morning of November 12, 1970, KATU news directors asked reporter Paul Linnman and cameraman Doug Brazil to cover an unusual story taking place on the Oregon coast. A 45-foot sperm whale had washed up on the beach near Florence, Oregon, a few days prior, and the Oregon Highway Division was left to come up with a plan on how best to deal with 8 tons of rotting whale flesh. What caught the attention of the news room in Portland, however, was not the whale itself but the plan of how to best dispose of the carcass: dynamite.” The subsequent video is one of the early viral videos of Internet culture and is why I’m including it here.

New York Times: How 2020 Changed the Internet

New York Times: How 2020 Changed the Internet. “In this long (and still ongoing) election season in America, there are two things I have learned about the internet companies through which many of us experience the world. First, Facebook, Google and the rest have reluctantly embraced their role as our gatekeepers to information, and there’s likely no going back. Second, so much about how these gatekeepers exercise their power remains unknown to the rest of us.”

Los Angeles Times: ‘Baby Shark’ takes a bite of ‘Despacito’s’ record as most-viewed YouTube video

Los Angeles Times: ‘Baby Shark’ takes a bite of ‘Despacito’s’ record as most-viewed YouTube video . “‘Baby Shark’ just swam away with a tasty YouTube record, making chum of Luis Fonsi’s 2017 hit ‘Despacito’ as the platform’s most-viewed video of all time. No doubt thanks to little sharks who repeatedly demand viewing of the colorful, choreographed hit.”

99% Invisible: The Lost Cities of Geo

99% Invisible: The Lost Cities of Geo. “Because David [Bohnett] ran an internet company, his business depended on users having some grasp of what the internet was. So it was his challenge to get people comfortable on the web. And one day in 1994, it just came to him. His hosting site didn’t need a technological innovation, it needed a conceptual one. Users needed a new way of navigating the web. So he sketched out a plan to make his website feel more like a real neighborhood.”

BuzzFeed News: Watching TikToks Makes Me Hopeful About The Future

BuzzFeed News: Watching TikToks Makes Me Hopeful About The Future. “I’ve interviewed dozens of teens and young adults who fall within the Gen Z cohort, born between the late ‘90s and the early ‘00s. And every time, I’m consistently and pleasantly surprised by the maturity, authority, and care they speak with, oftentimes with more empathy and insight than the adults I talk to. Their TikToks cover political extremism, and racial justice, and the nuances of anti-trans prejudice. They’re never thrown off when I ask for their pronouns and embrace a fluidity in their identities that stems not from uncertainty, but from a very grounded confidence that it’s OK to change and grow.”

New York Times: Everyone’s Playing Among Us

New York Times: Everyone’s Playing Among Us. “Among Us is a multiplayer game where between four and 10 players are dropped onto an alien spaceship. Each player is designated a private role as a ‘crewmate’ or ‘impostor.’ Crewmates must run around the ship and try to complete a set of tasks while trying to root out and avoid getting killed by the one or several impostors.”

Europeana Pro: GIF IT UP – inspiring students to engage with digital cultural heritage

Europeana Pro: GIF IT UP – inspiring students to engage with digital cultural heritage. “With this year’s GIF IT UP competition currently taking place, Cristina Roiu talks to teenager Anamaria Şune about her experience of making GIFs and how the competition inspires educational engagement with digital cultural heritage.”

Mashable: HOTorNot shaped the social web as we know it

Mashable: HOTorNot shaped the social web as we know it. “Created on a lark in 2000, HOTorNOT became what we’d now call an overnight viral hit by letting people upload pictures of themselves to the internet so total strangers could rate their attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10. Twenty years later, it’s a conceit that smacks of the juvenile ‘edginess’ of the early web. It’s now seen at best as superficial and crass, at worst as problematic and potentially offensive. However, the deeper you dive into HOTorNOT’s history, the more surprised you’ll be by the thoughtfulness bubbling below its shallow surface — and its fundamental impact on internet history.”

CNN: New emojis are coming in 2021, including a heart on fire, a woman with a beard and over 200 mixed-skin-tone options for couples

CNN: New emojis are coming in 2021, including a heart on fire, a woman with a beard and over 200 mixed-skin-tone options for couples. “The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit that oversees emoji standards and is responsible for new releases, announced the release of more than 200 emojis that will hit cell phones throughout next year in a limited ‘Emoji 13.1’ release — which means even more ways to convey the pain of this year.”