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  • Instagram Is the Internet’s New Home for Hate
    When Alex, now a high-school senior, saw an Instagram account he followed post about something called QAnon back in 2017, he’d never heard of the viral conspiracy theory before. But the post piqued his interest, and he wanted to know more. So he did what your average teenager would do: He followed several accounts related to it on Instagram, searched for information on YouTube, and read up on it on forums.A year and a half later, Alex, who asked to use a pseudonym, runs his own Gen Z–focused QAnon Instagram account, through which he educates his generation about the secret plot by the “deep state” to take down Donald Trump. “I was just noticing a lack in younger people being interested in QAnon, so I figured I would put it out there that there was at least one young person in the movement,” he told me via Instagram direct message.… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Technology | Internet & TechnologyThu, March 21, 2019
    4 weeks ago
  • Facebook Does Have to Respect Civil-Rights Legislation, After All
    For most of Facebook’s existence, a prospective advertiser listing a job or a home or a loan could have kept the ad from reaching women or people over 55 or those with an “ethnic affinity” for African Americans.When ProPublica documented this in late 2016, housing rights advocates were shocked. After all, it was exactly this kind of exclusionary practice that activists in the 1960s and 1970s had fought to end. And here they saw a dropdown box that literally said, “EXCLUDE African Americans.” While Facebook slowly (and imperfectly) changed its processes in response to the new scrutiny, civil-rights groups filed a series of lawsuits over these and other practices.Yesterday, after more than two years of negotiations, the plaintiffs of five separate cases announced that they’d reached a settlement that will require Facebook to rebuild the way it sells advertising for housing, employment, and credit services. The company has committed to… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Technology | Internet & TechnologyWed, March 20, 2019
    4 weeks ago
  • When Weibo Was a Free-Speech Haven
    At the start of the 2010s, few things better symbolized China’s changing fortunes and new prosperity than the country’s high-speed rail system. Beginning in 2007, Chinese trains, previously a “symbol of backwardness,” were replaced by sleek, gleaming white carriages capable of traveling upward of 200 kilometers an hour. In the decade that followed, the government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to crisscross the country with high-speed lines, building the largest such network globally. In 2017, more than 20,000 kilometers of track were in service, more than the rest of the world’s high-speed rail systems combined.On July 23, 2011, this symbol of the new China received a devastating blow. At 8:30 p.m. that Saturday, the driver Pan Yiheng was guiding a train full of tourists headed from Beijing to the southern coastal city of Fuzhou. As the train pulled onto tracks spanning a slender viaduct near the city of Wenzhou,… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Technology | Internet & TechnologyWed, March 20, 2019
    4 weeks ago
  • Instagram Is the Best and Worst Place to Shop Online
    The first product I ever bought directly from an internet ad was a pair Nike Vapormax sneakers, which cost $200 and were a rosy shade often referred to as “millennial pink.” The shoes appeared while I was tapping through my friends’ Instagram Stories, and it was a sales pitch so perfect for me, a millennial sneaker fanatic, that I felt concerned about how well Nike and Instagram apparently knew my taste. That feeling was coupled with a vague sense of shame that advertising had worked on me (not to mention the price). That unease was overcome by how badly I wanted the sneakers, so I swiped up to go to Nike’s website.Like many people young enough to have shopped online for their entire adult lives, I tend to tune out traditional internet ads automatically, a behavior so common that it threatens the viability of online media. But Instagram, which is… ..... Read More.
    THE ATLANTIC – Technology | Internet & TechnologyTue, March 19, 2019
    1 month ago
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