Hostage

Google redirects viewers to anti-Isis content; two Facebook employees struggle to get by; and more.


  • What we do now: Civicist’s Angel Quicksey reports on how different groups are trying to find common ground between Democrats and Republicans by bringing them together for good-faith conversations in common spaces, like the dinner table.

  • Devin Balkind shares advice gleaned from Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Sandy, among other experiences, on how to prevent the mud of bureaucracy from impeding your work in an activist network or other cooperative, collaborative organization.

  • Mary Gray argues in The Chronicle of Higher Education that there should be more collaboration between researchers and tech companies, not less, if we’re to learn anything about digital privacy and security, filter bubbles, curation, digital labor, or the many other issues raised by new technologies.

  • Peter Holley reports for The Washington Post on how Google redirects viewers from ISIS propaganda videos to anti-ISIS videos.

  • Life in Facebookistan: Nicole and Victor, a married couple with three children, are both employed by Facebook—and they all live in a two-car garage, Julia Carrie Wong reports for The Guardian. “They earn too much to qualify for state healthcare, but not enough to afford the health insurance offered by their employer,” Wong writes. “They frequently struggle to find enough money for basics like food and clothes for their children. Victor recently borrowed money from his mother to hold a birthday party for one of his daughters, and from a friend to pay for a dentist appointment.” And so Nicole wants to know, as Mark Zuckerberg galivants around the country, when is he going to come to see them?

  • Media matters: The fact-checking website Snopes is being held “hostage” by a contractor and is unable to earn revenue from ads and consequently no way to continue paying to operate the site, compensate staff, or cover their legal bills, Alexis C. Madrigal reports for The Atlantic.

  • The spy is inside the house: Rhett Jones reports for Gizmodo that the company behind Roomba, your friendly robot vacuum, plans to sell the mapping data it has collected over the years on floor plans and furniture layouts to smart home device manufacturers.

  • Tech and politics: Julian Gottlieb reports for Salon on whether blockchain could enable secure e-voting in the near or not-so-near future.

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