Necessary Reminder

How YouTube plans to lean on Wikipedia; the NYT election needle goes down; and more.


  • Last night, during the Pennsylvania House special election (which is still too close to call, pending the counting of absentee ballots), The New York Times was forced to suspend the election needle because one county refused to release results precinct by precinct. The Hill’s Jacqueline Thomsen rounded up some of the social media celebrations that ensued following this announcement.

  • Students across the country will leave their classrooms for 17 minutes this morning as part of a nationwide protest against gun violence today. Stephanie Saul and Anemona Hartocollis looked at how different school districts are approaching the protest, from working with students on the logistics of the walkout to threatening them with suspension, and how that approach changes depending on how old the students in question are.

  • MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, and other Viacom brands will support the protest by suspending programming (on air and on different social platforms) for 17 minutes during the national walkout, and student organizers around the country will take over MTV’s social media accounts during that time.

  • Must read: Kashmir Hill reports for Gizmodo on how Project Veritas got Twitter insiders to say compromising things about the company (when selectively edited) on film. “The larger revelation of the project is not that Twitter is biased against conservatives; it’s that Silicon Valley has given strangers who bear you ill will all the tools they need to infiltrate your life,” Hill writes. “Our identities are scattered across the web on multiple platforms, giving people countless ways to make contact with us as well as dossiers of what we do, whom we like, and where we go.” I wouldn’t go so far as to call that a revelation, but a necessary reminder? Definitely.

  • At SXSW yesterday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki spoke about the “responsibility to tell people in the world” about current events, BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac tweeted, pointing out that, as fellow BuzzFeed reporter Blake Montgomery had found just the day before, that an Alex Jones video was showing up as the top response to “Austin explosions” when searching in Incognito.

  • Hollywood Reporter Natalie Jarvey reported that Wojcicki said YouTube videos about popular internet conspiracies will soon be accompanied by text from Wikipedia and other sources as a kind of corrective to whatever misinformation might be in the video.

  • It is “The Nesting Doll Strategy” BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman quipped, “whereby platforms offload editorial responsibility in layers until you get to the final doll and it’s either volunteer community editors working for free or low paid content moderators employed by contractors.”

  • In response to the news, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Katherine Maher tweeted, “While we are thrilled to see people recognize the value of @Wikipedia’s non-commercial, volunteer model, we know the community’s work is already monetized without the commensurate or in-kind support that is critical to our sustainability.” When asked by someone if it would be English-only Wikipedia entries, she responded that she didn’t know, that YouTube is operating independently. Luv 2 c mega-companies piggyback on volunteer-driven nonprofits.

  • A Hackable Problem: Tech entrepreneurs are backing a $1 million competition to see who can build the best and cheapest personal alert system for women, Jon Pattee reports for Inside Philanthropy.

  • Media matters: Elon Musk has hired former Onion editors and writers to work on a secret satirical project, Maxwell Tani reports for The Daily Beast. In a statement, the editors wrote: “We can confirm that we have learned nothing from prevailing trends in media and are launching a brand-new comedy project.”

  • Work flow: Jensen Harris, the founder of a Slack-only company, has some tough words for the platform: be more like email. Have solutions for both the pilers and the filers. (Lest someone else state the obvious…but maybe Slack wasn’t meant to replace email?? IDK just a thought. Another thought: what happens when you try to talk to someone outside of your organization? Do you not have an official email to use? Do you send a Slack invite? Because that sounds crazy. How Slack-only is Slack-only, really??)

  • Opportunities: Civic Hall is looking for a Director of Marketing and Membership, and a Director of Education, Training, and Events.

  • Last note: On the sorry style of today’s rebels.