Strange Ways

Mark Zuckerberg is NOT running for president; smartphones are remaking adolescence; and more.


  • Politico Magazine asked mayors, urbanists, and other thinkers about the biggest threats facing American cities today, and received a wide range of answers.

  • This is civic tech: High-level collaboration between hackers and the government helped Taiwan to become the darling of the global civic tech community, but projects like vTaiwan still struggle to scale up nation-wide, and increase their scope outside digital economy issues, Aaron Wytze Wilson reports for g0v.news.

  • Code for America is working to expand its food stamp application platform, first launched in California, to other states, Jason Shueh reports for StateScoop.

  • The 22-year-old hacker Marcus Hutchins, who stopped the WannaCry ransomware attack, has been arrested and charged for writing malware for stealing banking credentials, Andy Greenberg reports for Wired, although some say the evidence that he had malicious intent is thin.

  • Tech in politics: “For someone who claims to not be running for president, Facebook founder and C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg has a strange way of showing it,” Maya Kosoff writes in Vanity Fair. In addition to conducting a cross-country trip connecting with average voters—I mean, citizens—he has also just hired Joel Benenson: Democratic pollster, an adviser to Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton’s chief campaign strategist. Definitely not running for President—nothing to see here!

  • Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has amended his financial filings to add an advisory position with Cambridge Analytica, Chad Day and Stephen Braun report for the Associated Press.

  • Media matters: Where conservatives had, and continue to have, talk radio, the New Far Right has YouTube, John Herrman writes in The New York Times.

  • A former FBI special agent has launched a website to track Russian propaganda on social media platforms, Natasha Bertrand reports for Business Insider. The site is named after Alexander Hamilton’s Federal Paper No. 68, which addressed foreign meddling in the country’s electoral process.

  • Writing in The Atlantic, Jean Twenge explores how smartphones are radically remaking adolescence, and not always in positive ways.

  • Your moment of zen.

Know someone who’s not a member of Civic Hall who would benefit from receiving First Post in their inbox every weekday morning? Let them know that they can subscribe and support the work we do here at Civicist.