How Twitter "quietly banned" harassment and hate speech

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Sarah Jeong reports on how Twitter has begun to take control of the hatred, harassment and general horseshit posted on its site.

Twitter talked some big talk, but it has buckled under both lawsuits and media outrage, tweaking and changing the Rules around speech whenever something threatened its bottom line. For a business, free speech can only be a meaningful value if it doesn’t really cost anything. … The Twitter of today strikes an uneasy balance between its old self and the unapologetic, ideologically-unburdened censoriousness of Facebook and Instagram. It remains yet to be seen whether the company has the vision and creativity to live out its new identity.

The "free speech wing of the free speech party" couldn't have done this but two years ago. They had to wait until the issues at hand were understood (at least by and large) not as abstractions to be dealt with on principle, but as practical issues of everyday human suffering. Read the rest

Caught lying by an EFF investigation, T-Mobile CEO turns sweary

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On Monday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published an investigation into T-Mobile's "Binge On" video service, which allegedly optimizes videos for mobile download and does not count them against T-Mobile's bandwidth caps. Read the rest

3D printed model of cellular division

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D. Allan Drummond, assistant professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and human genetics from the University of Chicago's The Drummond Lab 3D printed this model of a yeast cell dividing in solid bronze: "Late-anaphase budding yeast, mother & daughter." Read the rest

Mall of America sues #Blacklivematter activists to force them to tweet protest cancellation

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Organizers of a demonstration in protest of the police shooting of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis police have been hit with a lawsuit by the Mall of America, which is seeking a court order requiring them to tweet and text a message announcing the cancellation of their protest. Read the rest

Bank of America uses copyright to censor business reporter's tweets

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Business Insider's Jim Edwards got a letter from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch informing him that they'd instructed Twitter to remove two of his tweets on the grounds that they violated B of A's copyright. Read the rest

Unevenly distributed futures: an interview with @internetofshit

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The @internetofshit account posts sardonic observations about the Internet of Things, which is filled with the most depressing array of useless, dangerously insecure, exploitative junk imaginable. Read the rest

The best twitter bots

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Zachary M. Seward picks the best Twitter bots of 2015 for Quartz. My favorite is Derek Arnold's @FFD8FFDB, which tweets random screengrabs from insecure, internet-connected security cameras around the world. .video-container {height:auto;padding-bottom:0;} Read the rest

Sometimes, starting the Y-axis at zero is the BEST way to lie with statistics

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If you've read Darell Huff's seminal 1954 book How to Lie With Statistics, you've learned an important rule of thumb: any chart whose Y-axis doesn't start at zero is cause for suspicion, if not alarm. Read the rest

#GOPdildo: shooping dildos into GOP gun-totin' photos

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Matt "Metafilter" Haughey's got a new election-season pass-time: he's taking photos that GOP politicians post of themselves holding guns and replacing the BFGs with massive sex-toys, exposing a deep and comic truth. Read the rest

Woman adds vaginal yeast to sourdough starter, Internet flips out

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When Zoe Stavri woke up with a yeast infection, she had a strange and intriguing idea: what about adding some of her vaginal candida to sourdough starter? Read the rest

Nassim Taleb defends homeopathy (and calls me “very stupid” for criticizing him)

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The statistician and risk analyst, who rose to prominence with his 2007 book The Black Swan, has a history of sticking up for junk science, but has crossed a Rubicon with his latest set of tweets, in which he defended homeopathy as harmless placebos that divert hypochondriacs from taking too many real pharmaceutical products. Read the rest

Dumb Cuneiform: your tweets, translated into ancient Persian and stamped into clay tablets

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It's real and it does exactly what it says it will: send Dumb Cuneiform a tweet or an SMS message and they'll transliterate it into ancient Persian cuneiform, stamp it into a clay tablet and mail it to you. $20. It's Snow-Crash-a-riffic. Read the rest

#HMAnagrams: 13 anagrams for "The Haunted Mansion" that describe the ride

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@ridetheory created 13 spooky anagrams for "THE HAUNTED MANSION" that spelled out scenes from the ride ("...THAT HEINOUS MAN: END" "HUH? NOT MANSE DETAIN!" "...I THEN UNTO HEADSMAN" and so on!). Read the rest

@trippingbot: Character Level Recurrent Neural Network twitterbot tweets on "hallucinogens"

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Shardcore's latest twitterbot (previously) is @trippingbot, which trains a Character Level Recurrent Neural Network with drug reports from Erowid, where people post running logs of their drug experiences. Read the rest

An adventure game you play without ever leaving Twitter

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If you like adventure games and have a few minutes to spare, the latest creation of Leon Chang should be your next distraction—and you don't even have to leave Twitter to play it.

Just watch the animated GIFs, and click on the links to make important, heroic choices about whether or not to pet cats, fight turtles, or go to the bathroom.

Read the rest

White supremacists call for Star Wars boycott because imaginary brown people

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As Popehat tweeted: "The #BoycottStarWarsVII tag -- you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, plus people making fun of them." Read the rest

Craiglist ad for new Speaker of the House

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Rep Mark Takano [D-CA] posted a help wanted ad to Craigslist seeking a new Speaker for the House of Representatives, a position that's been vacant since Speaker Boehner dropped the mic and walked out on the "ungovernable" radical Tea Party/Freedom Caucus mess that is the Congressional Republican Party.

It seems like we’re having a hard time finding the next Speaker, so I created a Craigslist ad to boost our search. [@repmarktakano/Twitter]

(via Amac) Read the rest

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