Police: kids are being preyed upon by sextortionists while playing Fortnite

In what feels like the one billionth installment of We Can't Have Nice Things, some pervy asshole's been creeping on Fortnite-playing minors. Over the past few weeks, according to police from the Quebec, Canada area, a number of parents have stepped forward to complain that their kids were asked, in-game and via Instagram, to fire over nude photos of themselves. The payoff: ways and means of advancing their in-game prowess. Once the prick had their hands on the pics, the kid that sent them would be threatened: send more or the ones that the pederast already had would be plastered all over the internet.

From The CBC:

Four cases have been reported in the past few weeks, according to police.

In three of those cases, minors were threatened, and in one, the victim sent personal photos to the cyber-predator.

Sgt. Jean-Luc Tremblay with the Richelieu Saint-Laurent police said the predator, or predators, tried to infiltrate groups of friends by offering them a chance to advance their game in exchange for providing revealing photos.

Police are working with school boards in the area to disseminate information about the sextortion.

Being a kid is already difficult enough without having to endure this kind of horse shit. Parents need to be on their guard and kids need to be educated in how to avoid these greasy shits online. It's a mantra that too many people have had to type too many times.

Hopefully, those responsible will have left enough digital breadcrumbs to be tracked down and dealt with--quickly. Read the rest

Instagram's bullying, stalking, and harassment crisis

Twitter gets well-deserved attention for online harassment, but know who else has a huge problem there? Instagram. Big time. Read the rest

Voter registration surges in the wake of Taylor Swift Instagram post

There's been a lot of talk about Taylor Swift's marching orders to her 112 million Instagram followers this past Sunday. Some folks are welcoming her to the resistance. Others wish she'd shut her political cake hole and stick to singing (but Kanye West's blathering on is totally cool).

No matter which side of the fence you find yourself on in the debate over whether celebrities should be able to use their status to motivate the political leanings of their fanbase, there is no denying that an endorsement or suggestion from the right star gets shit done. According to Buzzfeed, Vote.org has seen an insane spike in traffic since Swift waded into politics.

From Buzzfeed:

"We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post," said Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org.

For context, 190,178 new voters were registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while 56,669 were registered in August.

In Swift’s home state of Tennessee, where she voiced support for two Democratic candidates running in this year's midterms, voter registrations have also jumped.

"Vote.org saw [Tennessee] registrations spike specifically since Taylor's post," Guthrie said. The organization has received 5,183 in the state so far this month — at least 2,144 of which were in the last 36 hours, she said, up from 2,811 new Tennessee voter registrations for the entire month of September and just 951 in August.

Holy shit.

Whether this massive registration will translate into a whack of voters turning up to cast their vote remains to be seen. Read the rest

Account aggregates thematically similar Instagram travel pics

Platforms like Instagram reward users who post specific kinds of content, in some cases leading to travel largely for the photo op. Insta Repeat examines how stylistic themes have emerged in the genre of of Instagram travel photos by aggregating shots that are similar in theme, location, and type of person. Read the rest

Facebook kremlinology: Instagram founders' exodus signals immanent facebookization

Facebook's acquisition spree -- including huge-dollar payouts for Instagram and Whatsapp -- was supposed to shore up the company's crumbling user base by creating a "family" of semi-independent companies with diverse approaches to business, sharing a back-end of engineering, marketing and other resources, but offering very different propositions to users. Read the rest

'IG Shopping'? Instagram is building a dedicated shopping app, per reports

There will be a new Instagram app sometime soon that's all about shopping, reports The Verge. Read the rest

Trippy shots of Asian cities with a fractal lens

Steve Roe is a street photographer who specializes in stylized shots of Asian cities at night. He's been experimenting with some crowdfunded fractal lenses that add neat effects. Read the rest

Watch this fun photography tour of Hong Kong's neon signs

Hong Kong's famed neons signs are slowly fading, replaced by other kinds of signage. Hong Kong Instgrammer Edward KB leads this whirlwind neon tour of some of the best remaining spots. Read the rest

Meet Shudu, the world's first digital supermodel

Shudu is a harbinger of the future of modeling, a digitally created and enhanced supermodel created by Cameron-James Wilson. "Digital influencers" like Shudu are already clogging up Instagram and Snapchat, where kids these days can't get enough of the more-human-than-human beauties. Read the rest

Watch Adam Pally go way off his Shorty Awards script

While presenting the award for Best Instagram Brand at the Shorty Awards, a dishevelled Adam Pally seemed to have an epiphany about the banality of evil that is the Shorty Awards, which he called the "waiting at the DMV of award shows." Read the rest

Watch great film moments juxtaposed with the original screenplay

In filmmaking, they say you make three films: the film you write, the film you shoot, and the film you screen. YouTuber Script to Screen takes bits of iconic films to show how the as-produced scene differs from the original screenplay. In some cases, actors might ad lib a great line; in others, the scene may use an alt take for time or simplicity. Read the rest

A mystery Instagram account is only following people named "Paul Williams"

A 19-year-old named Paul Williams discovered someone named "LisaJames419419" had started following him on Instagram. He idly checked her account and found ... she was following dozens and dozens of other people named Paul Williams. And only following people named Paul Williams! (Or ones with that name as a stem, as with "Williamsen".)

A bot, right? Except the original Williams messaged "LisaJames419419" and the account blocked him a few minutes later, which seems like unbotlike, human behavior.

Buzzfeed reports on the story and the theories that are now raging as to what the heck is going on, including:

looking for the father of her child looking for a long-lost relative stalking someone FBI agent "Lisa is the Terminator sent back in time to kill all Paul Williams(es)."

The actual photo used in the "LisaJames419419" account is the adult film star Briana Lee, "whose photos are widely used for catfishing and scamming online." Read the rest

Latte artist takes it to the next colorful level

Most latte art is a monochromatic palette of rich browns and creams. Korean art professor Kangbin Lee has taken his Creamart works into the rest of the spectrum. Read the rest

Supercut of Instagram travel photo clichés

Filmmaker Oliver KMIA was traveling in Rome where he noticed the throngs of tourists surrounding the Trevi Fountain all trying to get the same photo of themselves with the monument. "I couldn't secure a picture of the Trevi Fountain for my Instragram account but I still had a very nice time in Italy," he writes. And when he got home, he was inspired to make this video, "Instravel - A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience."

"I'm basically making fun of something I'm part of," he writes. "The irony is strong."

Read the rest

Photographer shows how similar tourist's Instagram travel images are in 'Instatravel'

Miami photographer Oliver KMIA edited together Instatravel, a "Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience" that rapid fires other people's Instagram travel images. By doing so, he shows their undeniable similarities.

He writes:

I came up with this idea last year while traveling in Roma. I wanted to take a look at the popular Trevi Fountain but I never managed to get close to it. The place was assaulted by hundreds of tourists, some of them formed a huge line to get a spot in front of the Fountain. Needless to say that I was very pissed by this sight and left for the not less crowded Pantheon.

I was shocked by the mass of people walking all around the city, yet I was one of them, not better or worst. Like all these tourists, I burned hundred of gallons of fuel to get there, rushed to visit the city in a few days and stayed in a hotel downtown. Then, I remembered a video I watched a few months earlier from the artist Hiérophante (vimeo.com/151297208). I decided to make this kind of sarcastic video but with the focus on travel and mass tourism. Hiérophante admitted that his video was "cliché" and that he got inspired by other videos. So I'm basically making fun of something I'm part of. The irony is strong.

While the era of mass world tourism and global world travel opened up in the 60s and 70s with the development of Jumbo Jets and low cost airlines, there is a new trend that consists of taking pictures everywhere you go to share it on social networks.

Read the rest

In-depth investigation of the Alibaba-to-Instagram pipeline for scammy crapgadgets with excellent branding

Artist Jenny Odell created the Bureau of Suspended Objects to photographically archive and researched the manufacturing origins of 200 objects found at a San Francisco city dump; last August, she prepared a special report for Oakland's Museum of Capitalism about the bizarre world of shitty "free" watches sold through Instagram influences and heavily promoted through bottom-feeding remnant ad-buys, uncovering a twilight zone of copypasted imagery and promotional materials livened with fake stories about mysterious founders and branded tales. Read the rest

Photographer Nan Goldin now has an Instagram account

Following the move by Cindy Sherman (previously), iconic photographer Nan Goldin now has an Instagram account for her studio. Read the rest

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