Uber’s HR chief steps down after reportedly ignoring racial discrimination complaints

The head of human resources at Uber has stepped down from her position, following a series of workplace scandals that have rocked the Silicon Valley tech company during her tenure. It’s the latest shakeup at the company, which in recent years has been jolted by multiple discrimination complaints and the resignation of co-founder Travis Kalanick, who had served as CEO. The departure of Uber’s HR director, Liane Hornsey, was announced on Tuesday in an email to employees, according to the Wall Street Journal. The email, sent by Uber CEO Dara…

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The dark side of going viral

By now, you’ve probably heard the story. Last week, an actress and photographer, Rosey Blair, asked to switch seats with a woman on a plane from New York to Dallas so that she could sit next to her boyfriend. Blair proceeded to live-tweet as she observed the woman and her new seatmate chat and eventually start flirting, discussing their mutual love of working out and subtly touching elbows, all details captured and posted by Blair. Her thread went mega-viral, racking up 900,000 likes, getting picked up by national news outlets…

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Twitter’s wiping tens of millions of accounts from its platform

If you see a decline in your Twitter following over the next few days, you can blame, well, Twitter — and the fact that those accounts probably weren’t real in the first place. Starting this week, Twitter will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious and fake accounts from its platform’s follower counts in an effort to clean up the site. Specifically, it will remove locked accounts — suspicious accounts it puts a temporary lock on until owners validate them and change their passwords. According to the New York Times,…

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Plane Bae: how an in-flight matchmaker broke the internet

Like a flight from New York City to Dallas, it took only a few hours for a viral romance to reach its final destination: problematic. The story starts out fun enough: A woman and her boyfriend switched plane seats with another passenger so they could sit together, and may have, by the blessing of the goddess Aphrodite, set a long-lasting romance into motion. The woman they switched with hit it off with her new seatmate — they engaged in conversation, found out they were both vegetarian personal trainers, talked about…

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Twitter is finally addressing fake accounts. Trump wants it to go after two specific real ones.

As Twitter ramps up its efforts to purge suspicious and fake accounts from its platform, President Donald Trump has two suggestions for which accounts should be deleted: those of the New York Times and the Washington Post. Neither of these accounts are fake or suspicious. Here’s the kicker: In a Saturday tweet calling for those accounts to be deleted, Trump appeared to be reacting to a Washington Post story by Craig Timberg and Elizabeth Dwoskin. The story explored Twitter’s increased focus on suspending fishy accounts on its service, as part…

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The controversy over Mark Zuckerberg’s comments on Holocaust denial, explained

With more than 2 billion users stretching across every continent and country, Facebook supports a larger community than any nation-state on earth, but it isn’t built atop any of the political principles that make nation-states work. It’s become the world’s dominant media organization, but it refuses to call itself a media company or take on the responsibilities of a traditional publisher; it frames itself around a social mission, but it’s a for-profit organization that is relentless in its pursuit of growth. The ambiguity over what Facebook is, and thus how…

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Batteries have a dirty secret

Energy storage (batteries and other ways of storing electricity, like pumped water, compressed air, or molten salt) has generally been hailed as a “green” technology, key to enabling more renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But energy storage has a dirty secret. The way it’s typically used in the US today, it enables more fossil-fueled energy and higher carbon emissions. Emissions are higher today than they would have been if no storage had ever been deployed in the US. This is not intrinsic to the technology, by any means.…

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The rise of rage in social media politics, in one chart

Politics is all the rage on social media. Literally. According to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center, people are increasingly responding to Facebook posts from members of Congress with “angry” reactions, instead of the previously more common “love” reactions, since the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump. In fact, as of January 2018, “angry” reactions were much more common than “love.” Here are Pew’s findings, in chart form: Pew Research Center “Like,” the default option on Facebook, is still the most common reaction. But Pew left it…

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Why “fake news” is an antitrust problem

Five of the world’s largest companies by market capitalization are tech companies. In the past 10 years, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook have all joined Microsoft at the top of the list. Each of these companies dominates its primary market, and is gradually expanding its reach into secondary markets. Have they become too big? Are they full-fledged monopolies at this point? And if so, should we rein them in? To get answers to these questions, I reached out to Sally Hubbard, a senior editor of tech antitrust enforcement at the…

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The streaming era is ignoring classic movies. Twitter is helping keep them alive.

“It just took off like lightning,” Jennifer Dorian says. The “it” in question is a Twitter meme that became all but ubiquitous when it spread across the platform in April, asking people to list the four films that defined them, and then to include the hashtag #Filmstruck4 and tag four friends. Seemingly everybody with an opinion on movies #Filmstruck4’ed. Barry Jenkins. Jessica Chastain. Rian Johnson. Vox’s own Genevieve Koski. It had everything you would want from a Twitter meme: It was easy to participate in, revealed something about your personality,…

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