Mark in the Middle

“There was no obvious way to placate liberal employees and conservative users at the same time.” Casey Newton reports on the dynamics inside Facebook and shares a series of leaked audio recordings from internal meetings this summer.

Source: The Verge
Published: Sep 23, 2020
Length: 25 minutes (6,408 words)

The Terror Queue

“It felt like you were putting on a cape, working at Google, getting your free kombucha, sleeping in nap pods,’ she says. ‘But every once in a while, you’d have to see some disturbing content. Really, how bad could it be?’ She called her mom and said she was taking the job. She was 23 years old.”

Source: The Verge
Published: Dec 16, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,606 words)

Bodies In Seats

“At Facebook’s worst-performing content moderation site in North America, one contractor has died, and others say they fear for their lives.” (Content warning: this article and the accompanying video describe harm to children and animals in detail.)

Source: The Verge
Published: Jun 19, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,712 words)

The Trauma Floor

Facebook has thousands of people  in contract centers around the world reviewing questionable content. They make a bit above minimum wage to watch people get stabbed or shot, read hate speech, and watch conspiracy theory videos — at massive personal cost and without the support and perks of actually working for Facebook.

Source: The Verge
Published: Feb 25, 2019
Length: 29 minutes (7,435 words)

Instagram Is Pushing Restaurants to Be Kitschy, Colorful, and Irresistible to Photographers

How the popular app has transformed the way diners, designers, and marketers approach restaurants. (Hint: that bold wallpaper pattern isn’t there by accident.)

Source: The Verge
Published: Jul 20, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,592 words)

Speak, Memory: Can Artificial Intelligence Ease Grief?

“It has been less than a year since Mazurenko died, and he continues to loom large in the lives of the people who knew him. When they miss him, they send messages to his avatar, and they feel closer to him when they do. ‘There was a lot I didn’t know about my child,’ Roman’s mother told me. ‘But now that I can read about what he thought about different subjects, I’m getting to know him more. This gives the illusion that he’s here now.'”

Source: The Verge
Published: Oct 6, 2016
Length: 20 minutes (5,083 words)

This Is Uber’s Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft

How startups play dirty to gain any advantage in the exploding taxi app market.

Source: The Verge
Published: Aug 26, 2014
Length: 6 minutes (1,600 words)

Everpix Was Great. This Is How It Died.

When the math and business model don’t quite work out for a tech startup, even if the product is beloved:

While its talented team obsessed over the look and features of its product, user growth failed to keep pace. Starting in June, Latour tried to raise $5 million to give Everpix more time to become profitable. When those efforts faltered, he began pursuing an acquisition. Everpix had tentatively agreed last month to be acquired by Path, according to a source close to the social network. But Path’s executive team killed the deal at the last minute, leaving Everpix adrift.

Source: The Verge
Published: Nov 5, 2013
Length: 11 minutes (2,861 words)