Today's Liberal News

Kaitlyn Tiffany

The Trump Decision Turned Content Moderation Into Shark Week

This morning, the oversight board, a putatively independent body funded by Facebook through a $130 million trust, announced a decision in its tenth case: The removal of Donald Trump from the social platform had been justified, it said, but poorly executed. The meaning of his “indefinite suspension” wasn’t very clear, nor are any of Facebook’s existing policies about world leaders. The company has been given six months to decide what to do and get back to the board.

The Hot-Person Vaccine

I hope we can all agree that “vaccine culture” is a bit depressing. The idea of wearing an evening gown to a COVID-19-vaccine appointment is objectively sad, and speaking from personal experience, taking an hour-long bus ride to a CVS at the dead center of Staten Island, New York, for medical treatment is not fun or exciting except by dramatic contrast to events prior.And when vaccine culture isn’t dismal, it can get extremely weird.

There’s a Better Way to Date Online—If You Like Trains

As a single person wandering through the world, it can be difficult to find someone who loves all the right things: parks, subways, bike lanes, human-scale buildings, high-density housing, debates over the ideal length of a city block. Even on a dating app, you can’t always tell from a profile who might be thinking, behind a smile, I hate cars.

You Probably Don’t Remember the Internet

For many of us, for better or for worse, the internet is home. Our communities are here, because many of them could not exist any other way. Superfans, shitposters, amateur experts, wiki nerds, grizzled forum moderators, obsessive sneaker enthusiasts, and hobbyists who spend a substantial amount of their time photographing vintage Furbies in human clothes, for example—the cultural and creative output of these communities is enormous and ever growing.

Parler’s Rise Was Also Its Downfall

On the last day of Parler, the vibe was electric.It was the weekend after supporters of President Donald Trump had stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the election. With just more than a 24-hour warning, the “free speech social network” and aspiring Twitter alternative was being cut off by its cloud-hosting provider, Amazon Web Services. There were all-caps claims that “antifa” was actively taking over New York City, dressed in riot gear.

MAGA World Is Splintering

Bryson Gray, a 29-year-old rapper and Donald Trump superfan from North Carolina, wants to make one thing clear: It was a group of the president’s most loyal supporters that rioted in the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, and nobody else.

Trump’s Internet Is Celebrating

The internet is real life.This was the lesson of Pizzagate in 2016, which made clear that conspiracy theorizing on message boards can lead to a man carrying a rifle into a restaurant. This was the lesson of the deadly Charlottesville rally in 2017, which made clear that online hate is a precursor to offline violence.This was the lesson of the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019, which were carried out by a terrorist who was radicalized on YouTube and live-streamed the attack on Facebook.

The First Major Anti-MLM Platform

This week, when TikTok announced an updated version of its community guidelines, one small addition was more surprising than the others. Under a section of policy prohibiting various types of “Frauds and Scams”—which used to focus on outright Ponzi schemes, get-rich-quick hoaxes, and phishing attempts—the company became the first major social-media platform to declare that multilevel marketing was verboten as well.

This Will Change Your Life

Jordan Schrandt—blond, beautiful, mother of eight, founder of The Farmhouse Movement magazine, which teaches readers how to achieve “a lifestyle of authenticity, simplicity, and kindness”—is a Royal Crown Diamond.Less than 1 percent of the independent distributors who sell essential oils and related products through the Utah-based multilevel-marketing company Young Living reach that top ranking. Those who have net an average annual income of $1.

Reddit Squashed QAnon by Accident

Two years ago, most Americans knew nothing about QAnon, the ever-growing, diffuse, and violent movement devoted to a loosely connected set of conspiracy theories, most of which tie back to the idea that Donald Trump is leading a holy war against a high-powered cabal of child traffickers, some of whom drink blood.

How Quickly Can a Girl Go Viral on TikTok?

A girl sits alone on an ugly couch, stroking a plastic fish and mouthing the words to Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo.” Her eyes are bloodshot. She puts on sunglasses to cover them up, just as Derulo says he does in the song.This video, uploaded to TikTok in July, has more than 11.4 million views. It was posted by @mooptopia, who emerged from nowhere at the beginning of July and has since become an unexpected star. She now has 2.

The Women Making Conspiracy Theories Beautiful

Illustrations by Charlotte FosA blush-colored square filled with the all-caps advice SHOW UP EVERY DAY FOR SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IN belongs to one of the least remarkable categories of Instagram content: visually unchallenging, impossible to disagree with, pink.

Even Facebook Is Pining for the Internet It Destroyed

There’s a new app, and when isn’t there? This one is called E.gg, and it looks like a mix of Tumblr and GeoCities: The “About” page features a dancing-baby GIF, against a background of a starry night sky, with text in deliberately nauseating shades of highlighter yellow and green.

Reddit Is Done Pretending The Donald Is Fine

Reddit is banning one of its most notorious communities today, the subreddit—or forum—dedicated to discussion of President Donald Trump.The ban comes after years of controversy around r/The_Donald and its promotion of racism, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, and violent memes starring a cartoon frog. Reddit is also removing 2,000 other communities today, including the 160,000-member subreddit associated with the popular left-wing podcast Chapo Trap House.

Reddit Is Finally Facing Its Legacy of Racism

In 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center called out Reddit as home to “the most violently racist” content on the internet, citing a constellation of antiblack forums, or subreddits, that had adopted the name “the Chimpire” and racked up tens of thousands of members before they were taken down that year. Reddit’s content policy prohibits inciting violence, as well as bullying and harassment, but it has never been very specific about where the lines are drawn.

Why K-pop Fans Are No Longer Posting About K-pop

On early Sunday morning, when the Dallas Police Department tweeted asking people to submit videos of “illegal activity” at protests to its iWatch Dallas app, K-pop fans were ready.“I wanted to do something to stop or slow [the police] down,” a 16-year-old Houston girl who goes by @YGSHIT on Twitter told me.