New Participant Roles

How vigilante ‘predator catchers’ are infiltrating the criminal justice system

Platonic Parenting

Shared Parenthood

As the face of the family changes, parenthood is being reinvented. Today in Israel, a person can become a parent naturally or assisted, through natural conception, adoption, artificial insemination, IVF, freezing eggs, or surrogacy. You can raise your child within a marriage, a common-law partnership, as a single parent, or within a shared parenting arrangement.

The Unofficial Racism Consultants to the White Evangelical World

Behind every white pastor’s statement about racial reconciliation is a Black colleague’s late-night tracked changes.

How Amazon Has Transformed the Hasidic Economy

Amazon has become a lucrative place to do business for many Hasidic Jews, offering anonymity to a largely insular community and allowing women to work from home.

Food-Delivery Couriers Exploit Desperate Migrants in France

Some contractors are dealing with rate cuts by leasing their accounts to immigrants, many of them underage or in the country illegally, and taking part of their pay.

Facebook Content Moderators are independent contractors and advocating for better working conditions

“The thousands of people who do the bulk of Facebook’s work keeping the site free of suicides, massacres and other graphic posts are not Facebook employees. As contractors employed by outsourcing firms, these content moderators don’t get Facebook’s cushy six-month maternity leave, aren’t allowed to invite friends or family to the company cafeteria, and earn a starting wage that is 14 percent of the median Facebook salary.

When Facebook Spread Hate, One Cop Tried Something Unusual

With the social media company unresponsive, a police veteran in Germany is using shoe-leather detective work to combat online misinformation and hate.

You Matched With Someone Really Great Online. This Is Her Ghostwriter.

Meredith Golden charges a small clientele $2,000 a month to help them win at dating apps.

China’s Hottest Bachelors Are Animated Characters

Why millions of women play the mobile game Love and Producer

Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

Under fire for stirring up distrust and violence, the social network has vowed to police its users. But leaked documents raise serious questions about its approach.

Starbucks opens first U.S. sign language store — with murals, tech pads and fingerspelling

New ways to pay for college — income sharing agreements

How Do You Play a Porn Star in the #MeToo Era? With Help from an ‘Intimacy Director’

The actress Margaret Judson writes about working with a new ally on set, who’s in charge of keeping sex scenes steamy — and the actors feeling safe.

‘Decolonizing’ Roller Derby? Team Indigenous Takes Up the Challenge

Meet the roller derby athletes who are “reclaiming” their space, promoting female empowerment and standing up for indigenous people.

U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness

Prime Minister Theresa May said an under secretary would work across government departments to tackle the issue.

WhatsApp Is Changing the Way India Talks About Food

The application, blamed for all kinds of mayhem on the subcontinent, has proved a boon for farmers, home cooks and chefs who once lacked a way to share.

The Holocaust Survivor Who Deciphered Nazi Doublespeak

The personal papers of one of World War II’s earliest historians reveal an obsession with how Nazis distorted the German language.

How Computational Slush Funds are affecting Brazilian elections

To continuously reach millions of people systematically for years, as has been the case in Brazil, the inflammatory speech depends on automation. And automation costs a lot of money. There are millions of fake profiles and bots responding to the centralized commands of political marketeering groups. These bots replicate messages in overwhelming volume and speed.
This requires software, hardware, connectivity and people operating the entire apparatus. In other words, it requires money to have computational power. Who paid for all this massive computational propaganda? How does it appear in the campaign’s books?  If it was not paid directly by the campaign, then by whom? And if it was paid by someone, people or entities, shouldn’t  it be declared as political donations?  This is sheer computational slush fund.

Is Alexa Listening? Amazon Echo Sent Out Recording of Couple’s Conversation

The digital assistant confused a discussion about hardwood floors with several commands, in what Amazon called an “unlikely” string of events.

Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry

People who are short on relatives can hire a husband, a mother, a grandson. The resulting relationships can be more real than you’d expect.

Meet the dominatrixes who control men where it really hurts: Their wallets

Mistress Harley, who markets herself online as “the tech domme,” makes her living as a specialized kind of financial dominatrix. The niche profession has increasingly attracted smart, tech-savvy women looking to cash in on men’s desires to be dominated — not physically, but where it really hurts: in their wallets.

The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life

As local news outlets disappear in America, some libraries are gaining new relevance.

These are your white allies on Facebook:  When you’re exhausted from debating race with strangers, they step in

Say, a person of color makes a post about Black Lives Matter. Then others respond with ignorant or offensive comments. That person can tag White Nonsense RoundUp to snatch some edges — or, better put, to educate people with context and fact-based views.

City of Addict Entrepreneurs

The drug crisis has turned countless recovered addicts into businesspeople: They get clean, open their own clinics, and sometimes take over the neighborhood.

In an Era of Online Outrage, Do Sensitivity Readers Result in Better Books, or Censorship?

A new class of editors is quietly reshaping children’s literature, vetting books for cultural and racial stereotypes before they reach readers.

Add a Song, Make a Movie: Music Supervisors in Film Seek More Recognition

The best music supervisors are sought for their combination of tastemaker, curator, producer, stickler for accuracy and verisimilitude, and they filter out a filmmaker’s worst tendencies. It’s work that falls somewhere between artisan and technician, with the kind of talent-scouting ear associated with A&R executives at record labels. “A music supervisor is set designing the audio,” said Robert Kraft, who was president of Fox Music for 18 years before forming Kraftbox Entertainment in 2012.

How to Treat a ‘Money Disorder

There is a budding field of financial therapy, where budget planning meets psychological counseling. You can even attend a kind of money rehab, where, in six days of group therapy people dig deep into the roots of what psychologists call “money disorders,” the slew of unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors that are not as extreme as pathological gambling, kleptomania or compulsive shopping, but nevertheless afflict large numbers of people.

Zygootic Social Networking

If there’s any truth to the Spanish proverb “an ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship,” then consider the potential of genetic social networking. In October, two companies started social-networking Web sites based not on friendship, business connections or dating desires but on cheek-swab DNA tests. Participants fill out their genetic profile and link up with strangers who share DNA markers. Users can upload baby pictures and home videos, compare family trees and e-mail distant cousins to find out what life is like in the old country.

To Give Children an Edge, Au Pairs From China

The last two years have seen an astonishing increase in the number of American parents wishing to employ Mandarin-speaking nannies, difficult to find here and even harder to obtain from China.  Their services are in great demand, in part because so many Americans have adopted baby girls from China. Driving the need more aggressively is the desire among ambitious parents to ensure their children’s worldliness, as such parents assume that China’s expanding influence will make Mandarin the sophisticates’ language decades hence.

Good Jihad, Bad Jihad: Struggle for Arab Minds

The battle for Muslim hearts and minds is playing out on TV screens and computer monitors these days, with the alternately fasting and feasting Ramadan masses presenting a ready audience. At least two groundbreaking television series focus on the damage that extremism is wreaking on the Muslim world, while a media organization closely associated with Al Qaeda has begun a high-quality Internet news broadcast to counter what it calls “lies and propaganda” on even Arab satellite news channels like Al Jazeera, which has been accused of underreporting Al Qaeda activities.

The Anxiety of Influencers: Educating the TikTok generation

Also known as content houses or TikTok mansions, collab houses are grotesquely lavish abodes where teens and early twentysomethings live and work together, trying to achieve viral fame on a variety of media platforms. Sometime last spring, when most of us were making bread or watching videos of singing Italians, the houses began to proliferate in impressive if not mind-boggling numbers, to the point where it became difficult for a casual observer even to keep track of them. There was Hype House and Drip House and a house called Girls in the Valley. There was FaZe House (for gamers) and Alt Haus (for outcasts) and one called Byte House, the first of its kind in the U.K. Perhaps the most recognizable was the Sway House, tenanted by a cohort of shaggy-haired bros whose content consisted mostly of lifting weights and pretending to have sex with their smartphone cameras. Essentially, they were the Brat Pack of Gen Z, replete with bad-boy antics and dangling, cross-bearing earrings.

Lucha Libre, Yoga, Dancing: Welcome to Mexico City’s Vaccination Sites

To calm Mexico City’s elderly, who were arriving “really scared” at vaccination sites, officials cued up the bands and masked wrestlers.

Using Mascots to Promote Vaccines

A ‘beautiful’ female biker was actually a 50-year-old man using FaceApp. After he confessed, his followers liked him even more.

After Capitol riot, desperate families turn to groups that ‘deprogram’ extremists

Want a Divorce? Try Cameo to Break the News

After a series of viral pranks, the celebrity-driven video shout-out app has become the unexpected home for breakup announcements.

A DJ in Kazakhstan

Afro-Punk Sci Fantasy game

Swordsfall isn’t just a setting for a game, it’s a world. It’s a dive into pre-colonial Africa for rich lore you’ve never heard of before. It’s an exploration into a world where most of the faces are dark yet aren’t constrained to one corner of the globe. It’s a world where women hold power equal to men and the merit of one’s soul is what propels them through life. It’s a world where spirits aren’t to be feared, instead they are to be embraced. In a time where we know that representation matters, this project is an effort to add to that spirit in the way I know best. Narrative fiction in the nerdiest of flavors.

Just 700 Speak This Language (50 in the Same Brooklyn Building)

Seke, one of the world’s rarest languages, is spoken by about 100 people in New York.

How to Rebrand a Country

Colombia, Rwanda and Croatia were seen as dangerous and conflict-ridden. Now they top travel bucket lists. How other countries can follow their lead, in seven steps.

When a deep red town’s only grocery closed, city hall opened its own store. Just don’t call it ‘socialism.’

What Does Having a Boyfriend Have to Do With Sleep?

On YouTube, young men role-play as kindly romantic partners — all in service of a better night’s rest.

Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience

Where Big Tech goes to ask deep questions.