From a New York Times investigative reporter, this “authoritative and devastating account of the impacts of social media” (New York Times Book Review) tracks the high-stakes inside story of how Big Tech’s breakneck race to drive engagement—and profits—at all costs fractured the world. The Chaos Machine is “an essential book for our times” (Ezra Klein). [more inside]
Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. [more inside]
Two entrepreneurs stage elaborate fake exorcisms on social media until one of them ends up being real. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus and Evictions Season 7, Ep 17
This week, again from the White Void: Mike Pence gave a speech that seems to indicate that we had done enough to slow the Coronavirus epidemic, an amazingly stupid take, and the very states that have been most aggressive about reopening have been the ones to suffer from the highest spikes in new cases. Main story: evictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening to turn the health crisis into a homelessness crisis. On YouTube (19m) And Now: The Citizens of Palm Beach County, Florida, Have Some Thoughts On Mandatory Face Masks (Warning: extreme entitlement). Finally, John "Papa John" Schnatter, rich white man and founder of the pizza chain, has become a highly undeserving Instagram star in an attempt to rehabilitate his image, and is as potent an argument against obscene wealth as anything on this Earth. [more inside]
The Circle: Full Season Season 1, Ep 1
IMDB: Players starts off isolated in an apartment, and with their online interactions as their only means of any communication. The players use a social media platform called "The Circle". [more inside]
BoJack Horseman: Surprise! Season 6, Ep 4
Todd organizes a surprise wedding for Pickles and Mr. Peanutbutter, but the party quickly goes off the rails when Mr. Peanutbutter makes a confession. "What's with all this mid-century furniture so close to the ground?" "No one had to hide in the '50s?"
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Draining the Swamp Season 5, Ep 29
This week (yes, a timely LWT post!):
- The Republicans lose the US House of Representatives, an act which Trump actually said was "close to a complete victory" for him. Also, businessman Danny Darkanian loses his sixth straight election in Nevada, annoying his wife greatly. And three states voted to expand Medicaid, Flordia voted to restore voting rights to felons, and Utah voted to legalize medical marihuana.
- Update in Stupid Watergate: Trump fires Jeff Sessions and replaces him, as acting head of the Justice Department, with Matthew Whitaker, a man known for many stupid things, foremost among them serving as an advisor to a company that had to pay out a $25M judgement for scamming inventors.
- And Now: Steve Bannon's Election Night Coverage Went Just Great
- Main Story: Donald Trump (again), and his campaign promise to "drain the swamp." A noble sentiment, but, predictably, absolutely the opposite of what he's doing. Here's the piece on YouTube.
- And Now: Monday Night Football's Graphics Are Officially Out Of Hand
- Finally, an epidemic of unnotified promotion of products by influencers on social media has been going on, including DJ Khaled hawking alcohol to millions of followers. To help illustrate, LWT reveals something they've been doing (not been getting paid for it, but doing it anyway) concerning Scientology....
After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her. A thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens. [more inside]
Atlanta: North of the Border Season 2, Ep 9
We might have to make that move tonight. I heard there's a pajama party and Paper Boi is gonna be there. [Official synopsis] [more inside]
After landing a dream job at a powerful tech company called The Circle, a woman wrestles with whether the firm's 24/7/365 connectivity agenda represents a brave new world in which "Knowing is good, but knowing everything is better" or a horrifying breach of individual autonomy and privacy.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 2016 Election Result Season 3, Ep 30
This week (11/13):
- The only story is the outcome of the 2016 Election and the selecting of Donald Trump as the next US President. The full consequences of this are detailed, and his staff picks are discussed, and also offered is a look into how this happened: the prevailing use of social media to isolate people into echo chambers and feed them disinformation. A list of many organizations you can donate to and volunteer for is offered. It ends with a hearty FUCK YOU to the year 2016.
Black Mirror: Hated In The Nation Season 3, Ep 6
Detective Karin Parke investigates a series of strange deaths that seem to be linked to social media. And there are also android bees.
Steven Universe: Too Short To Ride Season 3, Ep 9
Steven and Amethyst take Peridot to Funland!
Other sections of MetaFilter have their own official Twitter Accounts - shouldn't FanFare have its own, too? [more inside]
A social media mistake for the record books, and a quiet saint of Wikipedia.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prescription drug marketing to doctors, the thin skin of Rafael Correa Season 2, Ep 1
This week: US Congressman Aaron Schock redecorates his office with a Downton Abbey theme. Argentina President Cristina Fernández catches flack for affecting a stereotypical Chinese accent on Twitter. Radio Shack files for bankruptcy and Last Week Tonight prepared a farewell message (YouTube, 3m), on their behalf. The main story: "Prescription drugs. The only ovals that can bring people in the Seattle area joy anymore." Marketing to doctors. (YouTube, 17m) And Equador president Rafael Correa calls out social media users who insult him on national television. John Oliver, in a helpful gesture to help Correa thicken his skin, provides his official Twitter handle, @MashiRafael, so internet users can directly insult him. That's right everybody: Last Week Tonight is back.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Student loan debt Season 1, Ep 16
This week: A secret of ISIS's success may be their use of social media. Libyans hold a pool party. 60 Minutes anchors prompt echoing responses from interviewees. A long piece of student loan debt, with an emphasis on the excesses of for-profit schools. (16m) And the Russian space sex geckos have died. (6m) A Great Big World is on hand to play them off.