Digital Privacy Advocates Are Concerned About the Shitty Media Men List Lawsuit: 'This Was an Important Tool' 

Last week, writer, filmmaker and accused shitty media man Stephen Elliott filed suit against Moira Donegan, the self-identified creator of the Shitty Media Men list. In that time, a legal defense fund for Donegan has raised over $100,000 and she’s retained the counsel of Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the Time’s Up…

Massachusetts Is an Unlikely Battleground for the Future of Trans Rights, But Here We Are

Whatever I expected from the voters of Massachusetts, it certainly wasn’t this middle-aged man in a tank top, leaning on his half-open screen door and gazing into the middle distance as he delivered a stirring speech about people born with the “soul of the woman.” Actually, he told a pair of animated canvassers right…

What on Earth Is America's Worst Governor Going to Do When He Leaves Office?

In the event that the people actually running for office this midterm season aren’t upsetting enough, here’s something to consider: In January, Maine’s Paul LePage, the worst governor in America—you’ll perhaps remember him from the time he called a state representative a “son of a bitch, socialist cocksucker,” or as…

Maine Women Are Waiting on Susan Collins 

Portland, ME — On Thursday night, as Maine Republican Susan Collins weighed her vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, around 60 protestors stood in a plaza across the street from her Portland office. They held signs reading “I believe her.” Tourists cut around the outskirts of the crowd. As one…

How a Subprime Auto Lender Consumed Detroit With Debt and Turned Its Courthouse Into a Collections Agency

When Don Foss started his career as a car salesman, he recognized early on that most of his prospective customers had shaky credit, leaving them with few options for financing to buy a vehicle. So in 1972, he started subprime auto lending company Credit Acceptance Corporation to fill that void. He knew lending money…

'Do Not Track,' the Privacy Tool Used by Millions of People, Doesn't Do Anything

When you go into the privacy settings on your browser, there’s a little option there to turn on the “Do Not Track” function, which will send an invisible request on your behalf to all the websites you visit telling them not to track you. A reasonable person might think that enabling it will stop a porn site from…

The Strangest Desert Festival In the World Makes Everyone’s Mad Max Dreams Come True

It’s 11 a.m. deep in the Mojave Desert, the sun already laser-boring into everything it touches, and Bob is driving the stagecoach a hair too fast, speeding down Fury Road while tidily dispatching his not-first Bud Light of the morning. The whiskey still fixed to the stagecoach’s roof rattles as the scenery whips by:…

Forgive Me if I Don't Trust The Woman Prosecutor Interviewing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford 

Today Rachel Mitchell, a career prosecutor who has worked in Maricopa County, Arizona, since 1993, is interviewing Christine Blasey Ford on behalf of the Republican Party. Since her role was first announced, Mitchell has been the subject of intense national scrutiny, though she has declined to speak publicly about her…

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information

Last week, I ran an ad on Facebook that was targeted at a computer science professor named Alan Mislove. Mislove studies how privacy works on social networks and had a theory that Facebook is letting advertisers reach users with contact information collected in surprising ways. I was helping him test the theory by…

Leaked Audio: BuzzFeed Executives Talk Diversity and Layoffs at Recent All-Hands Meeting 

Last week, BuzzFeed shuttered most of its podcasts, which included See Something Say Something, The News, and Reporting to You. In a memo to staff written after the company learned of a forthcoming Wall Street Journal article about the decision, BuzzFeed’s VP of news, Shani O. Hilton, said that podcasts would “move to…

Appeals Court Hears Arguments to Unseal Bill O'Reilly's Bizarre, Secret Fraud Lawsuit Against His Ex-Wife 

Bill O’Reilly has been thoroughly nationally disgraced for more than a year now, such an acknowledged menace to women that even Fox News will no longer employ him. There’s almost no reason to even write about him anymore. Except for one last, lingering mystery: Why, precisely, is he suing his ex-wife and her divorce…

The Brutal, Incredibly Personal Gun Politics of the Florida Governor's Race 

ORLANDO, FLORIDA — Orlando is dotted with lakes and splashy roadside attractions—Disney World, Gatorland, the intensely strange evangelical theme park Holy Land Experience—but on a recent weekday morning, the weirdest sideshow in town was just east of downtown, at an upscale biker bar. Upstairs, next to a huddle of…

Riot Games Says It Wants To Clean Up Its Mess, But The People Who Made It Are Still There

In mid-August, in front of an audience of his own employees, Marc Merrill, a co-founder of Riot Games, the studio behind League of Legends, admitted fault. According to two sources watching, he apologized, his voice choked up, and he began to cry. Twelve years after Riot’s founding, it had become clear to its…