The Media Tried To Game The Machines and You'll Never Guess What Happened Next (Facebook Won)

Just five years ago, not only was it possible for a reputable outlet to flatly characterize Upworthy—a website that didn’t make much but a system for testing what drew clicks on Facebook—as the “fastest-growing media company of all time,” but it happened more than once. By 2013, a year after its founding, Upworthy had …

Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games

Throughout her three years at Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, Lacy made it her mission to hire a woman into a leadership role. Lacy had heard plenty of excuses for why her female job candidates weren’t Riot material. Some were “ladder climbers.” Others had “too much ego.” Most weren’t “gamer enough.”…

Facebook Wanted Us to Kill This Investigative Tool

Last year, we launched an investigation into how Facebook’s People You May Know tool makes its creepily accurate recommendations. By November, we had it mostly figured out: Facebook has nearly limitless access to all the phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and social media handles most people on Earth have…

The Satanic Temple Is Engulfed in a Civil War Over a Decision to Hire an Attorney With a Stable of Alt-Right Clients 

In January, Lucien Greaves of the Satanic Temple announced that he was considering a lawsuit against Twitter on religious discrimination grounds. In the intervening months, the decision to sue Twitter has grown into part of a controversy that’s engulfed the organization and recently led one of the Temple’s major…

The Eugenicist Doctor and the Vast Fortune Behind Trump’s Immigration Regime

Last month, as parents arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border were separated from their children and transferred to detention centers more than a thousand miles away in the Pacific Northwest, as a father of two languished in federal custody after delivering a pizza to a military base in Brooklyn, and as Immigration and…

These Academics Spent the Last Year Testing Whether Your Phone Is Secretly Listening to You

It’s the smartphone conspiracy theory that just won’t go away: Many, many people are convinced that their phones are listening to their conversations to target them with ads. Vice recently fueled the paranoia with an article that declared “Your phone is listening and it’s not paranoia,” a conclusion the author reached…

Columnist Rod Dreher Unpublishes Bonkers Column Linking Anthony Bourdain's Death to Asia Argento's 'Ties to the Occult' 

Rod Dreher is a conservative Christian columnist and a hot take-writer in a unique and very strange class of his own. His latest attempt was a column about Anthony Bourdain’s death (oh no), which tried to tie sin, suicide, transgender identity and witchcraft together (oh nooo), all stuffed into a piece of writing so…

The Trump Cabinet's Far-Right Bible Study Group Tried to Move Into the West Wing

Earlier this year, a weekly Bible study session led by a far-right evangelical pastor and sponsored by nearly a dozen members of the president’s Cabinet tried to move its meetings to the White House, according to emails obtained by Gizmodo Media. Vice President Mike Pence was supposed to host the January 10 session in…

The Reporter Who Exposed New York Times Star Glenn Thrush's Sexual Misconduct Says She Was the Victim of a Smear Campaign

Last November, Vox published a story by politics editor Laura McGann about New York Times politics reporter Glenn Thrush and what she called his “history of bad judgment” around young women journalists. The story detailed four women’s assertions that Thrush came onto or harassed them, usually in situations involving…

Pray for the Souls of the People Sucked Into This Dating Site Hell

Earlier this year, the media got very excited about Trump.dating, a site for the pro-Donald set that promised to “make dating great again.” Much of the media coverage was critical: The site only allowed users to conduct heterosexual searches; the male-half of the couple originally featured on the homepage had a child…

Lil Tay's Not-Manager Thinks We Don't Understand Her Unique Vision Because We're Old 

Earlier today, Jezebel published a look at the people behind Lil Tay, a 9-year-old girl and controversial Instagram personality, whose fame is the result of participating in some extremely adult beefs. Shortly after the story was published, Alex Goller Gelbard, who works with Tay in some kind of management capacity,…

I Drove Myself Nuts Trying to Unravel the Mystery of Seemingly Unparented 9-Year-Old Instagram Shit-Talker Lil Tay

Social media stardom is a brutal Darwinistic competition, a craven and utterly shameless battle for space on our screens and in our brains carried out by a phalanx of influencers, thinkfluencers, beauty vloggers, charlatans, health quacks, spiritual phonies, and unhinged vegans. Recently, Lil Tay entered into this…