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…

How a Woman Disappears from the History Books

The New York Times Magazine recently published a lengthy cover story on “The Unlikely Activists Who Took On Silicon Valley—And Won;” it’s about the battle to pass a privacy law in the country’s most populous state. It’s great and definitely worth reading, but it forgot something: the woman who helped win the battle.

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…