‘The Bot Politic,’ and 4 Other Stories You Should Read

‘The Bot Politic,’ and 4 Other Stories You Should Read. Here’s what you missed while deciding never to wear a backpack skiing again… Recode: Mark Zuckerberg shares Facebook’s secrets with all his employees, and almost none of it leaks Selected by Brian Maehl, talent development manager Every week, Mark Zuckerberg hosts a Q&A for the 16,000 Facebook employees around the globe. As Recode writes, “Zuckerberg will also share his personal opinions on competitors like Snapchat and Twitter, and even Facebook’s board members.” It’s quite the feat for the company that practically owns the web to be this candid, but what’s more impressive is the public never hears what’s discussed. Selected by Dillon Baker, tech editor Since Donald Trump’s election victory, The Washington Post has run two stories on Russian hacking that turned out to be based on false premises. News and fake news are both shaped by the exact same business model—impression-based ad revenue. The Washington Post made thousands of dollars from these articles, despite both being proven false, simply because they were fantastical and confirmed what people wanted to hear. Sports Illustrated wrote a full-length feature on the sleepwear, which reads very much like a branded content story. “No publication should do a brand’s advertising for them for free,” Petchesky writes. Don’t be dumb.” Selected by Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief If you’re going to spend five minutes reading an article this week, this is it. Kai, a gender-neutral banking bot, is meant to reflect its “personality” without imprinting specific features that would define its personhood.

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Here’s what you missed while deciding never to wear a backpack skiing again

Recode: Mark Zuckerberg shares Facebook’s secrets with all his employees, and almost none of it leaks

Selected by Brian Maehl, talent development manager

Every week, Mark Zuckerberg hosts a Q&A for the 16,000 Facebook employees around the globe. It sounds like familiar territory for the CEO of a growing company—to address any concerns or discuss a product roadmap—but the level of candor apparently on display makes it unprecedented. As Recode writes, “Zuckerberg will also share his personal opinions on competitors like Snapchat and Twitter, and even Facebook’s board members.”

It’s quite the feat for the company that practically owns the web to be this candid, but what’s more impressive is the public never hears what’s discussed. (Imagine how fascinating the weekly “What Mark Zuckerberg REALLY thinks about Evan Spiegel” story could be.)

This system is possible because if anyone at Facebook leaked information, they’d be canned. While employees seem to appreciate seeing this side of their CEO, it still feels ironic that such a refreshing concept is possible due to the threat of unemployment.

Selected by Dillon Baker, tech editor

Since Donald Trump’s election victory, The Washington Post has run two stories on Russian hacking that turned out to be based on false premises. One was on the Russian government’s influence on “fake news” (which blamed many innocent, non-Russian websites and was based on flimsy, anonymous sources), and the other on a Russian hack of the electric grid, which never happened.

It’s a bad look for the paper, which, in its opinion pages and its news pages, has given off the impression of hysteria. The result is a strategy that more closely resembles the cable news playbook—sensationalism, partisanship, and bunk sources—than the storied newspaper’s traditionally sober approach.

As Glenn Greenwald explains in this thoughtful article, that approach also points to why “fake news” has made such a foothold in the American media landscape. News and fake news are both shaped by the exact same business model—impression-based ad revenue. The Washington Post made thousands of dollars from these articles, despite both being proven false, simply because they were fantastical and confirmed what people wanted to hear.

The line between “fake” and “real” news is thin and needs to be protected by those who claim to represent the truth.

Selected by Craig Davis, editorial…

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