Nothing Is Embarrassing: On Kim Kardashian’s Strangely Liberating Book of Selfies

Selfish, Kim Kardashian’s new 445-page book of selfies, is a bit of a party trick. Pull out the compact, three-pound art book at a social function, and people clamor to flip through the hundreds of near-identical selfies that chart Kim’s evolution both as a human and as a brand (is there a difference?). Some took a meta selfie with the book, Kim’s damp bosom and dewy face overshadowing their own smiles in the foreground. … Read More

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The Question Isn’t Why Joss Whedon and Jaden Smith Quit Twitter — It’s Why Any Celebrity Would Join in the First Place

If you’re at all interested in the activities of Joss Whedon, you’ve probably read that he quit Twitter over the weekend. Shock, horror! Also gone from social media this week: Jaden Smith, who deleted his body of pseudo-profound sentence-case tweets and made his Instagram private. The public always seems to react with surprise when a celebrity cracks and quits Twitter. How could they? But really, the question is: Why on earth would anybody want to be on Twitter in the first place? … Read More

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The Troubling Afterlife of ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Pizza-Throwing Scene: 6 Things We Learned From Vince Gilligan’s Reddit AMA

Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul creator Vince Gilligan hosted a lively Reddit AMA last night. From overzealous fans throwing pizza on an old lady’s roof while recreating a scene from the former to what cameos we can expect in upcoming Better Call Saul episodes, he answered viewers’ most pressing (and hilarious) questions. Highlights below: … Read More

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Should It Be Illegal to Tell Someone to Kill Themselves?

Last week, game developer Rachel Bryk died by suicide. Bryk, who was transgender, had been actively goaded on 4chan to kill herself, and in a pretty perfect portrait of how that particular site remains the congealed matter at the bottom of the sewer of the Internet, a thread entitled “Where were you when Rachel died?” sprung up shortly after news of her death broke. (Warning: that link, unsurprisingly, contains some pretty awful transphobia.) If that’s not a depressing enough portrait of online culture, here is Bryk’s Ask.fm page, where, among other things, people actively and maliciously urge her to carry out her suicide threats. Which she did. The whole story is upsetting, tragic, and thoroughly depressing. … Read More

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The New Key Art for ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Is #Blessed

Fans of Orange Is the New Black will lock themselves in the respective Litchfield Penitentiaries of their bedrooms with a new season… Read More

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Activists to Twitter: New Abuse Protections Don’t Go Far Enough

It’s openly acknowledged, even by the company itself, that Twitter is the pits when it comes to protecting users from abuse. In February, a leaked internal memo quoted CEO Dick Costolo as saying, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years… It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.” An official op-ed last week reiterated the point. “Freedom of expression means little as our underlying philosophy if we continue to allow voices to be silenced because they are afraid to speak up,” wrote Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde. … Read More

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In a Post-Snowden, Post-Sony Hack World, Who Has the Power to Disseminate Secrets?

It’s not that difficult for someone to hack into your computer — and I know you think you know how easy it is, but trust me, it’s so much easier than you think. As a matter of fact, the attendees at Tuesday’s Tribeca Film Festival panel on “Secrecy and Power” were treated to a demonstration of exactly how easy it is, thanks to cyber-security expert Ralph Echemendia, aka “The Ethical Hacker.” Earlier that week, he sent an email with a link to a video clip to one of the TFF interns. As we all watched on a screen overhead, he opened up a window that displayed the intern’s desktop, his documents, his network. He turned on the webcam and the microphone. The poor schmuck had no idea. Most of those who are hacked don’t. … Read More

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