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Stop Freaking Out About ‘Newsweek’s’ Silicon Valley Cover and Read the Story It’s Advertising

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Behind every provocative magazine cover lies an article whose worth we can only determine by actually reading it. Newsweek’s cursor-lifting “upskirt” cover appeared last night, and initial outrage poured forth on Twitter, as it so often does. Then the article, “What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women,” was published. And it became clear, to me at least, that the cover was an extremely accurate representation of the content. Was it unnecessarily titillating, too? Maybe, but if it brought readers in, I think it did its job.
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Mark Zuckerberg’s Book Club Is a Shameless Act of Propaganda

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There are few things less surprising than Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to start a book club. As I predicted not long ago, it was just a matter of time before Zuckerberg joined in on the publishing game, given his newfound newspaper-y aspirations — think Murdoch, Hearst, Bezos. But there is more to this charade. It’s all about business, politics, the politics of business, and the business of politics.
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Ello: Why Facebook Should Be Worried About a Rudimentary, Incomplete New Social Media Site

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Last week, you’d never heard of Ello — but suddenly there are thinkpieces about it everywhere, and someone sent you an invitation just before the invite program got frozen yesterday, and now you’re trying to make sense of the “minimalist” UI and wondering what exactly the fuss is all about. Or maybe you didn’t get an invite, and you’re also, yes, wondering what all the fuss is about. The site seemed to come out of nowhere, and the reason is twofold: first, while Ello’s been taking requests for invitations to its beta program since March, it was only this week that they started issuing those invitations in earnest. And second, it’s pitching itself as an ad-free alternative to the Zuckerbergian business model (its manifesto concludes with the declaration, “You are not a product”).
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OKCupid Founder Says Experimenting on Users Is Just “How Websites Work” — But It Doesn’t Have to Be

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OKCupid published a pretty fascinating post on its OKTrends blog yesterday. The piece was written by the company’s implausibly monikered co-founder Christian Rudder, and it discussed the recent publicity around Facebook’s grand experiment in influencing the moods of its users by examining how they react to having their news feed filled with largely positive or negative posts. Under the title “We Experiment on Human Beings!,” Rudder wrote that OKCupid had conducted similar studies, including a case in which they provided false matching data to evaluate how important providing users with this information is in their decisions about whether or not to contact (and also maintain conversation) with another user. This was no different, Rudder argued, from what Facebook did, and no different from what a bazillion other sites are constantly doing on an ongoing basis.
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A Guide to Celebrities Who Are the Absolute Worst On Social Media

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Ah, yes, celebrities: they’re just like us. Which means some of them are just as annoying as your aunt on Facebook, as unnecessarily cranky as your old college roommate on Twitter, and as insufferable as your #humblebrag colleague on Instagram. They’re basically The Worst, with the icing on the cake being that they have a built-in web audience since they’re celebrities. Here’s a guide to the worst offenders, from Ted Nugent to Jason Biggs to… Read More