‘Shame!’ Amazon gets $23m from Virginia county amid fierce protests

Tech giant will build second HQ in Crystal City but protesters echo New Yorkers who forced company out Protesters repeatedly shouted shame as a northern Virginia county board unanimously approved a $23m incentives package for Amazon to build a new headquarters there. The Arlington county boards 5-0 vote on Saturday came after hours of heated public testimony, news outlets reported. Supporters said Amazons plan to build a massive facility in Crystal City will lead to tens of thousands of good jobs and bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Opponents said the tech giant neither needs nor deserves public subsidies. They also said lower-income residents would be driven out by rising rents. In November, Amazon selected New …

Is it ever too late to reply to an email? | Oliver Burkeman

Social expectations about digital etiquette have never been more in flux. The solution? Avoid worrying about it altogether You know youve reached a crisis point in your email backlog when youre obliged as I was recently to confront the following conundrum of electronic etiquette: is it ruder to reply to an email after three months than not to reply at all? On one hand, obviously, given since 1969. Three months is, lets be clear, far too long to delay a reply. But I suspect were entering a phase in emails history when social expectations about such matters have never been more in flux. As the burden of digital communication keeps increasing, digital minimalism is entering the mainstream. (I recommend a …

Facebook criticised after women complain of inaction over abuse

Amnesty says social media firm must do more to support users who report harassment Human rights campaigners have called for action after a survey revealed that more than half of the reports that women lodge about harassment on Facebook are met with no action from the social media company. The Survation poll, commissioned by the feminist campaign group Level Up, found that 29% of the 1,000 women who took part had been harassed on Facebook. A spokesperson for Amnesty International UK said the extremely worrying findings were indicative of a new frontier of human rights abuses which are often unaddressed: Time and time again we hear social media companies making pledges that they will do better, but their efforts have …

From self-harm to terrorism, online recommendations cast a deadly shadow | John Naughton

The tragic case of Molly Russell has highlighted their malign influence My eye was caught by a headline in Wired magazine: Custodians of the Internet, Gillespies excellent book on the moderation of online content, I might also be interested in Safiya Umoja Nobles Molly Russell, the young teenager who sought out images of self-harm before she took her own life in 2017. It was later discovered, the authors report, that these images were also being delivered to her, recommended by her favourite social media platforms. Her Instagram feed was full of them. Even in the months after her death, Pinterest continued to send her automated emails, its algorithms automatically recommending graphic images of self-harm, including a slashed thigh and cartoon …

Momo hoax: schools, police and media told to stop promoting viral challenge

Childrens charities say warnings about online suicide challenge have done more harm than good Britains media, schools and police forces were told on Thursday to stop promoting an online hoax about the so-called Momo challenge, amid fears that unjustified warnings about the supposed phenomenon risked doing more harm than good. The Momo challenge centres on false claims that a mysterious character is using WhatsApp messages to encourage children to kill themselves. After it moved from the fringes of the internet to the mass media, interventions from authority figures were blamed for creating a full-blown moral panic and genuine fear among children. Questions were raised in parliament on Thursday about what the government planned to do about the hoax, while hundreds …