Tensions between Russia and NATO escalated over the weekend after Russia launched a barrage of attacks on a military base in Ukraine, just 18 kilometers from the Polish border, murder at least 35 people. Poland is a member of NATO, raising fears that the conflict could spread beyond Ukraine.
The war on the ground is inevitably mirrored and accompanied by a fierce battle for the information people see online. The White House informed TikTok shines on last week’s war, in a nod to the telltale role the platform has played all the war so far.
Information reaching the Russians is increasingly being monitored and filtered amid wide-ranging crackdowns on dissent in the country. A block on Instagram goes into effect today, and Facebook and Twitter are cut off also in Russia.
In the West, there are many tech platforms give up on the illusion of neutrality. Facebook has cancelled its ban on inciting violence against Russian soldiers, and even DuckDuckGo, which has previously promoted itself as apolitical and neutral, has announced it will start lowering sites associated with Russian disinformation (a decision that will require a quick resists from the extreme right.)
The must reads
I’ve scoured the internet to find the funniest/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology today.
1 Parts of China have gone into lockdown again
A wave of business in Shenzhen is likely related to the crisis in neighboring Hong Kong. †Bloomberg †
+ Foxconn has had to close its factories. †FT †
+ South Korea reported more than 380,000 new cases in just one day. †NYT †
+ Covid is not over yet. In fact, some countries haven’t even survived the worst† †NY Mag†
† It has been two years since Covid-19 became a pandemic. †TR†
+ Better response to a pandemic would have saved millions of lives† †NYT †
Vaccinating children has not been easy for any disease. †The Atlantic Ocean †
2 Tech companies race to hire Ukrainians
The country has a respected tech sector with a large pool of talented people. †CNBC†
+ Meanwhile, tech workers are fleeing Russia, along with much of the middle class† †Rest of the world†
3 Can you inherit cryptocurrency?
In theory yes. In practice it is often impossible. †Vox†
+ How people make (and lose!) money with crypto. †wired †
It’s been a year since Beeple’s $69 million NFT sale. †NBC†
+ Some NFT Myths Debunked† †wired †
5 What Google Search Doesn’t Show You 🔍
It’s getting worse, but it’s so entrenched now that it’s hard to imagine using anything else. †New Yorker †
6 Your Uber Rides Are Getting Even More Expensive
It is introducing a fuel surcharge to offset rising gas costs. †WP †
To weather Putin’s price hike, Americans could try to drive a little slower. †The Atlantic Ocean †
8 Your Bosses Start Spying On You Before You Even Start 👀
Delete those embarrassing social media posts. †the economist †
9 The Psychology That Explains Why Conspiracy Theories Take Off
They can be a collective response to threats. †wired †
+ Gen Z is not immune to misinformation. TikTokers are trying to put them right. †NBC†
+ How to talk to conspiracy theorists – and still be nice. †TR†
10 How Chico’s Cow Went From Social Media Star To Therapist
And in the process helped heal a regretful game designer. †The Atlantic Ocean †
—Felicia Grondin, the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said: recode that Americans should be more concerned about the explosive growth of gambling apps.
We can still have nice things
A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Do you have an idea? Give me a call or tweet them to me†
- A great photo of the International Space Station crossing the moon.
- How BBC 6 Music became the coolest radio station in the UK.
- Read the story of the one-legged Paralympic snowboarder who built an ingenious prosthesis for himself and his opponents.
- Another Batman related ranking! This one is from the villains†
- If you haven’t read the madness of Vanity Fair yet interview with Grimes (in which she reveals she has a second, secret baby with Elon Musk), here’s your chance.
- REST IN PEACE Mary Coombsthe first woman to program a commercial computer.
- If you’re also a sucker for red carpet snaps, check it out the ones that have been taken at the BAFTAs last night.