The Gamergate Decision Shows Exactly What's Broken About Wikipedia

This week, Wikipedia's highest governing body finalized its decision regarding the Gamergate encyclopedia page—the subject of a fight nearly as intense and long-running as Gamergate itself. Despite the organization's repeated insistence that it is not taking sides in the conflict, it ruled to punish five editors who… » 1/30/15 3:23pm Friday 3:23pm

Ever Heard of a Record Pressed On an X-Ray?

In the Soviet Union during the 1950s, Western music was seen as a form of neo-fascism or "mysticism" that could infect the youth, and was largely banned. But a recent project called X-Ray Audio has collected bootleg records from the U.S.S.R. that were cut onto x-rays illegally and are now beginning to surface on the… » 1/30/15 10:05am Friday 10:05am

This Hacker Claims He's Trying to Sell Taylor Swift's Nudes to TMZ

For a few minutes this week, Taylor Swift's official Twitter and Instagram accounts were being run by someone who is not Taylor Swift. She's back in control of her social media—but the hacker tells me he obtained private DMs—and nude photographs—and is attempting to sell them to TMZ. » 1/29/15 3:20pm Thursday 3:20pm

The Silk Road Trial Is Treating Emoji as Evidence

The trial of Ross Ulbricht—the man the federal government says was behind The Silk Road—has been a kind of legal coming-out party for the darker corners of the internet. Jurors have had to acquaint themselves with things like the anonymizing browser Tor, and Ulbricht's surprise defense involved the disgraced founder… » 1/29/15 1:36pm Thursday 1:36pm

Aphex Twin Is Apparently Flooding Soundcloud With Unreleased Old Music

Four months after the release of his comeback LP Syro and days after a revelatory new EP appeared online, it looks like Aphex Twin is again releasing unheard music. On an anonymous Soundcloud account, there are over 70 tracks of music that sounds uncannily like Richard D. James' early, clubby and ambient work—and… » 1/28/15 12:20pm Wednesday 12:20pm

Criticize GamerGate as a Woman, and Your Twitter Mentions Look Like This

Anita Sarkeesian became an involuntary protagonist of the GamerGate saga (and one of its top targets) after merely criticizing the way women are portrayed in videogames. That was last year. Today, one single week's worth of Twitter for her is a horrible, menacing hell. » 1/27/15 4:50pm Tuesday 4:50pm

Taylor Swift to Nick Jonas in Alleged Leaked DMs: "Are we bad kids now?"

Ever looked God straight in the eye? Here's the next best thing: the fellow who claims to have broken into Tayla Swift's Twitter account is tweeting what he claims are screenshots of her DMs with the stars. Take a look—just one peek. » 1/27/15 3:05pm Tuesday 3:05pm

This 2009 Pokémon Message Board Thread Is the Greatest Drama of Our Time

It was June 2009. The Glee cast's rendition of "Don't Stop Believing" was the most popular single in America. Swine flu was raging worldwide. The tax day protests that launched the Tea Party began popping up across the U.S. months before. Unbeknownst to all but a handful of devoted Pokémon fans, against that backdrop… » 1/27/15 1:45pm Tuesday 1:45pm

Taylor Swift's Twitter Hacked and She's on Vacation Oh My God I'm Crying

Weee—ooo—weee—ooo ALERT: It appears that the Twitter feed of Diet Coke fiend Taylor Swift, who is currently on vacation in Hawaii with the band Haim, has been compromised. Tayla, if you are reading this, please keep reading because we have important information for you: » 1/27/15 12:51pm Tuesday 12:51pm

Instagram God-Prick Dan Bilzerian Lives in a Loaded Gun Death Trap

Dan Bilzerian, trust fund manchild and 21st century social media luxury icon, has made a pseudo-career for himself through stunning Instagram displays of fast living and risk taking. But it's not just for show: according to a new GQ profile, his house is filled with deadly weapons in every room. » 1/27/15 11:50am Tuesday 11:50am

Rihanna and Kanye's New Song Has Spawned an Army of YouTube Impostors

Perhaps you heard over the weekend that Rihanna released a new song in collaboration with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and if you're like me, you navigated to YouTube this morning hoping to hear it. What you likely found wasn't "FourFiveSeconds," the acoustic duet they actually released, but the G-funk instrumental… » 1/26/15 3:36pm Monday 3:36pm

Should Wikipedia Depict Muhammad? How Editors Responded to Charlie Hebdo

Wikipedia's entry on Muhammad was first published on November 8, 2001. It was eleven sentences long. Over the next few years, several thousand new words were added and edited, but it wasn't until 2005 that an image of Muhammad was attached: A 16th-century painting depicting the Islamic prophet. Two hours later, the… » 1/26/15 1:13pm Monday 1:13pm

Ragú Has the Saddest Twitter Marketing Campaign of All Time, Goodnight

Man comforts himself by pretending the universe is random, else he must accept that it is governed by a ruthless and spiteful God. Colon-killer Denny's runs a successful social media campaign pandering to slobs via tween-approved meme-speak. But when Ragu tries the exact same thing, no one cares. Its flailing attempts… » 1/23/15 6:05pm 1/23/15 6:05pm

Wikipedia Purged a Group of Feminist Editors Because of Gamergate

For nearly as long as the antifeminist culture war known as Gamergate has raged across the internet, a microcosm of the battle has taken place on Wikipedia. Should Gamergate defined as a push for ethics in gaming journalism, or a paranoid campaign against women in gaming? This week, Wikipedia's highest court made a… » 1/23/15 5:49pm 1/23/15 5:49pm

Corporations' Sad Attempts at Using Memes: Death Is Too Good for Us

Like every other instance of vaguely subversive youth culture, text slang and internet jokes are now the property of people who want to sell you breakfast cereal and pasta sauce. One sub-Reddit called /r/FellowKids is dedicated to tracking all of these nauseating attempts at internet youthfulness. » 1/23/15 4:30pm 1/23/15 4:30pm

How to Trick Your Phone and Meet a Rich Worldly Financier at Davos

I bet you're not in Switzerland right now! Instead, you're probably trapped in some boring pit like Manhattan or jail, far away from the annual dumb conclave of mega-wealthy power brokers happening in Davos, right now. That sucks, but it's easy to fake it on Tinder. » 1/23/15 3:35pm 1/23/15 3:35pm

The Former Face of Anonymous Is Going to Prison

Way back in 2011, things were going very well for Barrett Brown, a hacker groupie-cum-journalist who'd made some friends in Anonymous, the once-fearsome online collective. Today, he was sentenced to 63 months in prison after aiding them in their reign of crimes and bullshit theatrics. » 1/22/15 6:05pm 1/22/15 6:05pm

Swiss Authorities Arrest Bot for Buying Drugs and Fake Passport

A bot created by a group of artists spent the last few months selecting items at random from a Silk Road-style darknet marketplace, buying them with Bitcoin, and having them shipped to a gallery in Switzerland. After the it bought some ecstasy pills and a counterfeit passport, we asked: How will authorities deal with… » 1/22/15 10:03am 1/22/15 10:03am

Why You Should Care About the Silk Road Trial

Right now, a 30-year-old engineer is on trial for founding and operating an enormous online black market—the Amazon of drugs. The outcome of his trial could change the way we use the internet. » 1/21/15 1:40pm 1/21/15 1:40pm