Technology : The Atlantic

The Atlantic covers breaking news, analysis, opinion around the hard and soft sciences, innovation, and technology on the official site of the Atlantic Magazine.

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Defund Facial Recognition

Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. George Floyd. Rayshard Brooks. Oluwatoyin Salau. Robert Forbes. As each story has emerged of a Black life violently ended by law enforcement, white nationalists, or other forms of interpersonal violence, a multiracial movement for Black lives, led by Black activists, has kept pace. What has also kept pace...

The Boogaloo Tipping Point

On May 29, two federal security officers guarding a courthouse in Oakland, California, were ambushed by machine-gun fire as elsewhere in the city demonstrators marched peacefully to protest the killing of George Floyd. One of the guards, David Patrick Underwood, died as a result of the attack, and the other was wounded. For days, conservative news broadcasters...

Reddit Is Done Pretending The Donald Is Fine

Reddit is banning one of its most notorious communities today, the subreddit—or forum—dedicated to discussion of President Donald Trump.The ban comes after years of controversy around r/The_Donald and its promotion of racism, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, and violent memes starring a cartoon frog. Reddit is also removing 2,000 other communities...

Twitter’s Least-Bad Option for Dealing With Donald Trump

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump began his day as he usually does—by tweeting.In this case, Trump fired off a threat of using “serious force” against hypothetical protesters setting up an “autonomous zone” in Washington, D.C. Twitter, in response, hid the tweet but did not delete it, requiring readers to click through a notice that says the tweet...

The Boom in Fireworks Conspiracy Theories

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET on June 24, 2020.For the past few weeks, I’ve been able to watch several hours of a free nightly fireworks show from my living-room window. They pop off over the rooftops of my Brooklyn neighborhood, where the usually busy sonic landscape was reduced to sirens during the peak months of New York’s coronavirus outbreak, then to...

Do Protests Even Work?

In a remarkable development in the midst of a pandemic, the United States is also witnessing one of the most broad, sustained waves of protest in decades. It’s been three weeks, and nearly one in five Americans says they have participated in a recent protest. Like many other academics studying protests and movements, I am often asked if protests work—an...

My Little Pony Fans Are Ready to Admit They Have a Nazi Problem

My Little Pony fans have had a Nazi problem for a long time.That sounds just as strange no matter how many times you say it. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a cartoon television show about friendship, compassion, and a group of magical horses with names such as Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy who live in a fantastical land called Equestria. It’s...

Revenge of the Suburbs

Editor’s Note: This article is part of “Uncharted,” a series about the world we’re leaving behind, and the one being remade by the pandemic.Lucy Honeychurch grew up at Windy Corner, a comfortable estate in a polite enclave outside London. It was pleasant in the way suburbs always are: The neighbors were friendly, and the environment, free from the noise...

Reddit Is Finally Facing Its Legacy of Racism

In 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center called out Reddit as home to “the most violently racist” content on the internet, citing a constellation of antiblack forums, or subreddits, that had adopted the name “the Chimpire” and racked up tens of thousands of members before they were taken down that year. Reddit’s content policy prohibits inciting violence,...

Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab

Pablo DelcanLong before the coronavirus pandemic, the tech industry yearned to prove its indispensability to the world. Its executives liked to describe their companies as “utilities.” They came by their self-aggrandizement honestly: The founding fathers of Big Tech really did view their creations as essential, and essentially good.In recent years,...

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