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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


In OneZero. More on Medium.

Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp went down — and we survived

What a day it was. Starting around noon on Monday, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all went offline. These ultra-popular social networks and communication platforms didn't just sputter, they essentially disappeared.

It was a calamity for Facebook (which owns all three services) and its investors, but a rare opportunity for the…

What if more tech companies actually admitted when they got it wrong?

In late 2020, Twitter launched its Snapchat Stories clone, Fleets, to much fanfare. It promised a friendlier, easier way to share on Twitter, and potential to lower the barrier to entry for those that might be afraid to post.

Just seven months later, Twitter is killing the Fleets feature off…

Your audience doesn’t mind if you’re fake

About a month ago a motorcycle-loving Japanese woman with 27,800 followers on Twitter revealed that he was actually a 50-year old Japanese man who had been using a photo app to make his face look like a young woman.

According to the BBC, the man (named Soya) did this because…

Here’s what I learned DM’ing with fake copyright phishers

Every month, a couple accounts contact me on Instagram, say they work for the platform, and threaten to delete my handle unless I click on bogus URLs designed to collect my personal information. As far as I can tell, they’re after one thing: My blue check mark.

I’m decidedly…

General Intelligence

The team purposely excluded Instagram images from the European Union, likely because of GDPR

OneZero’s General Intelligence is a roundup of the most important artificial intelligence and facial recognition news of the week.

Facebook researchers announced a breakthrough yesterday: They have trained a “self-supervised” algorithm using 1 billion Instagram images, proving that the algorithm doesn’t need human-labeled images to learn to accurately recognize objects.

Trump’s extremism is forcing tech companies to abandon the pretense of political objectivity — for now

There’s an idea in media criticism known as the “view from nowhere.” Popularized by Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University, the phrase takes aim at the ethos of political agnosticism that news outlets have historically cultivated. He argues that “both sides” reporting, which treats competing viewpoints or…

I recently started posting regularly on my Instagram account, and I have about 1,200 followers. But I wouldn’t call myself an influencer, unless I’m influencing people to write more and drink coffee, which is pretty much all I post about.

My main goal, as anyone who checks out my account…

Big Technology

An antitrust lawsuit against Facebook is forthcoming, and Instagram is in the crosshairs

Momentum inside the Federal Trade Commission is building toward a Facebook antitrust lawsuit. The lawsuit could drop at any moment, and my biggest worry as I type this is the FTC files it before I hit send, wiping out hours of work.

With the agency all but certain to bring…

The project, which posts some responses on Instagram, intends to shift the burden of explaining racism away from Black people

The only thing that kept Jodi-Ann Burey sane this summer was binge-watching Hoarders. Within three weeks she was done with all 10 seasons.

The show helped her escape from the “visceral sadness” she was feeling as a Black woman in 2020. For Burey, this year has been draped in trauma…


Research shows that a modicum of extra effort in online conversations goes a long way

When Instagram introduced the option to “heart” direct messages in 2015, my personal experience of the platform began its slow, steady descent into hell.

This nosedive accelerated in 2018 when Instagram introduced Quick Reactions to its Stories. Quick Reactions allow audiences to, yes, quickly react with one of eight emoji…


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