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

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These two deeply divergent attitudes towards sex and romance could be seen as symbolic of a real-world schism

A few years back, I fell really hard for one of my friends. Though we never quite reached a level of intimacy that one might call dating, on more than one occasion an evening of drinking would land the two of us in bed together, and my passions for him would be newly inflamed. In the morning, however, I’d always want to acknowledge what had happened, he’d respond with clear discomfort, and we’d be back to being just friends.

Eventually, he moved thousands of miles away from me, putting the whole sordid affair to rest. I was heartbroken, but at…


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While some activists hope amending Section 230 would end revenge porn, doing so could also take away safe spaces

In the mid-1990s, when the internet was still relatively new, Congress passed a 26-word provision as part of the Communications Decency Act that has shaped social media and online platforms ever since.

The provision, known as Section 230, says that internet companies are not liable for their users’ content. It means that Twitter can’t be sued for users’ defamatory tweets, you can’t be sued for the comments that someone else leaves on your blog, and whatever people post to Facebook is on them, not Facebook.

For decades, this premise has been a fundamental component of how the internet is run…


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Erotic deepfakes are only going to make the question of sexual ethics muddier and more confusing

In a 1990 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a socially anxious crew member named Reginald Barclay manages his fears and insecurities by retreating to the holodeck, where he programs fantasy versions of his fellow crew members. His male colleagues are recast as his adoring acolytes, while his female ones are made hypersexualized and subservient. When his colleagues stumble upon their fantasy counterparts, they are understandably uncomfortable and upset by the liberties Barclay has taken with their images and identities.

The episode was intended more as an allegory about the dangers of retreating into fantasy than a literal warning…


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Laws hold the porn industry accountable for dangerous content — and it’s thriving nonetheless

In In October, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to testify about his company’s planned cryptocurrency, Libra. Early on in the proceedings, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) objected to proposals that would rein in the tech giant, comparing them to “red flag laws” that aimed to reduce fear around early automobiles through aggressive measures (including the requirement that a pedestrian waving a red flag of warning precede any car on the road).

To McHenry, and to most of Zuckerberg’s peers in Silicon Valley, the idea of slowing technological innovation through regulation is patently ludicrous. In an industry built on an…


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Social media was going to end shame, but it just ended up killing privacy instead

Republican Senator Mitt Romney speaks to journalists on September 23, 2019.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney speaks to journalists on September 23, 2019.

Earlier this week, Republican Senator Mitt Romney went viral on Twitter after Slate writer Ashley Feinberg uncovered his secret Twitter account. Romney — who’d chosen the pseudonym Pierre Delecto for his secret account — wasn’t using his Twitter presence to slide into women’s DMs, or engage in racist harassment, or do anything particularly out of character. On the contrary, Pierre Delecto’s social media habits were utterly mundane. He followed the accounts of Romney’s family, friends, and professional colleagues. He liked tweets that complimented Romney, or that aligned with his political views. At his most ambitious, he tweeted a few comments…


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A new adult VR experience is likely to make women sick, but not because of its content

A double exposure photograph of a woman wearing VR Glasses in two different poses.
A double exposure photograph of a woman wearing VR Glasses in two different poses.

“The guy isn’t getting naked quick enough.” These were the words of a woman I’d known for just a few minutes, a fellow member of the media who, like me, had travelled to a co-working space in New York’s Financial District to get a glimpse of a whole new take on porn.

Erika Lust, an award-winning pornographer known for her cinematic, female-friendly approach to smut, had finally made the leap into immersive, 360-degree virtual reality porn, and we were some of the first people to get a look at her debut effort.

As I strapped on a VR headset, I…


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Finding adequate health care can be a challenge for trans people. Telemedicine can help, but some trans medical needs still require an in-person visit.

For many trans people, access to health care is a fraught issue. Just finding a provider who has the cultural competence to respect trans patients’ identities and pronouns while providing basic health care can be a major struggle. Finding one who specializes in gender-affirming care — medical care that acknowledges and provides support for transgender people’s gender identities, and may include providing transition-related medical services like hormone replacement therapy and surgeries — is even more difficult.

The situation is even tougher for trans people in rural areas, where getting good health care can mean traveling for hours to the closest…


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Can erotica apps stay weird and attract major investments?

Neon signage of a finger in a hush motion over the lips
Neon signage of a finger in a hush motion over the lips

For as long as humans have been writing, we’ve written erotica — stories, poems, and novels intended to titillate and arouse each other. And over the course of those millennia, the format of these erotic works has remained largely unchanged.

Now a collection of startup entrepreneurs is betting that erotica is due for an upgrade. Apps like Dipsea, Shades, and the upcoming Do You all give this classic genre a revamp, repackaging erotica into apps that offer immediate access to hot stories and built-in communities. …


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Dadi offers a relatively inexpensive test to put clients at ease

A liquid nitrogen cryogenic tank at a laboratory
A liquid nitrogen cryogenic tank at a laboratory

Ifreiyou’re in your thirties, childfree, and in possession of a working uterus, chances are good that someone, somewhere, has asked if you if you’re planning on freezing your eggs. Maybe your employer notified you that they now cover the costs of egg freezing, maybe your parents won’t stop forwarding you articles about women who are so happy they froze their eggs, or maybe — like me — you’re bombarded by ads for egg freezing services when you hop onto Facebook or Instagram.

Yet for all the discussions of frozen gametes, the other half of the equation rarely seems to come…


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But the app boasts innovative security features the rest of the industry should take note of

When Andi, 52, got divorced a few years ago, she did what many newly single people do: She signed up for dating apps. Over the course of a few years, she made her way through Tinder, Match, OkCupid, JDate, and many more, shifting from app to app as her mood dictated. “I tried Match — that did not work for my age range,” Andi says. “Tinder at my age range was mostly relationships. It wasn’t hookups… People in their twenties tell me that Tinder and OkCupid are for hookups. At my age, it wasn’t like that.”

Although dating apps are…

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