Tech

Web searches and text messaging are already being used to prosecute people seeking abortions.

For Zeng, a young Chinese woman, an hour of scrolling through Douyin, the home version of TikTok, has become a daily ritual. Live streaming became popular in China in 2016 and has since become one of the country’s favorite entertainment. Zeng especially likes one creator: Longfei Lawyer. Every day, Longfei responds to legal inquiries from its 9 million subscribers live. Many deal with how women should approach difficult divorce cases.

But in May, Longfei’s account was shut down for 15 days, most likely because her content was inconsistent with the state’s views on marriage. While Longfei’s account was eventually reinstated last month, her case reflects how many streamers are struggling with the Chinese government’s growing willingness to weigh up what’s acceptable.

A new policy document, the Code of Conduct for Online Streamers, released by China’s top cultural bodies on June 22, is intended to instruct streamers on what is expected of them. Streamers who have so far managed to operate under the radar are now facing the full force of China’s censorship machine, and future interventions could prove even more invasive. Read the full story.
—Zeyi Yan

Required Reading

I scoured the internet to find the most hilarious/important/scary/exciting tech stories to date.

1. Hackers say they stole the data of a billion people in China.
This could be the largest cybersecurity breach in the country’s history. (Bloomberg $)
+ How China built a one-of-a-kind cyber-espionage giant for the ages. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Web search is already being used to prosecute abortion
In the post-Roe US, such digital evidence could be routinely used in litigation in states where abortion is illegal. (VP $)
+ Experts expect some miscarriages and stillbirths to be treated as criminal investigations. (Atlantic Ocean $)
+ Google to remove location data of users visiting abortion clinics. (The keeper)
+ Abortion access groups say they have been fighting algorithmic suppression for years. (Wired $)

3. We are getting closer to understanding the brain fog caused by COVID-19
This is partly due to the way the virus destroys brain cells and leaves behind inflammation. (Wired $)
+ How to fix your pandemic-broken brain. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Raises Millions In Cryptocurrency For Ukraine
But while the country has hailed Brittany Kaiser as a key ally, critics are skeptical of her motives. (VP $)
+ NFT sales are the lowest in a year. (The keeper)
+ The new bill could give the Federal Reserve access to cryptocurrencies. (VP $)

5 Life on Earth has helped create almost half of all our minerals
Which is exciting news for the search for life on other planets. (Quanta)
+ Mining is a tricky business. (BBC)
+ Pro-China Online Influence Campaign Targets Rare Earth Industry. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Twitter censors tweets in India
Digital rights activists are concerned about the new “hostage-taking laws” on social media that are fueling the latest wave of censorship. (The rest of the world)

7. We are still learning how porn affects the teen brain.
But we know that the reward centers in the young brain are activated more than in older viewers. (WSJ $)

8 Future Breast Reconstructions May Abandon Silicone Completely
In favor of tissue implants. (The keeper)

9 dinosaurs had a secret to survival 🦕
They were experts at fighting the cold. (Economist $)
+ We know surprisingly little about how dinosaurs reproduced. (BBC)

10 Chemistry Of Bright Firework Colors 🎆
There’s a reason you don’t see many blue explosions. (fast company $)

Quote of the Day

“Contrary to the myth that we’re sliding into a comfortable evolutionary relationship with a friendly cold-like virus, it’s more like we’re trapped on a roller coaster in a horror movie.”

— Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, explains that we shouldn’t be so complacent about covid. Guardian reports.


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