tech elements

The Never-Ending War on Fake Reviews

Simon Parkin discusses the phenomenon of fake Internet reviews, also known as review brushing, sock-puppeting, and review bombing, and how it’s shaping online commerce.

The G.D.P.R., Europe’s New Privacy Law, and the Future of the Global Data Economy

Julia Powles discusses how the big tech companies have been preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation, a new European Union law that promises consumers better control over their personal

Automated Health Care Offers Freedom from Shame, But Is It What Patients Need?

Allison J. Pugh discusses the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence in medicine and whether the impersonal nature of automated health care is good or bad for patients.

Techno-Fundamentalism Can’t Save You, Mark Zuckerberg

Siva Vaidhyanathan discusses the Facebook C.E.O.’s obsession with automated content moderation, driven by artificial intelligence, and questions whether it’s really the solution to the company’s

We May Own Our Data, But Facebook Has a Duty to Protect It

Nathan Heller writes about Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony regarding the role Facebook played in the 2016 Presidential election, and the company’s duty to protect user data.

Silicon Valley’s Sixty-Year Love Affair with the Word “Tool”

Moira Weigel examines the changing meaning of the word “tool” in Silicon Valley, from the hippie communes of the nineteen-sixties to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Live Stream: Watch Day Two of Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony Before Congress

In the Facebook founder’s second grilling by lawmakers in as many days, he will answer questions about data privacy and security, hate speech, and election meddling.

What Was Missing from Mark Zuckerberg’s First Day of Congressional Testimony

Adrian Chen examines Mark Zuckerberg’s first day of testimony on Capitol Hill, in which he spoke to members of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees.

Live Stream: How to Watch Day One of Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony Before Congress

In his first-ever appearance before lawmakers, the Facebook founder answered questions about data privacy, hate speech, censorship, and Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

Nasim Aghdam, the YouTube Shooting, and the Anxiety of Demonetization

Adrian Chen examines the case of Nasim Aghdam, the woman who carried out a mass shooting at YouTube’s headquarters, and what it says about tech companies’ efforts to balance content moderation with

Sometimes Fighting Climate Change Means Breaking the Law

Carolyn Kormann discusses a recent court ruling out of Boston, in which a judge held that a group of pipeline protesters’ acts of civil disobedience were justified by the threat that climate change

Spying on Whales to Save Them

Marguerite Holloway discusses efforts by marine scientists to address a series of “unusual mortality events” among humpback, minke, right, and other whales along the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Cambridge Analytica and Our Lives Inside the Surveillance Machine

Adrian Chen discusses the recent revelations about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica in the context of past public outcries about digital privacy.

Bomb Cyclones, Nor’easters, and the Messy Relationship Between Weather and Climate

Carolyn Kormann explores whether conditions in the Arctic, which has been warming much faster than the rest of the planet owing to climate change, could be partly responsible for extreme winter

Stephen Hawking Was a Living Metaphor for the Scientific Endeavor

Alan Burdick remembers the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, whose decades-long struggle with the degenerative illness A.L.S. shaped not only his thinking but also the public’s reception of his

A Physicist’s Farewell to Stephen Hawking

David Kaiser, an M.I.T. physicist, remembers Stephen Hawking, the author of “A Brief History of Time” and numerous cosmological theories, who died on March 14, 2018.

Donald Trump Takes on the Nonexistent Link Between Violent Video Games and Mass Shootings

Simon Parkin discusses a meeting between the Trump Administration and members of the video-game industry, arguing that the fixation on a supposed link between violent video games and mass shootings

Counting Down to Day Zero in Cape Town

Rosa Lyster visits Cape Town and talks with the people there about Day Zero, the date on which the drought-stricken city’s municipal water will be switched off.

Escaping Twitter’s Self-Consciousness Machine

David Zweig tries out a new browser extension called the Twitter Demetricator, which removes all metrics from the platform’s interface, and discusses how it changes the social-media experience.

A So-Called Expert’s Uneasy Dive Into the Trump-Russia Frenzy

Adrian Chen discusses the role of “experts” in the Trump-Russia story, in particular the frenzy over last week’s federal indictment targeting the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency. Is it