Suicide Hotline Shares Data for Profit [Content Made Simple]
Issue #255: Facebook's morph into meta, Tumblr, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
Crisis Text Line is one of the world’s most prominent mental health support lines, a tech-driven nonprofit that uses big data and artificial intelligence to help people cope with traumas such as self-harm, emotional abuse and thoughts of suicide.
But the data the charity collects from its online text conversations with people in their darkest moments does not end there: The organization’s for-profit spinoff uses a sliced and repackaged version of that information to create and market customer service software.
This is not too dissimilar from the prayer apps story we looked at last week, which detailed how popular “Christian” prayer apps share the data of their users for a profit. This one, to be sure, is even more disgusting. It has been staggering to see how some leaders of the organization are handling this situation. I can’t believe this happens. Just sad.
HITTING THE LINKS
Interesting piece by some great tech writers.
Employees could “earn points and win swag” by wearing the glasses and gathering data through the device’s cameras and sensors, the memo said. To reduce people’s privacy concerns about being filmed with the glasses, employees were asked to wear a T-shirt identifying themselves as a “research participant” and were told they could not view or listen to the raw data captured by the glasses, according to the memo.
I always wanted to love Tumblr as a platform. Fascinating read here.
The news (and the refusal to present it as news) is sort of sad, sort of odd, and maybe ominous. Tumblr, launched 15 years ago this month, once had a reputation that was as big and confusing as that of Texas or Taylor Swift: It wasn’t just a blogging platform, but a staging ground for an array of political movements, the birthplace of all manner of digital aesthetics, and the site of freaky in-groups, niche conspiracy theories, community meltdowns, and one very famous grave-robbing scandal. At various points during the platform’s reign of online influence—from roughly 2010 to 2015—the phrase Tumblr user served as a proud identity marker, or something like a slur. Today, it’s an archaism.
Dave is so fun. Love this piece about his WFH TikToks, which will forever be a relic of the pandemic for me.
In honor of Groundhog Day, Jorgenson blessed the world with his own take on the traditional ceremony. Instead of a groundhog, he consulted his trusty can of Spam, called Sam, and instead of six more weeks of winter we get...just six more weeks of working from home?! Well, maybe. Sam made sure to hedge his claim by saying the date's subject to change. Smart, dude.
THE FUNNY PART
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