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3 to read: The rise of The Skimm | Crowdsourcing a mystery | Facebook’s political ad fail

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

Nov. 3, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

How The Skimm went from 2-person startup to 7 million subscribers: By being really good at what they do, that’s how. They give a news summary in a chatty way that is geared towards females. The founders, Carly Zakim and Danielle Weisberg, have managed to tap into a market that only continues to grow. It’s a remarkable story of savvy growth. By Noreen Malone for The Cut.

A massive Facebook group is working to unravel the disappearance of a baby 22 years ago: This is an interesting project with lessons for newsrooms everywhere. A baby in Australia vanished more than two decades ago, and the mom was convicted of murder, despite a lack of hard evidence. Two journalists are digging into the case, with the help of more than 30,000 members of a Facebook page. What’s of particular interest is how the journalists and volunteers are managing the page to keep the investigation on track. Nice story by Laura Hazard Owen for NiemanLab.

Think Facebook is actually checking who buys political ads?: In a word: Nope. It’s depressing, honestly. Facebook talks big about stopping “fake news” by cracking down on phoney political advertising by everyone from the Russians to money-hungry teens. But when push comes to shove, Facebook does … not much. Nice investigation by William Turton of Vice, which pretended to be from the offices of the 100 US senators and bought political ads on Facebook. How many were blocked from buying? Zip, none, zero.