We need a new weapon in the fight to stop trolls from spreading harmful footage

Credit: Aitor Diago/Getty Images

In 2015, Alison Parker, a journalist, and Adam Ward, a photographer, were murdered on air by a former employee of the TV station where they worked. The shooter recorded the killings with a camera worn on his chest and later uploaded the footage to Facebook. Now, more than three years after Parker’s death, her father, Andy Parker, is still engaged in a Sisyphean feat: trying to scrub the footage of his daughter’s death from the internet, where it regularly appears as part of conspiracy theories claiming that the deaths were staged. His weapon? Copyright laws.

After obtaining the rights to…


Earlier this month, Texas congressman Will Hurd tweeted that the last child had left Tornillo, the desert tent camp for detained migrant children erected earlier this year.

At its peak, just a month ago, the unlicensed west Texas facility held almost 3,000 children inside a vast network of brown tents. In November, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General released findings that Tornillo was not conducting required FBI background checks of staff and did not have an adequate number of staff clinicians providing healthcare at the facility. Now, less than seven months after opening, the children’s…


The New New

The dark future of neighborhood watch has arrived

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Ring, an Amazon-owned smart doorbell company, wants to help you and your neighbors gossip about “suspicious activity” on your street with a standalone app called Neighbors. The app, which was introduced in May, encourages people to bring the surveillance state home by uploading video clips and publishing reports about neighborhood activities, which are then broadcast to other users and participating police departments.

Ring markets Neighbors as a modern version of an old-school neighborhood watch program, encouraging communities to band together to protect one another and combat crime. In a commercial for Neighbors, a pair of greasy would-be package thieves are…


Is $76 too much?

Photo: Bea Bischoff

When my wife and I adopted Woof Bader Ginsburg last July, the rescue told us the cuddly, four-month-old, ten-pound dachshund mix puppy would max out at about 15 pounds. Now 11 months old, Woof is 32 pounds of long, furry love culminating in an unexpectedly strong tail. The vet’s latest guess about her breed? Dachshund-rottweiler.

When we decided to adopt a dog, we waited until we knew we could afford it. Our one-year-old cat, Catticus Finch, was already racking up multiple $200-plus vet bills thanks to a gluten intolerance and chronically dry eyes. Add on to that Finch’s special gluten-free…


Celebration as counterweight to fear and dread.

Photo: anokarina

“If Trump wins, we should get married before the inauguration.”

My fiancée looked at me as she spoke, our hands clasped and sweating as we sat on a friend’s couch watching the presidential election results roll in. We’d already been engaged for a year, but we had no firm wedding date and were just starting the wedding planning process. As a lesbian couple living in West Texas, we felt it was important to not only formalize our relationship but to resist the doom we felt. The next morning, when the election results were official, we made our own plans official…


Most people, including us, study for the bar full-time for ten weeks. That means no work and no income—and a lot of expenses.

Photo credit: Jonathan Trumbull, CC BY 2.0.

Last month, my partner and I took the Texas Bar Exam in Austin. The well of student loan funds had all but dried up, and we were living on $4,000 that my partner had astoundingly managed to squirrel away during law school and a loan from my parents. The $4,000 had to move us across the country from Boston to Texas, get us settled in our new home, and—thanks to a weird school schedule that necessitated moving before we actually graduated—fly back from Texas to Boston for our graduation.

Graduation from law school felt anti-climactic for both of us, because…

Bea Bischoff

Queer writer and lawyer talking law & millennial feelings in Slate, BuzzFeed, DAME etc. She/her.

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