By John Herrman
In early July, when England’s soccer team lost the European Championship final to Italy on its home turf, the crushing defeat was followed by a torrent of racist abuse on social media directed at the team’s Black players. The messages — part of an ongoing pattern of social media bigotry — were condemned by politicians, platforms, teammates and fans.
They were also blamed, in part, on a familiar figure: the masked troll. He has been popping up a lot lately. Depending who you are, he may be the source of all political disinformation; one of an army…
By Taylor Lorenz
LOS ANGELES — Ellie Zeiler, 17, a TikTok creator with over 10 million followers, received an email in June from Village Marketing, an influencer marketing agency. It said it was reaching out on behalf of another party: the White House.
Would Zeiler, a high school senior who usually posts short fashion and lifestyle videos, be willing, the agency wondered, to participate in a White House-backed campaign encouraging her audience to get vaccinated against the coronavirus?
“There is a massive need to grow awareness within the 12–18 age range,” Village Marketing wrote to Zeiler’s business email. …
By Caity Weaver
Chloe Gordon, a 32-year-old filmmaker, describes herself as “a person who somewhat ironically engages” with the work of novelist Dan Brown. She has read all but one of the eight books Brown has published under his name.
So when she stumbled upon an internet rumor that identified Brown as the author of a tongue-in-cheek dating guide from 1995 called “187 Men to Avoid: A Survival Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman,” she immediately ordered it on Amazon.
The 96-page novelty book, originally published under the name Danielle Brown, promised very short descriptions of men the author considered…
By Jack Healy
PROVO, Utah — As Mindy Greene spent another day in the COVID intensive care unit, listening to the whirring machines that now breathed for her 42-year-old husband, Russ, she opened her phone and tapped out a message.
“We did not get the vaccine,” she wrote on Facebook. “I read all kinds of things about the vaccine and it scared me. So I made the decision and prayed about it and got the impression that we would be ok.”
They were not.
Her husband, the father to their four children, was now hovering between life and death, tentacles…
By Davey Alba
WINDSOR, Conn. — The town of Windsor has developed a niche in the world of warehouses and manufacturing, taking advantage of wide open spaces and crisscrossing interstates in nearby Hartford. Walgreens has a large facility here, as does Dollar Tree.
So when Amazon approached the town last year with a proposal to add a large distribution center — adding up to 1,000 jobs — local officials considered it a great opportunity.
“There are other mayors and selectmen that would give their left arm to have Amazon in their town,” Mayor Donald Trinks said. …
By Sapna Maheshwari
Athleta, the activewear brand for women and girls owned by Gap Inc., had never sponsored an athlete when it approached six-time Olympic champion sprinter Allyson Felix in 2019, shortly after she took Nike to task for its pay practices for pregnant runners.
The smaller company was interested in supporting Felix’s career, and said it would not penalize her for losing races or choosing to have more children. (Nike changed its policy for pregnant athletes after the criticism by Felix, whose contract with the company ended in 2017.) …
By Kellen Browning and Mike Isaac
More than 1,500 workers for video game maker Activision Blizzard walked out from their jobs this week. Thousands signed a letter rebuking their employer. And even as the CEO apologized, current and former employees said they would not stop raising a ruckus.
Shay Stein, who used to work at Activision, said it was “heartbreaking.” Lisa Welch, a former vice president, said she felt “profound disappointment.” Others took to Twitter or waved signs outside one of the company’s offices Wednesday to share their anger.
Activision, known for its hugely popular “Call of Duty,” “World of…
By Apoorva Mandavilli
The recommendation that vaccinated people in some parts of the country dust off their masks was based largely on one troublesome finding, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New research showed that vaccinated people infected with the delta variant carry tremendous amounts of the virus in the nose and throat, she said in an email responding to questions from The New York Times.
The finding contradicts what scientists had observed in vaccinated people infected with previous versions of the virus, who mostly seemed incapable of infecting others.
By Rebecca Boyle
David R. Scott was not about to pass by an interesting rock without stopping. It was July 31, 1971, and he and James B. Irwin, his fellow Apollo 15 astronaut, were the first people to drive on the moon. After a six-hour inaugural jaunt in the new lunar rover, the two were heading back to their lander, the Falcon, when Scott made an unscheduled pit stop.
West of a crater called Rhysling, Scott scrambled out of the rover and quickly picked up a black lava rock, full of holes formed by escaping gas. Scott and Irwin had…
By Vanessa Friedman
In the end, the midsleeved, long-legged unitard didn’t make it to the gymnastics team final at the Olympics. The German women who wore it to combat the “sexualization” of their sport were eliminated during the qualifying rounds. Instead, the usual crystal-strewn leotards cut high on the thigh were worn by the medaling teams.
The earlier shock over the Norwegian female beach handball players being fined for daring to declare that they felt better in tiny spandex shorts rather than tinier bikini bottoms (and act on their own desires) was not revisited because handball is only an Olympics…