The Atlantic
Syndicated stories from The Atlantic.

The site is hoping that its users will help stem the spread of lies — but first it has to inspire them.

Slices of the blue Twitter bird logo on a black background. Red markings like arrows, X’s, and lines have been drawn on top as if with a red pencil.
Slices of the blue Twitter bird logo on a black background. Red markings like arrows, X’s, and lines have been drawn on top as if with a red pencil.
The Atlantic

By Kaitlyn Tiffany

I learned about the pilot test of Twitter’s new crowdsourced misinformation-labeling program the same way I learn about most news events that are relevant to my life: A bunch of Harry Styles fans were talking about it on my timeline.

Or rather, they were reacting to it, in quote-tweets, one after another, all saying essentially the same thing: “larries better hide,” “larries are over,” “it’s over for larries,” and, more explicitly, “i’m gonna use this against larries.” Maybe you don’t feel as though you need to know what any of this means before you read my take…


An ambitious pilot program could finally pave the way to in-person learning — at least for those who can afford it.

3 elementary school students wearing face masks and standing against a cement wall, 6 feet of distance between them.
3 elementary school students wearing face masks and standing against a cement wall, 6 feet of distance between them.
Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

By Katherine J. Wu

The bright-blue tents appeared shortly after the close of winter break. Each Tuesday, Thalia Ruark and her classmates at the Bromfield School in Massachusetts, line up single file, spaced a neat six feet apart, for their weekly coronavirus test. The 11-year-old sixth grader still spends most of her classroom time on a computer at home, in accordance with Bromfield’s hybrid-learning model. But the school’s new testing measures are meant to keep her and her peers safer while they’re at the school, which is in the rural town of Harvard, some 30 miles west of Boston. They…


A new study of the city’s program that sent cash to struggling individuals finds dramatic changes.

A green background with a row of 5 rectangles above a row of 5 tall rectangles. They form a “cutout” through the solid green that shows a closeup on a hundred dollar bill with the bear from the California state flag and a banner that says, “Welcome to Stockton, California.”
A green background with a row of 5 rectangles above a row of 5 tall rectangles. They form a “cutout” through the solid green that shows a closeup on a hundred dollar bill with the bear from the California state flag and a banner that says, “Welcome to Stockton, California.”
Photoillustration: The Atlantic; source: Getty Images

Two years ago, the city of Stockton, California, did something remarkable: It brought back welfare.

Using donated funds, the industrial city on the edge of the Bay Area tech economy launched a small demonstration program, sending payments of $500 a month to 125 randomly selected individuals living in neighborhoods with average incomes lower than the city median of $46,000 a year. The recipients were allowed to spend the money however they saw fit, and they were not obligated to complete any drug tests, interviews, means or asset tests, or work requirements. They just got the money, no strings attached.

These…


To enact an FDR-scale agenda, the president needs the energy of his party’s pro-labor wing.

Joe Biden holding a pro-union sign and giving a raised thumbs-up, surrounded by pro-union demonstrators outdoors.
Joe Biden holding a pro-union sign and giving a raised thumbs-up, surrounded by pro-union demonstrators outdoors.
Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

By Richard Yeselson

Joe Biden did an extraordinary thing for an American president earlier this week: Without qualification, he supported the right of workers to form a union. Biden didn’t just weigh in on behalf of those seeking to unionize an Amazon distribution facility in Bessemer, Alabama. He also affirmed the importance of unions for all workers and for the good of the country. Conservatives and centrist media outlets often assume that the Democratic Party is “beholden” to “Big Labor.” In fact, the labor movement is the smallest it has been since 1900. And although Democratic presidents and members of…


It’s not just one problem — and we’re going to need a portfolio of approaches to solve it.

Image for post
Image for post
A medical assistant holds a tray of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Kedren Community Health Center in South Central Los Angeles on February 16, 2021. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Why wouldn’t someone want a COVID-19 vaccine?

Staring at the raw numbers, it doesn’t seem like a hard choice. Thousands of people are dying of COVID-19 every day. Meanwhile, out of the 75,000 people who received a shot in the vaccine trials from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax, zero died and none were hospitalized after four weeks. As the United States screams past 500,000 fatalities, the choice between a deadly disease and a shot in the arm might seem like the easiest decision in the world.

Or not. One-third of American adults said this month that they…


We can learn from our failures.

3 vertical black-and-white images. Left: Donald Trump pointing at raised hands at a press conference. Middle: A hand drawing medication out of a vial into a syringe. Right: Dr. Fauci looking downward, scratching his head.
3 vertical black-and-white images. Left: Donald Trump pointing at raised hands at a press conference. Middle: A hand drawing medication out of a vial into a syringe. Right: Dr. Fauci looking downward, scratching his head.
Image: Alex Wong / Chet Strange/ Sarah Silbiger / Bloomberg / Getty / The Atlantic

By Zeynep Tufecki

When the polio vaccine was declared safe and effective, the news was met with jubilant celebration. Church bells rang across the nation, and factories blew their whistles. “Polio routed!” newspaper headlines exclaimed. “An historic victory,” “monumental,” “sensational,” newscasters declared. People erupted with joy across the United States. Some danced in the streets; others wept. Kids were sent home from school to celebrate.

One might have expected the initial approval of the coronavirus vaccines to spark similar jubilation — especially after a brutal pandemic year. But that didn’t happen. …


The nation’s politics is in dire need of earnestness. Can its culture meet the moment?

Image for post
Image for post
Image: The Atlantic

By Megan Garber

On Tuesday evening, at the start of his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson shared the results of an investigation that he and his staff had conducted into a well-known agent of American disinformation. “We spent all day trying to locate the famous QAnon,” Carlson said, “which, in the end, we learned is not even a website. If it’s out there, we could not find it.” They kept looking, though, checking Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter feed and “the intel community,” before coming to the obvious conclusion: “Cable news” and “politicians talking on TV,” Carlson said, must be responsible…


When I think about the 1870 riot, I remember how the country rejected the opportunity it had

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration: Molly Crabapple

This article is part of “Inheritance,” a project about American history and Black life.

By Adam Harris

Granddaddy’s voice was raspy; love laced his hello. His throne, a maroon recliner, filled the corner of the den in his ranch-style home. On a typical summer afternoon — during one of our weeklong sojourns back to Montgomery, Alabama, from wherever the Air Force took my dad — my cousins and I would be sprawled across the floor, keeping up a ruckus.

In the evening, Granddaddy would fumble with the remote, his hands worn from years working on the telephone lines for South…


How to stay safe in the awkward months when only some people are protected

Vintage black-and-white photo of a party of 5 diners at 2 small round tables in front of a mural of a Parisian street inside a restaurant. A waiter is dropping off the beverage order, and 2 people converse at the bar that the tables are next to. All of the people have a solid green or a red circle imposed over their faces to represent vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Vintage black-and-white photo of a party of 5 diners at 2 small round tables in front of a mural of a Parisian street inside a restaurant. A waiter is dropping off the beverage order, and 2 people converse at the bar that the tables are next to. All of the people have a solid green or a red circle imposed over their faces to represent vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Photo: Adam Maida/Getty Images/The Atlantic

By Rachel Gutman

The past 11 months have been a crash course in a million concepts that you probably wish you knew a whole lot less about. Particle filtration. Ventilation. Epidemiological variables. And, perhaps above all else, interdependence. In forming quarantine bubbles, in donning protective gear just to buy groceries, in boiling our days down to only our most essential interactions, people around the world have been shown exactly how linked their lives and health are. …


How to Build a Life

Perfectionism can make you miserable. Here’s how you can muster the courage to mess up.

A light-skinned person with long blond hair almost slipping on a banana peel.
A light-skinned person with long blond hair almost slipping on a banana peel.
Illustration by Jan Buchczik

By Arthur C. Brooks

For years, I was haunted by a fear of failure. I spent my early adulthood as a professional French hornist, playing in chamber-music ensembles and orchestras. Classical music is a perilous business, relying on absolute precision. Playing the French horn, prone as it is to missing notes, is a virtual high-wire act in every concert. I could go from hero to goat within a few mistakes during a solo. I lived in dread, and it made my life and work misery.

Fear of failure is not just a problem for French hornists. Looking bad in front…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store