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Big Revolution - Ramping up the anger

Hello, This morning I was up at 5.30am to get to the BBC for a spot about Facebook on breakfast TV. I
March 23 · Issue #26 · View online
Big Revolution
This morning I was up at 5.30am to get to the BBC for a spot about Facebook on breakfast TV. I have a long day ahead, but the big perk about doing early morning TV is you can wear professionally-applied makeup all day – it hides how rough you’re feeling inside!

Big things you need to know today
- Instagram users can rejoice. The company is testing an end to the feed automatically refreshing (usually just as you see an interesting photo pop up), and will show more recent photos at the top of your feed. It’s not quite a return to the strict chronological order of the past, but it’s a happy compromise to please users who hated when the app received an algorithmic feed.
- Dropbox hits the stock market today. It will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol DBX, initially priced at $21 per share.
- Evidence has emerged to link the hacker known as ‘Guccifer 2.0’ to the Russian intelligence services. The hacker, responsible for accessing US Democratic party emails and sending them to WikiLeaks, was previously widely described as a lone wolf.
- Medium has started paying cash bonuses to writers in its partner program. Partners (like me) currently get cash based on factors like the time people spend reading an article and the number of claps it gets. Now the company will pay extra if its staff like an article, TechCrunch reports. Venture capitalist Hunter Walk got an extra $100 for one post.
- Snapchat’s most underrated feature is getting an upgrade. The Snap Map, great for exploring what people are doing in locations around the world, will now flag up interesting events.
The big thought
The very angry Daily Mail front page today.
Ramping up the anger
There’s a theory that YouTube’s recommendation engine suggests videos just a little bit more extreme than the one you’re currently watching. Watch ‘how to put up shelves’ and before long it’ll tell you how to build a house. Watch videos of Donald Trump, and soon you’ll be a radicalised neo-nazi.
That’s just one way the internet has made many of us into more extreme versions of ourselves. Through the lens of social media, something that would once have made us a little bit grumpy for a few minutes becomes a source of pure, unadulterated rage.
That ramped-up anger has spilled out beyond the internet. The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper has published increasingly seething, outraged headlines in the past couple of years. Capitalising on the divisions in the country exposed by the Brexit vote, editor Paul Dacre appears to want 'his side’ to be as filled with rage as possible. After all, politicians like to be liked, so an angry mob of Mail readers will need to be listened to and appeased.
Today, the issue making Dacre mad is passports. In a case of mild irony, the contract to make Britain’s post-EU passports has gone to a company inside the EU. But the UK company that missed out makes ID documents for countries all around the world, so it’s not exactly going to go out of business. And the French company that has apparently won will save the taxpayer money. It’s really nothing to get upset about.
It used to be that you had to go online to find people expressing overblown anger over tiny issues. Now it’s on our newsstands, I fear for the quality of public discourse if such overblown, theatrical, toxic bile becomes the normal way of expressing our feelings.
One big read
My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data
The data Facebook apps collect about us is front of many people’s minds right now – especially the way they used to be able to collect friends’ data too. 
This article shows just how easy it was for apps to hoover up vast amounts of user data a few years ago. Even the author’s silly game about cows collected a treasure trove with little effort. Imagine how much data companies like Zynga, makers of FarmVille, must be sitting on.
One big tweet
It’s not quite as bad as when all those companies called Isis had to change names, but still, you have to feel for Oxford Analytica. Maybe they should have a boat race against Cambridge Analytica to sort it out once and for all. 
Stefan Simanowitz
Poor Oxford Analytica!

"We would like to make clear there is not now & never has been any relationship or affiliation whatsoever between Oxford Analytica & #CambridgeAnalytica."
7:52 AM - 23 Mar 2018
That’s all for today...
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