VOX DOT COM is right, for once. The Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorists scumbags back in April have been completely forgotten, and so has the trendy hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. It’s probably been weeks since you last encountered it.
Don’t worry, though, the story gets way, way worse. NBC News reports that, since the original kidnappings, the terrorist group responsible—Boko Haram—has “has taken at least 1,000 lives in what may be the deadliest killing spree by a single terrorist group since the Sept. 11 attacks.”
The United Negro College Fund on Friday announced a $25 million grant from the Koch brothers, the much-maligned libertarian philanthropists that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has denounced as “un-American.”
A couple weeks ago, Sonny Bunch observed that VOX DOT COM, the eight-figure juicebox upstart dedicated to “explaining the news,” can seem unbearably pointless at times, and is pretty terrible at explaining things.
Ezra Klein set out to “fix the news,” by adding “crucial context,” promising to deliver a “completely different product” utilizing a “mix of technological and workflow approaches.” The mission of VOX DOT DOM, he said, was to “build stuff that would be useful for people,” or even to “build a new culture.”
And what does that “new culture” look like?
The federal government is studying how to use Twitter for surveillance on depressed people.
The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) began a study financed by the National Institutes of Health last month that will provide “population level depression monitoring” through the social media site.
There was a big ole Twitter freakout over this wonky-wonk-wonk—ooh, look at the chart!—take on “what Twitter is for.” There was much discussion, and much mockery, all doled out 140 characters at a time on the social media site. (I even partook in a bit of it myself.)
But because this is a serious blog filled with serious topics, allow me to cast aside such frivolity to write a bit about what Twitter is actually for, at least for a subset of its users: positioning oneself as a morally acceptable, super serial person.