Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (Oxford): Social Media and Bullshit. Alberto Romele (Porto) and Camilla Emmenegger, Francesco Gallino, and Daniele Gorgone (Turin): Technologies of Voluntary Servitude: A Post-Foucauldian Perspective on Social Media. Robert W. Gehl (Utah): Building a Better Twitter: A Study of the Twitter Alternatives GNU Social, Quitter, rstat.us, and Twister. Donovan Ramsey on the truth about black Twitter: Complex, influential, and far more meaningful than the sum of its social justice-driven hashtags. Alex Hern and Helena Bengtsson on Reddit: Can anyone clean up the mess behind “the front page of the internet”? A study of Reddit comments reveals the best and worst communities. Kaleigh Rogers on how someone quantified which subreddits are the most toxic. Reddit wants to exile trolls — but growing up is hard. Ijeoma Oluo on how taking down bigots with their own weapons is sweet, satisfying — and very, very wrong. Eric Steuer on the rise and fall of RedBook, the site that sex workers couldn’t live without. Pinterest is finally going to let us buy the things we like. Rob Horning on Pinterest and the acquisitive gaze. How do you edit a giant crowd-sourced encyclopedia? With volunteers — and lots of fighting. Jessamyn West on how to (try to) lie with Wikipedia: The manufactured history of neckbeard-shaming. As vertical marketplaces rise, Craigslist faces its demise. Ryan Holiday interviews Scott DeLong on the superficiality behind Viral Nova. Social-media researchers have more than enough material for their research — and that's getting to be a problem; Scott McLemee makes some inquiries.

From New Mexico Law Review, a special issue on Breaking Bad. Christiane Eilders and Cordula Nitsch (Duesseldorf): Politics in Fictional Entertainment: An Empirical Classification of Movies and TV Series. Mateusz Wajzer (Silesia): The Explanatory Potential of Rational Choice Theory: A Critical Assessment. What if Rand Paul were Muslim? Naveed Jamali on the white, privileged assumptions behind his Patriot Act “principles”. David Cole on reining in the NSA: “Sunsets require sunshine. That may be the most enduring lesson from the Senate’s passage on Tuesday of the USA Freedom Act”. Josh Marshall on the Kipnis clown show and the drama of university life. Studies show Paul Ryan is wrong and Obama is right: You didn’t build that. Benghazi won’t stick to Hillary Clinton, but the disastrous Libyan intervention should. It's time for the media to admit that Hillary Clinton is popular — Journalists hate her, regular people don’t. “Who knew that selfishness was something that needed defending in 2015, a moment in history when leading Republican presidential candidates fall over themselves to try to sound more callous than a drunk finance bro striking out in Murray Hill”. Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover shows magazines objectify trans women, too. Megan Garber on why it’s (still) awkward to talk about Caitlyn Jenner: Cultural conventions, when it comes to talking about transgender people, haven’t caught up to cultural realities — that will change, and quickly.

Ramon Ramirez on how Earl Sweatshirt became Internet rap’s reluctant icon. In praise of vulgar feminism: Agata Pyzik reviews Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon and Hole’s Live Through This by Anwen Crawford. Is PC Music the future of pop or “contemptuous parody”? Since emerging two years ago, they’ve divided the critics with their strange sounds and highly manufactured image. A different tune: Nick Holdstock on music, identity and resistance in far west China. Rap lyrics are fiction — but prosecutors are treating them like admissions of guilt. Noah Berlatsky on why “indie” music is so unbearably white; and on the marginalization of women in mainstream country music: To succeed in the genre, you just have to be a guy who likes staring at women. Our record industry nightmare: Marlow Stern on Unlocking the Truth’s journey from viral craze to label hostages. Amanda Foreman on “American Pie” and the history of mysterious rock lyrics: From Don McLean and Bruce Springsteen to the Beatles, the hit songs we hum have often not meant what we think. Doreen St Felix on the prosperity gospel of Rihanna. Being Ringo: After five decades, the happy-go-lucky sidekick in the greatest band of all time is finally getting his solo moment in the sun.

Few would drop this word in conversation at a house party or a nightclub, but in music-journo circles, the idea of poptimism itself is holy writ. How music evolves: Statistical analysis of music reveals the truth about its periods of revolution. Machine-learning algorithm mines rap lyrics, then writes its own. Stephen Graf on labour-power, punk rock and possibilities for feminist politics. Deborah Cohen on how indie rock changed the world: The influence of geeks with guitars on culture, from DIY to social media. Jordan Sargent on how mainstream rap’s gay future is upon us. A new study shows that people stop listening to new music at 33. Extreme’s “More Than Words”: Maura Johnston on the oral history of 1991’s iconic ballad. Reggie Ugwu on how hip-hop conquered streaming: Though it’s second fiddle in digital and physical sales to rock and pop, hip-hop has long been the most popular genre on music streaming services. Niela Orr on what Bono does next won’t shock you. David Graham on the surprising history of Guy Carawan’s civil-rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome”. Chris Lehmann on a cover artist, discovered 40 years later: Mingering Mike had all the requisites for a legendary music career, except the music.