Kris-Stella Trump (SSRC): Social Media and Democracy: Assessing the State of the Field and Identifying Unexplored Questions. Jason Hannan (Winnipeg): Trolling Ourselves to Death? Social Media and Post-Truth Politics. Ari Ezra Waldman (NYLS): Safe Social Spaces. Barbara Fister reviews Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan. Karsten Muller and Carlo Schwarz (Warwick): Making America Hate Again? Twitter and Hate Crime Under Trump. What happens to our hatred when it goes online? From TNR, does Twitter really want to solve its harassment problem? Let’s make tech CEOs moderate their own hellish websites.

Google autocomplete suggestions are still racist, sexist, and science-denying. “Fiction is outperforming reality”: How YouTube’s algorithm distorts truth. YouTube’s fake news problem isn’t going away. Nicole Nguyen goes inside the ecosystem that fuels Amazon’s fake review problem. Online security is a disaster and the people who investigate it are being sued into silence. Jonathon Sturgeon on the post-text hustle: Internet’s got a fever. Spam is back: It seemed like we had defeated electronic junk mail — then the spammers rose from the dead. The digital ruins of a forgotten future: Second Life still has 600,000 regular users. The story of the internet, as told by Know Your Meme: After 10 years of documenting memes, nobody has seen this much shit.


A new revolution in Mexico: Sick of corruption and of Trump, voters embrace the maverick leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. What turns an outsider into a president? Maya Averbuch on the strange case of Mexico’s formerly defeated Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised Mexicans a new country — can he deliver? (and more) Daniel Adler R.K. on promise and populism in Mexico. Ioan Grillo on why Mexico is swinging left. Alma Guillermoprieto on Mexico: A voice against the darkness. To be accidental is to be human: Carlos Alberto Sanchez and Robert Eli Sanchez on Emilio Uranga and the philosophy of Mexicanness. Alvaro Enrigue reviews When Montezuma Met Cortes: The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History by Matthew Restall.


Martin Glazier (UNAM): The Difference Between Epistemic and Metaphysical Necessity. The US is warning the world to stop buying Iranian oil by early November or else. Louise Matsakis on Red Hen, Trump, and the weaponization of Yelp. DeVos has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights probes inherited from Obama. Gabriel Winant reviews Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich. Stanford University launches new blockchain research center. “Bitcoin may in fact be the single most appropriate way for the world to collapse–the combination of grotesque energy use in an era of climate change, speculative New Gilded Age capitalism, and libertarian asshole fantasies sums up so much of our world”.


Cold war world: How the contest between capitalism and communism shaped world politics — and defines today’s inequalities. How did the end of the Cold War become today’s dangerous tensions with Russia? Archie Brown reviews From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia by Michael McFaul. No, we’re not facing a new Cold War. For decades, United States policy toward Russia has been steered less by presidents than by a small group of experts, the “Russia hands” — can they help explain why the relationship has gone off the rails?

One word to improve U.S. Russia policy: “Derzhavnost” is why focusing on Putin, or trying to punish the country, usually backfires. Countering a kleptocratic Kremlin: We must remember that predatory authoritarianism is not stamped into the Russian DNA. Trump vs Putin? Time to be “scared” — an interview with Julia Ioffe. Tim Adams reviews The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder.


Republicans are fine confirming a Supreme Court justice in a midterm year because “it’s different”. Republicans are lying about Roe v. Wade — Trump’s nominee will do the same. It’s not just abortion: 5 issues likely to be affected by Kennedy’s exit. It is not too soon to start asking what a conservative Supreme Court would mean for the country. Here are some of the monsters Trump is considering as Anthony Kennedy’s replacement. Should Democrats go to the mattresses over the Supreme Court? Democrats owe the public a real Supreme Court fight. On SCOTUS nominee, Democrats should play both hard and smart.

Thread: “What’s at issue in the new SCOTUS nomination”. The critical question facing Democrats and the Court. Steve Benen on the end of complacency about the Supreme Court? Democrats tie Trump Supreme Court pick to Russia investigation. “This is DEFCON 1 for the rule of law in this country”: The President will now be able to choose the person who, in a very real sense, may be the ultimate arbiter of whether or not he and others are ever held accountable. Don’t despair, Democrats — just vote. Will Kennedy’s Supreme Court replacement affect midterms?

This is the world Mitch McConnell gave us.


Igor Rivin (Temple): The End of the West: A Prologue. Jonah Goldberg delivers his magnum opus: Troy Senik reviews Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy by Jonah Goldberg (and more and more and more and more and more). Andrei Cherny on how American leadership built the West — and why today we shouldn’t let it crumble. What happened to the “free world”? Columnists and politicians decrying the decline of the West can’t seem to define what it is they’re defending — the entire concept was developed for a very particular historical moment.

Luigi Nuzzo (Salento): Rethinking Eurocentrism: European Legal Legacy and Western Colonialism. Dismantling the “West”: The whole concept of “Western” civilization is faulty and should be dumped.


From Congressional Research Service, a primer on U.S. immigration policy; and a report on Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview. Ming Hsu Chen (Colorado): Leveraging Social Science Expertise in Immigration. What can the U.S. learn from how other countries handle immigration? Immigrants give America a foreign-policy advantage: History proves they can help the U.S. keep other countries in check. Trump doesn’t know it, but Iranians are the Norwegians he’s been looking for. Scott McLemee reviews Anchor Babies and The Challenge of Birthright Citizenship by Leo R. Chavez.

America needs “new seed” immigrants: Francis Wilkinson on the case for low-skilled immigration. Sponsor an immigrant yourself: A new kind of visa would let individual Americans — instead of corporations — reap the economic benefits of migration. GOP senator suggests we need fewer immigrants because robots are coming.


Claudio Michelon (Edinburgh): What Has Private Law Ever Done for Justice? Arturas Rozenas (NYU): A Theory of Demographically Targeted Repression. India ranked “the most dangerous country in the world” for women, U.S. breaks top 10. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demonstrated the power of young women in politics. Give the Left a chance: What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning primary victory means for the 2018 midterms and beyond (and more). Every culture appropriates: The question is less whether a dress or an idea is borrowed, than the uses to which it’s then put. “The relationship between population and consumption is not straightforward”: Andrew Anthony interviews Charles C Mann, author of The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World.

Traditional media is not equipped to handle Trumpism. Talia Lavin on the moral case for incivility. Sarah Leonard is against civility: You can’t fight injustice with decorum. Christopher Ingraham on the case against civility, in five charts. Thread: “There needs to be an honest conversation about asymmetric expectations of civility”. Alexandra Petri on some rules of civility for the Trump era.


Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (Columbia): Policy Feedback as Political Weapon: Conservative Advocacy and the Demobilization of the Public Sector Labor Movement. Ed Pilkington on how rightwing groups wield secret “toolkit” to plot against US unions. The Supreme Court’s conservatives take their long-awaited shot at unions. The Supreme Court decision gutting public sector unions, explained (and more). With Janus, the Court deals unions a crushing blow — now what? (and more) Here are six excerpts that explain the Supreme Court’s big anti-union ruling. Janus decision is not about union finances — it’s about working people’s finances. Benjamin Sachs and Sharon Block on how Democratic lawmakers should help unions reeling from the Janus decision.

After the Supreme Court blow, unions should look to a new model: the NRA. Workers must get radical to fight back against Janus.


Anthony Kennedy was no moderate. Justice Kennedy’s retirement cements his legacy as an enabler of Trump’s pro-business, racist, anti-woman agenda. Anthony Kennedy’s great legacy: His exit. Anthony Kennedy was a horrible justice, and his last decision was his worst. Justice Kennedy surrendered to Donald Trump. Chief Justice John Roberts is now the Supreme Court’s swing vote. Jonathan Chait on the Republican court and the era of minority rule. Tierney Sneed on the key legal issues Anthony Kennedy’s retirement suddenly puts in play. America after Anthony Kennedy: What Kennedy’s departure from the Supreme Court will mean for abortion, gay rights, and more. Kennedy’s retirement will have huge consequences for minorities and women (and more). The Supreme Court is returning us to the Gilded Age — and it’s about to get worse.

Democrats sat out the 2014 midterms and lost the Supreme Court for a generation. It’s time for term limits for Supreme Court justices: Anthony Kennedy’s retirement is a reminder that the US is unlike every other democracy in the world. Schumer: GOP should follow McConnell precedent, no SCOTUS vote in ’18. Mitch McConnell’s politics of shamelessness have won: Nobody likes him, but he’s the most effective politician of his time.

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