The Outline

Paris Martineau

Paris Martineau
The Future Aug 31

Info Spiral: How much water is left?

A difficult-to-follow story, in convenient capsule form.

By Paris Martineau

The Future Aug 30

If Bank of America thinks you’re not a U.S. citizen, say goodbye to your bank account

The company is shutting down the bank accounts of legal U.S. residents.

The Future Aug 29

Brands are paying influencers $75K+ to trash their competitors

Inside the drama that’s taking the beauty influencer industry by storm.

The Future Aug 28

Put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode forever

Join me in a buzz-free, ping-free, vibration-free, light-up-free world.

The Future Aug 27

The free-speech days on social platforms might finally be over

Facebook banned 20 top-ranking members of the Myanmar military for posting ethnic-cleansing propaganda, but years late and only after the UN blasted them.

The Future Aug 24

Info Spiral: Other countries are on social media trying to mess up upcoming elections. Again.

A difficult-to-follow story, in convenient capsule form.

By Paris Martineau

The Future Aug 23

The best Twitter account is @redditships

Maybe the only thing on Twitter that (probably) won’t make you violently ill.

The Future Aug 21

Amazon is almost certainly making a healthcare play

Jeff Bezos is sneakily assembling a health-tech dream team.

The Future Aug 17

Info Spiral: What did Facebook do in Myanmar?

A difficult-to-follow story, in convenient capsule form.

By Paris Martineau

The Future Aug 16

Turns out the financial sector is okay with regulation, but only for AI

And you thought your banking app was bad.

The Future Aug 15

Whoever told Silicon Valley PR about activist language should go to jail

Uber, Lyft, and Lime shamelessly push customers to lobby on their behalf by pushing alerts, disrupting service, and more.

The Future Aug 13

How to hack a voting machine in two minutes

Ballpoint pen not included.

The Future Aug 10

Info Spiral: Should Infowars be banned?

A difficult-to-follow story, in convenient capsule form.

By Paris Martineu

The Future Aug 09

If your heart rate spiked today, your insurance company knows

An interview with Priya Kumar, a data expert who is trying to help companies not abuse their customers’ data rights.

The Future Aug 08

NYC votes to stop Uber’s unchecked growth, give drivers a minimum wage

It’s the first time a major city has officially regulated ride-hailing services.

The Future Aug 06

All the awful shit Facebook and YouTube let slide before banning Alex Jones

A timeline of all the depraved nonsense the Infowars host got away with.

By Paris Martineau

The Future Aug 03

The robots have our groceries

Will they ever see a human hand again?

The Future Aug 02

We would rather die than 3D-scan our bodies

Naked Labs' 3D Body Scanner is like Juicero but for your eyes.

The Future Aug 01

We haven’t figured out how to handle online conspiracies

But erring on the side of not giving them outsized attention is probably the way to go.

The Future Jul 31

Facebook deleted a real D.C. protest that began as a false flag

A “bad actor” may have started it, but did “No Unite the Right 2 – DC” become real once actual American protesters got involved?

The Future Jul 31

Ticketing app AXS scrapes everything it can get from your phone

Seeing your favorite band live will probably cost you more in data than in dollars.

The Future Jul 30

Twitter announces stage one in the plan to eventually have a plan to fix Twitter

Unfortunately it involves academic research teams and not banning Nazis.

The Future Jul 27

MoviePass is so broke it had to borrow $5 million just to keep the lights on

Brb gonna see 37 movies in a row before they go under.

The Future Jul 26

How to sign away the rights to your DNA

All it takes is one click!

The Future Jul 25

InfoWars is the hill that tech companies are choosing to die on

How is Alex Jones still on YouTube and Facebook?

The Future Jul 25

Huge underground lake found on Mars

Someone cue up that David Bowie song.

The Future Jul 24

Dogs always know when you’re sad, but only some rush to your aid

The science is in: A consummate good boy can tell you’re going through it.

The Future Jul 23

Uber and Lyft driver fired for secretly livestreaming hundreds of passengers

Thousands of online viewers watched the livestream ostensibly to critique the appearance of passengers.

The Future Jul 23

Here’s what tech companies are spending to influence the government

Facebook, Amazon, Google, and others spent millions last quarter to influence Washington on a handful of specific issues.

By Paris Martineau

The Future Jul 20

An ice shelf melts and the world’s sea levels gain an inch

The sea level will rise many feet over the next hundred years, but the impact of a single shelf is huge.

The Future Jul 20

Soylent, but make it summery

Soylent’s newest flavor is actually pretty refreshing.

The Future Jul 19

Trump wants to endanger endangered animals even further

I guess they’re just pivoting to pure evil at this point.

The Future Jul 18

Neither conservatives nor Mark Zuckerberg actually care about fixing Facebook

And why would they?

The Future Jul 16

This Amazon Prime Day, try not to be a scab

What matters more, saving $7 on a spice rack or your soul?

The Future Jul 10

A cartographer maps the global impact of humanity

In commercial flights, in undersea cables, in roads and population density.

The Future Jul 06

Tech bros who identify as “futurists” are sadly incorrect

By Paris Martineau

The Future Jul 05

Welcome to the age of the online pseudo-pharmacy startup

Where everything is pastel colored, VC-funded, and capital-C Cool.

The Future Jun 29

Can anyone stop the new Internet censorship laws?

A bunch of advocacy groups are banding together to take FOSTA to court.

The Future Jun 29

Facebook seems to be giving Fox News a boost

Slap that in your ‘Trending Stories’ tab...

The Future Jun 28

$41 million vaporware tells ICE to detain immigrants indefinitely no matter what

Abolish tech?

The Future Jun 25

FDA approves first ever cannabis-based medication

Don't tell the feds.

The Future Jun 22

Cops can’t track your location without a warrant anymore

Holy shit, the Supreme Court finally did something right.

The Future Jun 21

The E.U. votes to make memes essentially illegal

Lol what.

The Future Jun 20

Turns out our evil tech overlords may be no match for Europe’s new privacy laws

Thanks, GDPR.

The Future Jun 20

Facebook’s latest idea: letting the Nazis they abet vote on news videos

The company is going to gamify video, potential side effects be damned.

The Future Jun 15

Your encrypted messages are encrypted from everyone except the feds

A useful reminder.

The Future Jun 15

How is Twitter supposed to know what we want?

It’s a mystery, I guess.

The Future Jun 14

Facebook is just calling everything a political ad

This puts entirely too much responsibility on, well, not Facebook.

The Future Jun 14

A bunch of new flying machine concepts, ranked by danger

The skies of the future are full of drones.

The Future Jun 13

How alt-right Twitter tricks the media into panicking

@thebradfordfile has been cited as evidence of the rise of the alt-right, but its popularity is faked through power-engagement groups and networks of sockpuppets.

The Future Jun 12

Facebook claims it’s not a monopoly, is your whole home screen

Ok, Facebook.

The Future Jun 08

Google: we promise not to use our vast and unchecked power for murder

Google has laid out “principles” about how it will approach AI, as if what a corporation promises matters.

The Future Jun 07

Being extremely online can only bring you pain

Turns out the website where Nazis yell at you can make people depressed.

The Future Jun 07

Please enjoy this creepy drones-only fashion show

Drones, but make it fashion.

The Future Jun 06

Bezos throws billions into space exploration, Amazon workers still can’t stop for a drink of water

A new batch of Amazon warehouse employees are raising the alarm about their treatment as their CEO gloats about how he struggles to spend all his money.

The Future Jun 05

How Facebook steamrolls apps into giving up users’ information

WhatsApp's messy high-profile breakup with Facebook is so bad it’s good.

The Future Jun 05

France is building a village for Alzheimer’s patients

French Alzheimer’s care is miles ahead of the rest of the US.

The Future Jun 01

Canon has sold its last film camera

Tired: Instagram. Wired: Instax. Retired: 35mm.

The Future May 31

Our food supply chain is killing us

Even for countries with a surplus of food, the environmental impact is inescapable.

The Future May 30

The tech bro alignment chart

For your viewing pleasure.

The Future May 29

Dermatologists hate him! Meet the skin-cancer detecting robot

A new study shows they’re better at it than humans.

The Future May 25

Facebook and Twitter are doing the bare minimum to disclose political ad info

Any real effort would involve some self-awareness about how people use their services.

The Future May 23

Cinnamon vape juice is for real bad boys only

It’s like the cinnamon challenge, only somehow more lame.

The Future May 23

The internet’s collective memory has no backup

The Wayback Machine depends on good will and ignorance.

The Future May 22

Zuckerberg: join Facebook to delete your data from Facebook

Zuckerberg’s meeting with European Parliament was a hot mess.

The Future May 22

A new ‘ethnicity recognition’ tool is just automated racial profiling

Potential uses include racism and, well, absolutely nothing else.

The Future May 21

We haven't learned anything about what the internet is for since 1996

Another great day to be online.

The Future May 18

Facebook is tracking you on over 8.4 million websites

This is great and fine and not at all worrying.

The Future May 17

Facebook partners with think tank to avoid breaking the world again

For a platform that isn't an actual extension of the government, it sure seems to need to be managed like one.

The Future May 16

Bitcoin is consuming as much energy as the country of Ireland

Ireland gives us whiskey, Bitcoin gives us... hmm.

The Future May 15

The vaping industry takes a hit

Finally, scientific evidence vaping isn’t cool

The Future May 14

New York cabbies have a surprisingly wholesome secret: group chats

How NYC cabbies span the distance using WhatsApp, conference calls, and way too many emojis.

The Future May 13

YouTube’s search suggests racist autocompletes

Search suggestions have long been problematic; now “black men are” and many other terms have disturbing autocompletes on YouTube.

The Future May 11

Remember when Google said it would stop reading your email?

Yet another case of ‘If you’re not the customer, you’re the product.’

The Future May 10

Facebook’s fake news algorithm seems to be working

Publishers are doing... fine?

The Future May 10

A no-bullshit guide to Google I/O 2018

We give you the good, the bad, and the ugly from Google's developer conference.

The Future May 09

Welcome to the Google Extended Universe™

There’s absolutely no way this will go poorly.

The Future May 08

The “Intellectual Dark Web” is just a bunch of whiny rich people

These hosts and personalities with audiences the size of Rachel Maddow's have monetized a persecution narrative.

The Future May 07

Why Google docs is gaslighting everyone about spelling: an investigation

Turns out, it’s the internet’s fault.

The Future May 04

Stop saying ‘privacy,’ start saying ‘data protection’

Let’s do away with the most meaningless word in tech.

The Future May 02

Zuckerberg admits he doesn’t know how most of Facebook works

Totally normal admission from a totally normal CEO.

The Future May 02

Influencers still need to hawk shit if they want to make any money

If you want to make a living as a YouTube star or Instagram influencer, viral content doesn’t pay. Commodity merch does.

By Paris Martineau

The Future May 01

With Facebook for Dating, you’re either out or way too far in

At least it’s incredibly on-brand.

The Future Apr 30

Dr. Drone will see you now

Nepalese drones are bringing medicine to the remotest areas.

The Future Apr 27

Conservative news isn’t being censored. It just sucks.

Conservative Congresspeople missed the point again when it comes to news on Facebook.

The Future Apr 26

Tech giants to Congress: “lol sorry had a thing”

Facebook, Google, and Twitter bailed last minute on the hearing about social media “filtering practices.”

The Future Apr 25

One 30-page document contains everything you need to know about AI

Congress, for the love of god, please learn about technology.

The Future Apr 25

Teens smoked because of movies, and they vape because of Vine

Vape or die, brah.

The Future Apr 24

Content mods would solve an urgent problem, if anyone were willing to pay them

Facebook and YouTube need moderation more than ever, but are relying on manpower where we need nuance, training, and investment.

The Future Apr 23

Is Google... evil?

Google still struggles to make its autocomplete feature not offend people on the regular.

The Future Apr 20

How the bathing suit you looked at online once follows you around for two months

Ads are the worst stalkers.

The Future Apr 19

Humans can still save coral from the damage we caused

A pinpoint of light in the climate change darkness.

The Future Apr 19

Here’s what’s going to happen on Westworld, according to its biggest fans

Season two is almost here and no one is as prepared as r/Westworld.

The Future Apr 17

What Facebook still refuses to say

Facebook has an entire separate trove of data you can’t download and it won’t discuss.

The Future Apr 16

The obesity paradox is more about muscles than weight

In other words: lift weights if you want to live.

The Future Apr 12

Zuckerberg’s testimony contradicted his own privacy ops team

Zuckerberg’s statements to Congress contradict what Facebook’s privacy operations team has told European data authorities.

The Future Apr 11

The two ways Zuckerberg dodged every question from Congress

The House asks, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg manages to never answer.

The Future Apr 10

Zuckerberg owned himself

His testimony poked holes in some of Facebook’s official stances.

The Future Apr 10

Cambridge Analytica got private Facebook messages, too

Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool cool cool

The Future Apr 09

Reddit’s calls to “HODL” cryptocurrency: do they work?

One data visualization looks to see how calls to not sell crypto affect its market value.

The Future Apr 06

Backpage has been seized by the Feds

The classified ads site that's been tied to underage sex trafficking has been taken offline.

The Future Apr 06

When conspiracy theories become weaponized

How a rage-fueled fever dream named QAnon took over the internet.

The Future Apr 05

The YouTube shooting can’t be reduced to a simple story about the Adpocalypse

The woman who shot three YouTube employees had a long, complex, and contentious relationship with the platform.

The Future Apr 05

1.2 million terrorist accounts found on Twitter

Twitter says it’s suspended them all.

The Future Apr 02

You don’t need blockchain in that

Salad? Coffee? Water? No thank you.

By Paris Martineau

Culture Mar 30

The hosts have already taken over Westworld’s website

Season 2 of the HBO show has begun online.

The Future Mar 29

Grindr exposes location of 3 million daily users

Facebook isn't the only platform making data available to irresponsible third parties.

Power Mar 28

Years of complaints against Cambridge Analytica reveal how it influenced voters

Complaints filed by U.S. citizens from 2013-2017 detail Cambridge Analytica’s messaging tactics.

The Future Mar 27

Welcome to the age of the data mercenary

How companies like Cambridge Analytica use your Facebook data to promote political causes around the globe.

The Future Mar 23

PSA: Yes, these other apps are also Facebook

Instagram, Moves, and WhatsApp: all Facebook, my friends.

The Future Mar 22

Read the full Kogan email: Researcher says Facebook is scapegoating him

The man who made the quiz at the center of the Facebook controversy accuses media outlets of grossly exaggerating the usefulness of his data.

The Future Mar 21

Congress just censored the internet and put sex workers, trafficking victims in even more danger

FOSTA is a bad bill that put sex works and trafficking victims in greater danger. Of course Congress just passed it

The Future Mar 21

David Carroll was fighting Cambridge Analytica before it was cool

This professor is trying to force transparency upon one of the world’s shadiest companies.

The Future Mar 21

Deleting Facebook? You’d better delete these accounts too

Facebook isn’t the only one handling your data like this.

The Future Mar 20

Inside YouTube’s fake views economy

Views are currency on YouTube, and the existence of fake ones creates questions for all videos.

The Future Mar 16

The first game to actually give a damn about natural black hair

‘The Valley of Gods’ actually took the time to get its protagonist’s hair right, and it looks fantastic.

Culture Mar 14

Wonder Woman’s music man

The Dutch composer Tom Holkenborg, also known as Junkie XL, composes the themes that make heroines soar.

The Future Mar 12

Twitter bots are now trying to tip the scales in local elections

They have hundreds of thousands of followers, and one was even retweeted by Trump.

The Future Mar 09

Facebook is pivoting to baseball

Zuck is coming for sports TV.

The Future Mar 08

Man, what happened to the ‘Copy Link to Tweet’ button?

He’s not gone, he just moved.

The Future Mar 07

The SEC calls altcoins “fraudulent and manipulative”

Wow, owned by the federal government.

The Future Mar 06

MoviePass is too good to be true

You had to see this coming, right?

The Future Mar 05

Facebook, please just hire one normal person

Facebook has spent years asking embarrassing questions about whether it should let pedophiles groom targets, among other things.

The Future Mar 05

Conservative publishers hit hardest by Facebook News Feed change

Right wing publications see a sharp decrease in engagement since Facebook’s latest News Feed changes.

The Future Mar 01

YouTube has lost control of its moderators

Even more channels have been banned as YouTube says it’s aware its new mods are being too hasty.

The Future Mar 01

Jack Dorsey admits our Twitter conversations are toxic

As Twitter discourse circles the drain, Dorsey calls for research on how to steer the community.

The Future Feb 28

YouTube is taking down conspiracy theorist channels and popular gun videos

Looks like that whole “content moderation” thing wasn't a joke after all.

The Future Feb 27

Congress is trying to save net neutrality right now

A bill that would circumvent the FCC is one vote away from passing.

The Future Feb 26

The alt-right is recruiting depressed people

Alt-right figures are targeting vulnerable communities with videos and, unfortunately, it seems to be working.

The Future Feb 26

Uber and Lyft are making traffic way, way worse

Ride hailing services siphon way more people from public transportation than single-occupancy cars, studies show.

The Future Feb 23

Congress doesn’t seem to know how sex trafficking or the internet actually works

FOSTA legislation would break fundamental parts of the web

The Future Feb 22

Reddit cracks down on posts attacking Florida shooting survivor David Hogg

Members of Reddit’s Trust and Safety team reached out to mods to curb the spread of harassment.

The Future Feb 22

You can actually ban the Nazis

The “marketplace of ideas” has failed, and Twitter should pay attention to what Medium is doing.

The Future Feb 21

Alt-right leaders can no longer spread disinformation on Medium

A complete overhaul of the platform's rules caught some awful people in the crossfire.

The Future Feb 20

Your therapist is typing

Ads for text therapy are everywhere, but people who have tried it say it’s surprisingly unhelpful and expensive.

The Future Feb 16

Russians stole identities of U.S. citizens to fund election interference

Trolls opened PayPal and bank accounts to fund their astroturfing.

The Future Feb 16

A court ruling threatens the way we share things on the internet

A single image of Tom Brady is bringing down the system.

The Future Feb 15

Facebook is thirsty as hell

And doesn’t care who knows it.

The Future Feb 13

Why is Instagram so worried about my mental health?

How awkward.

The Future Feb 12

Cheating at HQ Trivia just got a whole lot harder

RIP HQuack.

The Future Feb 12

There is a light that could kill flu viruses in public spaces

Using light to kill contagions without killing people: tricky, but possible.

The Future Feb 12

Facebook was designed to prey on the fearful and angry

Who’d have guessed.

The Future Feb 09

For Uber, moving on from Kalanick is worth $245 million

Cleaning up after Kalanick’s reign is costly.

The Future Feb 08

Why… do old people… text… like this…? An investigation…

We need... answers...

The Future Feb 07

Facebook puts a bullet in online comedy videos

Funny or Die: I guess now we know!

The Future Feb 07

Shower yourself with Bitcoin


The Future Feb 06

Venmo settled at least 65,000 (mostly illegal) Super Bowl bets

Venmo knows sports betting is against the law, but takes no action.

The Future Feb 04

Super Bowl gambling with Venmo: extremely popular, mostly illegal

Football’s biggest night is also Venmo’s

The Future Feb 01

1.4 million Twitter users interacted with Russian propaganda

That's more than double the company's original estimate.

The Future Jan 31

Now anyone can cheat at HQ Trivia

HQuack, the first publicly available HQ cheat, is sucking all the fun out of America’s favorite trivia app.

Culture Jan 31

What if Florida, the state everyone loves to hate, is actually good?

A discussion between our resident Floridians.

The Future Jan 30

Inside Instagram’s foot fetish economy

People are buying and selling photos of their feet on the same app where your mom posts blurry pictures of pasta.

The Future Jan 29

Facebook is into local news now

The platform wants it both ways.

The Future Jan 26

Hey Alexa, shut up

Why do voice assistants talk so much?

The Future Jan 26

A longtime Google engineer quit, saying the company “can no longer innovate”

Steve Yegge wrote a scathing 5,000-word blog post saying Google has become too obsessed with its rivals.

The Future Jan 25

Bumble did what Twitter won’t

The dating app recently banned white supremacist Jack Posobiec from its platform.

The Future Jan 24

We interviewed the mind behind the greatest fake Coachella lineup ever

Botnik Studios created a fake Coachella lineup using a neural network and team of comedy writers.

The Future Jan 24

This plug-in corrects “racially charged” to “racist”

Now you can easily fix a euphemism that systematically minimizes the impact of race-based discrimination.

The Future Jan 23

Shocking absolutely no one, Facebook admits it may be bad for democracy

Please share.

The Future Jan 23

Inside the group chats where people pump and dump cryptocurrency

How self-proclaimed “pump and dump groups” scam thousands of wannabe altcoin investors.

The Future Jan 22

Take that stupid thing off your phone

PopSockets are a waste of money.

The Future Jan 20

Twitter and Facebook have very different ideas about “fake news.” One of them is terribly wrong.

Hint: It’s Facebook.

The Future Jan 19

Instagram handles have replaced phone numbers

Why talk when you can stalk?

The Future Jan 18

Amazon treats its employees like shit

Maybe your city shouldn’t want the company’s new headquarters.

The Future Jan 17

Pyramid schemes target Snapchat teens

Snapchatters have discovered pyramid schemes, and it’s going just as well as you’d expect.