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The People Who Make the Internet Safe for Use, Dropbox vs. San Francisco and More #Mustreads

The lives of social media content moderators, the story of gentrification in San Francisco as told by a soccer field and more.

fstop123 via iStock

Happy Friday!

Here is a lot of good stuff from the Internet. Check the receipt for the return policy. Re/code makes no exceptions:

  1. When you consider the sheer quantity of Facebook posts, tweets, Whisper pictures and other content we fling out into the abyss, it’s overwhelming to think about. It’s a lot of stuff! And to make sure that we’re comfortable enough to keep sharing more and more stuff, companies employ thousands and thousands of “content moderators” whose job is to look at lots of horrible images and videos so users don’t have to. For Wired, writer Adrian Chen traveled to the Philippines to learn more about these moderators, and the “darker view of humanity” their work can give them.
  2. A couple weeks ago, you might have seen this viral video of San Francisco teenagers fighting with Airbnb and Dropbox employees over who had the right to use a soccer field. If you want to learn more about the incident, and how reflective it is of what’s going on in San Francisco right now, check out this smartly reported piece from Julia Carrie Wong in the New Yorker.
  3. It turns out the Silk Road, the online drug marketplace that government authorities shut down last year, might’ve actually been doing some good for the world. A study from researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Montreal suggests that the Silk Road was a way for drug dealers to gain market share without resorting to violence. Find out more at City A.M. And don’t do drugs.
  4. If you’ve heard of Shane Bauer, it was likely because you heard news reports listing his name among the three American hikers who were detained by the Iranian government from 2009 until 2011. Since his release, he has become a Mother Jones staff writer and one of the best people covering the militarization of American police. His just-published feature on the subject, “The Making of the Warrior Cop” is a frightening account of how billions of dollars in government grants have turned American police departments into miniature (but still deadly) armies.
  5. Actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis does a wonderful off-kilter video interview series called “Between Two Ferns.” You’ve probably seen it! His last guest was President Obama, and his guest on the episode released just yesterday was Brad Pitt (with a guest appearance by Louis C.K.). Watch Galifianakis call Brad Pitt “Hitler’s Dream” over at Funny or Die.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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