For Zeng, a young Chinese woman, an hour of scrolling Douyin, TikTok’s domestic version, has become a daily ritual. Live streaming appeared in China in 2016 and has since become one of the country’s favorite pastimes. Zeng especially likes one creator: “Lawyer Longfei.” Every day, Longfei directly answers 9 million legal questions from her followers. Many addressed how women should approach complicated divorces.
But in May, Longfei’s account went dark for 15 days, most likely because her content didn’t fit the state’s stance on marriage. While Longfei’s account was finally reinstated last month, her case reflects the number of streamers grappling with the Chinese government’s growing willingness to weigh what is acceptable. Okay.
A new policy document, the Code of Conduct for Streamers, released by China’s top cultural regulators on June 22, is designed to guide streamers about what to expect from them. Having managed to operate under radar so far, live streamers now face the full force of China’s censorship apparatus — and future interventions. could be even more intrusive. Read full story.
Things to read
I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.
1 Hackers say they stole the data of over a billion Chinese residents
This could be the country’s biggest-ever cybersecurity breach. (Bloomberg $)
+ How China built a unique cyber espionage corporation to survive. (MIT Technology Review)
2 Web searches were used to prosecute abortions
In the post-Roe United States, such digital evidence can be routinely used in legal proceedings in states where abortion is illegal. (WP $)
+ Experts expect to see some miscarriages and stillbirths treated as criminal investigations. (Atlantic $)
+ Google will delete location data for users who go to abortion clinics. (Guardians)
+ Abortion access groups say they have been battling algorithmic repression for years. (Wired $)
3 We’re Getting Closer to Understanding Brain Fog
It is partly related to how the virus disrupts brain cells and leaves inflammation behind. (Wired $)
+ How to mend your broken pandemic brain. (MIT Technology Review)
4 A Former Cambridge Analytica Executive Raised Millions of Cryptocurrencies for Ukraine
But while the country hails Brittany Kaiser as an important ally, critics still question her motives. (WP $)
+ NFT sales are the lowest in a year. (Guardians)
+ A new bill could grant cryptocurrency access to the Federal Reserve. (WP $)
5 Life on Earth has helped create almost half of our total minerals
That’s exciting news for the search for life on other planets. (Quanta)
+ Mining is a tough business. (BBC)
+ A pro-China online influence campaign is targeting the rare earth industry. (MIT Technology Review)
6 Twitter is censoring tweets in India
Digital rights activists are worried about the country’s new social media “hostage laws” fueling the latest wave of censorship. (The rest of the world)
7 We’re still learning about how porn affects teenagers’ brains
But we do know the reward centers of young brains are brighter when exposed to it than in older viewers. (WSJ $)
8 Future breast reconstructions could be completely removed with silicone
Beneficial for regenerative tissue transplants. (Guardians)
10 Chemicals Behind the Vivid Colors of Fireworks
There’s a reason why you don’t see many blue explosions. (Fast company $)
Quote of the day
“Contrary to the myth that we are sliding into a comfortable evolutionary relationship with a common cold-friendly virus, this is like being stuck on a roller coaster in a horror movie. .”
—Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, explains that we shouldn’t get too complacent about covid, Guardians report.