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Malaysia’s LGBTQ activists, and 4Chan’s toxic AI

Vile online abuse escalated into accusations she was to blame for the outbreak of covid-19 in Malaysia, death threats, and eventually being arrested and charged with “strokeing Islam.” Earlier this year, she fled to Australia to escape a court hearing.

Although Nur Sajat’s story is by far the most high-profile, it is just one of many that illustrate how online platforms have evolved into a double-edged sword for Malaysia’s LGBTQ communities.

Despite creating invaluable opportunities for LGBTQ people to connect, communicate, and advocate for their rights, online participation also leaves them exposed to censorship, surveillance, and attack. Read the full story.

—Megan Tatum

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun / important / scary / fascinating stories about technology.

1 An AI trained on 4Chan spews out toxic hate speech
Considering the material it was trained on, this outcome was depressingly inevitable. (Motherboard)
+ AI still sucks at moderating hate speech. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Apple is going to have to change how it charges iPhones
A new deal requires all phones sold in the European Union to use USB-C ports by 2024. (The Verge)
+ iPhones sold in the UK won’t have to comply with the demand. (BBC)
+ It’s good news for reducing electronic waste. (Protocol)

3 There’s a fight brewing over crypto mining in New York 🗽
And crypto enthusiasts are worrieding other states may follow suit. (NYT $)
+ How Bitcoin mining devastated this New York town. (MIT Technology Review)
+ The crypto industry is happy about its newly-proposed regulator. (WP $)

4 How the Amazon’s rivers made it a biodiversity haven
Creating lush microenvironments for wildlife to thrive in. (Quanta)
+ We aren’t terrified enough about losing the Amazon. (MIT Technology Review)

5 These YouTubers are exposing the video games industry’s failings
And they’re facing plenty of backlash along the way. (WP $)

6 Disinformation is running rampant in Kenya ahead of its elections
Including attempts to stoke ethnic tensions. (Rest of World)

7 Neptune is a mystery
And it’s possible it may stay that way until into the 2050s. (The Atlantic $)
+ On the other hand, we’ll get an indepth look at Venus in 2030. (Inverse)
+ Space debris is a growing problem. (FT $)

8 How a fake juror in the Depp v Heard trial went viral
And contributed to the slew of cruel anti-Heard content circulating online. (CNN)

9 What the lived experiences of people with schizophrenia can teach us
First-person accounts of delusions help experts understand how they actually work. (Wired $)

10 How TikTok turned Gen Z into bookworms 📖
And gave the publishing industry a vital shot in the arm. (The Guardian)

Quote of the day

“We can do this without the technology, but why would we? We’re using technology in a way that doesn’t con fl ict with our morals. ”

—Ben, an office manager who is Amish, discusses how his company makes millions of dollars selling products online, reports Wired.

The big story

A nonprofit promised to preserve wildlife. Then it made millions claiming it could cut down trees

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