Policy & Advocacy
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/16/2018

ProPublica has emerged as a watchdog of the technology industry through an initiative focused on investigating complicated algorithms used by large companies. The project uses Facebook Messenger bots and other tech tools to gain insight into Facebook's censorship rules, Amazon's pricing and other issues.

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FastCoDesign
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Facebook, ProPublica, Amazon
2/16/2018

Jacksonville, Fla., 14-year-old Taylor Richardson has raised at least $17,455 to help girls go to a showing of the film "A Wrinkle in Time." Richardson, an aspiring astronaut, says the campaign's goal is to encourage girls to become involved in science, technology, math and engineering.

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Vibe online
2/15/2018

The US changed the name of the street where the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., sits after murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, and Russia is considering changing an alley by the American Embassy to North American Dead End. This game is reminiscent of a move the US made in the 1980s when it renamed the plaza in front of the embassy after detained Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov.

2/15/2018

The recently formed Boulder Open Space Conservancy in Colorado is building an agricultural center that will act as an "incubator for young farmers," board director Diane Murphy says. The program will also teach more experienced farmers about sustainable growing practices.

2/15/2018

June Cohen's new media entity WaitWhat will focus on bringing content to audiences using any and all platforms available to change the way people think about subjects. "[O]ur focus on finding extraordinary women has led us to incredible under-told stories. We hope that it also subtly widens the perspective of our audience, with ripple effects across many businesses," said Cohen, who believes "storytelling is everything."

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Forbes
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June Cohen, WaitWhat
2/15/2018

Brands use male characters on product packaging twice as much as they use female characters, while male mascots are seven times more likely to be funny compared to female mascots, according to new data from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the beverage manufacturer The Jel Sert Co. The study, which analyzed 1,096 character representations across multiple product lines, also found that female mascots are more likely to be gender stereotyped. Davis discussed the findings from the report, "Mascots Matter: Gender and Race Representations in Branding," at the Kidscreen Summit, noting, "[M]ascots for consumer goods were something that had never really been examined or researched before, and they're a big part of kids' lives. The mascot study findings tell a similar story to what's happening in the world of commercial entertainment."

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KidScreen
2/15/2018

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has teamed up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and producer Dan Lin to form the Evolve Entertainment Fund to help bridge inequality gaps in the entertainment industry. The public-private partnership was launched this week, with 150 paid summer internships already in place for students in the Hire LA's Youth program, and 500 planned by 2020.

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Variety
2/15/2018

Donor-advised fund Fidelity Charitable contributed $4.5 billion to the nonprofit sector in 2017, benefiting nearly 127,000 organizations. Cryptocurrency donations such as Bitcoin increased tenfold to nearly $70 million last year.

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Fidelity Charitable
2/15/2018

Bitcoin-only charity Pineapple Fund has donated $1 million to the Sustainable Ocean Alliance and its new accelerator, which will invest in marine conservation startups. The fund has also made contributions to The Water Project and Wings for Conservation, among others.

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TechCrunch
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Pineapple Fund, Pineapple Fund
2/15/2018

A study commissioned by the Queens Museum's board alleges former president and executive director Laura Raicovich intentionally misled the board and failed to comply with the standards suited for her post. The report cited Raicovich's mishandling of an Israeli government-sponsored event.

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Queens Museum, Laura Raicovich