The right’s oversimplified “common sense” argument | Gmail as newsletter sheriff | How Buzzfeed is exploiting writers

The right’s oversimplified “common sense” argument: Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi have a track record of powerful work on abuses of power. However, these journalists seem to be getting sucked into the right-wing way of looking at the world, writes Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs. Policy wise, the journalists are fairly left-leaning, but have begun to be critical of the Left as a whole, speaking out against liberal “Woke Authoritarianism” and praising Fox News. The right tends to use “common sense” as a defense for their arguments, even when it doesn’t really apply. People like these journalists consider themselves to be independent thinkers, but looking too much at the “common sense” argument of the right causes “careless and reflexive” thinking, says Robinson. 

Gmail as newsletter sheriff: Gmail’s confusing and complicated inbox-sorting algorithm is hurting newsletter writers, says Brian Contreras in the Los Angeles Times. Many newsletters that users sign up for end up in the Promo folder, a rarely-checked “liminal purgatory” that prevents people from actually reading what they have signed up for. And it’s not just newsletters that have grievances with the algorithm — political fundraising and other mailing-list services have been affected too. If newsletters, which are gaining popularity, are supposed to be like the Wild West, then Google becomes a sort of sheriff by sorting them, says Contreras. 

How Buzzfeed is exploiting writers: Buzzfeed is promoting a “community challenge,” offering up to $10,000 to writers who go viral, promising different amounts of money depending on the number of pageviews. It sounds promising, but the catch is that the likelihood of going viral is extremely low, and Buzzfeed is really just getting a bunch of writers to produce free content. The whole challenge feels scammy, writes Samantha Grasso in Discourse Blog, as writers end up getting significantly less than what they deserve. Waving that amount of money in the faces of unpaid writers is just a slap in the face, says Grasso. 

And for your further reading pleasure, a non-journalism related story: Furor erupts over anti-sex trafficker Exodus Road   


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