With tens of millions of users in some 200 countries, it’s hard to overstate the reach of dating apps for gay and bisexual men. Now, these apps are starting to reach beyond their hookup origins to offer their users new ways to explore their identities and forge connections. Apps like Grindr, Hornet, and Scruff are engaging users by organizing events, covering queer topics in online publications, and engaging in advocacy work. Brandon Tensley explores the extent of their impact, writing, “These apps are playing host to conversations—silent and verbal, private and public—about what, exactly, the queer experience can entail. They’re helping, in other words, make the connections so many queers have been yearning for all along.”
In other news, the Department of Homeland Security is starting to scan passengers’ faces before they board international flights. Decades ago, Congress mandated that federal authorities keep track of foreign nationals as they enter and leave the United States. But with the launch of its new “Biometric Exit” program, DHS is—without congressional authorization—also scanning the faces of American citizens. This opens the door to a host of privacy and civil liberty issues that will continue to fly under the radar. Meanwhile, Andrea Peterson writes that despite Trump’s own complaints of having his “wires tapped,” he has yet to fill vacancies on a board that serves as a key government watchdog charged with overseeing surveillance activities.
Other things we read this week while considering the consequences of Trump’s attacks on federal lands:
- Culinary technology: Jacob Brogan samples a meal delivery service that is trying to make its name by focusing on gee-whiz tech.
- Quakebot: Last week, the Los Angeles Times Quakebot tweeted about an earthquake that happened 90 years ago. Angelica Cabral explains what caused the confusion and what this incident teaches us about where our data comes from.
- Musk’s plans for Mars: Earlier this month, Elon Musk published his plans to make humans a multiplanetary species. Andrew Coates, a professor of physics at the University College London, questions just how plausible Musk’s plans to colonize Mars actually are.
- Dangers of social media: Emily Parker counters the argument that Facebook and Twitter are destroying America and warns against excessive techno-pessimism.
- EU fines Google: On Tuesday, European Union regulators slapped Google with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine for unfairly promoting its own shopping comparison services over those of its rivals.
- Three years after the release their best-selling book, The Second Machine Age, MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee are back with a deep dive into the key forces driving our increasingly digital age. Join Future Tense on Thursday, June 29 (yes, tomorrow!), in New York for a conversation with the pair about their latest book, Machine, Platform, Crowd, and about how to build a future that doesn’t leave humans behind. RSVP to attend here.
- Join Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California’s 33rd Congressional District, on Thursday, July 13, for the latest installment of our “My Favorite Movie” series. He’ll be hosting a screening Ex Machina at Washington, D.C.’s Landmark E Street Cinema. You may RSVP for yourself and up to one guest here.
Will make you read this article,
For Future Tense