home Must Reads Must reads: Anorexia, after prison, automation, dictators on Facebook, and #MeToo

Must reads: Anorexia, after prison, automation, dictators on Facebook, and #MeToo

In case you missed it, our most popular post last week was our much-anticipated Person of the Year announcement, brought to you by Natalia Antonova: We’re honouring Louise Linton, for her brave stance on issues relevant to the modern superrich.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Global Comment podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud and catch up on the first episode, a fascinating interview with Omar Saif Ghobash. Our next episode drops very soon, so this is a good time to subscribe!

Without further ado, here’s what we’re reading…

The Year I Avoided My Scale‘ (Sati for California Sunday)

California Sunday’s Teen Issue has made for fascinating reading, with work from a variety of talented journalists. But an issue about teens is nothing if it doesn’t feature the voices of teens, like this one, who wrote in collaboration with 826 Valencia Street about her experience with anorexia in an absolutely searing, bang-on personal essay.

When I returned home, I decided to stop. I wanted to be OK. I truly did. So I went back to school with a newfound sense of focus. I continued to notice small things about my friends. New scabs on someone’s arms. Another packing her own lunches with only a bowl of rice and a chicken wing.

Keila Pulinario Thought Prison Was Tough. Then She Had To Find A Job.‘ (Jessica Testa for Buzzfeed)

When people get out of prison, they’re promised clean starts and new lives. But it doesn’t necessarily work out like that in a world where people are judged for their carceral history and blocked out of some careers altogether. What’s it like to try to go straight after prison?

Eventually a friend — another formerly incarcerated woman — told Pulinario about an opening in the lower Manhattan kitchen where she worked. Her friend had already recommended Pulinario to her boss, which Pulinario knew gave her an advantage. But she also knew she still had to get through the interview. And that came with the risk of talking about her past.

Robots Will Transform Fast Food‘ (Alana Semuels for The Atlantic)

Increasing automation is coming with radical shifts across many industries. This is an interesting look at how robots are reforming the way people interact with food — and whether or not that’s a good thing.

Of course, whether automation is a net positive for workers in restaurants and hotels, and not just a competitive advantage for one chain over another (more business for machine-enabled Panera, less for the Luddites at the local deli), will depend on whether an improved customer experience makes Americans more likely to dine out and stay at hotels, rather than brown-bagging it or finding an Airbnb.

What Happens When the Government Uses Facebook as a Weapon?‘ (Lauren Etter for Bloomberg)

This is an incredibly valuable and important piece on the weaponising of social media by a hostile regime. No, it’s not about Donald Trump. It’s about Rodrigo Duterte, who figured out how to leverage Facebook to do his dirty work. It’s an interesting look at governance, but also corporate social responsibility.

Until it became crushing. Since being elected in May 2016, Duterte has turned Facebook into a weapon. The same Facebook personalities who fought dirty to see Duterte win were brought inside the Malacañang Palace. From there they are methodically taking down opponents, including a prominent senator and human-rights activist who became the target of vicious online attacks and was ultimately jailed on a drug charge.

What We Can All Learn From Domestic Workers’ Silent Battle Against Sexual Harassment‘ (Clio Chang for Splinter)

While #MeToo spreads, one group is watching with interest, because they’ve made campaigning on harassment and assault a critical part of their work for decades: Domestic workers.

Because their work conditions often makes them susceptible to abuse, the domestic workers and organizers I spoke with see protections against sexual harassment as central to their organizing work.

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Photo credit: Hans Splinter/Creative Commons