The History of American Conspiracy and Fake News (Nieman Lab)

paranoiaNieman Lab interviews Jesse Walker, author of The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory.

Walker’s book explains America’s persistent anxieties, providing a rubric to evaluate the current partisanship in news. Read the full interview here.

LOL: The 17th-Century Emoji (Smithsonian)

Six billion emoji images are sent around the world each day; did you know these visual shortcuts to emotional expression go back — we mean way back?

Researchers at the National Archives in Slovakia have uncovered a 17th-century version of a smiley-face on municipal documents. Read more.

#MakeItStop: The Moral Limits of Objective Journalism (Nieman Lab)

Kathleen Kingsbury, managing editor for digital at The Boston Globe, explains the necessity of the #MakeItStop campaign after the Orlando Shootings in June 2016. Though journalists aim to separate opinion and news pages for objectivity, the horrific event sparked a radical change in the Globe’s approach to reporting.

The paper produced a front page and a corresponding Twitter campaign, naming ever victim of every mass shooting since the last assault weapons ban was lifted in 2004. “At the end of the day,” said Kingsbury, “even journalism organizations must have thresholds to allow for moral outrage.” Read more.

How Private is Your Browsing History? Hint: Not At All (The Atlantic)

Cyber security

Though advertisers can easily track Internet users through cookies and website information collection, they have been, until recently, unable to connect one’s digital trail into an individual profile.

Researchers at Stanford University have now found a way to link one’s private online activity to one’s Twitter account, even if that person has never tweeted. Though users are able to delete a browser’s history, they are unable to prevent trackers, Internet service providers, or spy agencies from monitoring their activity and collecting their information. Read more.