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Today in Tabs: Oh, The Inanity

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Today in Tabs: Oh, The Inanity
[Photo: Flickr user yooowan, Screenshots: via 复兴路上工作室]

Tuesday night, a Twitter user who goes by the name Zola posted a long story in many tweets which included an abduction, a murder, an attempted suicide foiled only by sheer luck, and a sex worker being outed to her parents and friends on her own Facebook against her will while she was exploited for profit by almost everyone involved, including the story’s narrator. Several of the participants were named and the main victim of the story appeared to confirm its truth in an Instagram comment.

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Twitter found all of this hilarious, of course, because people are awful. But it was also aggregation-bait, driving millions of clicks to the usual bottom-feeders like Complex and Elite Daily. Normally highbrow Longform ended up blogging it, linking to a Storify of the tweets, which is surely a whole new evolution of “longform.” Buzzfeed, after taking a very public stand against harassment just one day earlier, aggregated the tweets and initially didn’t remove the pictures of the woman who was abducted, beaten, and sexually trafficked. Jezebel, Gawker’s discomfort-with-women vertical, took the doxing a step further by briefly including photos and the Instagram handle of the woman who was being written about without her permission. Today in Tits and Sass, a blog by and for sex workers, Josephine wrote:

Zola is one person. Megasites like Buzzfeed, Fader and Jezebel have entire editorial staffs, tenured media professionals that should have known better. Journalists have a responsibility to consider the fall-out of what they publish, to consider if an otherwise private individual could get hurt. That consideration wasn’t made here. It seems that consideration is often absent when it comes to sex workers.

The New Republic published a review of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Room” yesterday titled “The End of Torture Porn,” in which Lara Zarum praises the two works refusal “to provide thrills by showing us the suffering of their female leads at the hands of their captors.” It’s too bad we haven’t reached that point for nonfiction yet.

I can’t really whiplash you directly to the blimp so let’s take a break and listen to some super-catchy totalitarian propaganda about China’s newest five-year plan:

Ok, Hit the button Mr. Burns!

A huge, expensive, well-hung but useless military surveillance blimp broke loose yesterday and floated around above Pennsylvania for a while before finally collapsing in a field. It wasn’t free for long, but nevertheless was the winter of Twitter’s Wednesday afternoon made glorious Friday by this sun of federal pork.


The best photograph yet taken of life in the second decade of the 21st century, by Jimmy May of the Press Enterprise

Let’s release “swarms of pumpkin-like robots” into the ocean where we can’t watch them, what could go wrong with that? Leigh Alexander on the still ominously silent SXSW: “the cluelessness is so severe as to seem willful.” Suggesting Lindsey Graham play “fuck, marry, kill” with Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, and Sarah Palin is honestly still probably not the worst thing CNN has done. Australians are lazy and drunk, says new linguistic report. Jeb Lund on the Republican debate: “We have never had so much of the same for so long, and it will never leave. We have always been the caretakers here.” Sarah Jeong talks about the Matthew Keys trial in the new episode of Reply All. And do you think the Halloween party at Billy Corgan’s tea shop ends with everyone Smashing Pu–dies

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~Either those tabs go or I do.~

In life, Today in Tabs was brought to you by Fast Company and could be subscribed to by email. It is survived by @Rustyk5 and @TodayinTabs. Its last words were: “Thanks to Liz Lopatto for editorial assistance today. And for God’s sake look after our people.”

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