Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In a glass conference room at its California headquarters, Facebook is taking on the bonfires of hate and misinformation it has helped fuel across the world, one post at a time. The social network has drawn criticism for undermining democracy and for provoking bloodshed in societies small and large. But for […]

Can Netflix Take Turkey’s TV Dramas to the World?

LONDON — On a recent evening, Nahid Akhtar, 47, sat on a sofa in London shouting at a TV. She was watching “The Protector,” Netflix’s first original series in Turkish. The show, released that day, is about a young antiques dealer, Hakan Demir (Cagatay Ulusoy), who discovers he belongs to an ancient line of superheroes […]

Larry Eisenberg, 99, Dead; His Limericks Were Very Well Read

Larry Eisenberg, whom we well know, Has died (and his age is below). He opined on the news With limericks, whose Delightfulness leavens our woe. Dr. Eisenberg, who died on Tuesday at 99, was for more than a decade one of the most prolific contributors of reader comments on — and, by extension, on […]

Sister Wendy Beckett, Nun Who Became a BBC Star, Dies at 88

Sister Wendy Beckett, a Roman Catholic nun who interrupted a cloistered life of prayer in England in 1991 and soared to international stardom with lyrical BBC documentaries that made her one of the most improbable art critics in television history, died on Wednesday in the village of East Harling, England. She was 88. Her death […]

Tech Fix: The Tech That Was Fixed in 2018 and the Tech That Still Needs Fixing

Personal technology was so awful this year that nobody would think you were paranoid if you dug a hole and buried your computer, phone and smart speaker under six feet of earth. Facebook made headlines week after week for failing to protect our privacy and for spreading misinformation. Juul, the e-cigarette company under investigation for […]

How the ‘Spider-Verse’ Animators Created That Trippy Look

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” follows the adventures of an Afro-Latino teenager, Miles Morales, who has been bitten by a radioactive spider in Brooklyn and joins forces with other Spideys from alternate dimensions. It’s one of the animation surprises of the season: both a box office hit and a critical favorite (certified 97 percent fresh on […]

Kevin Spacey Faces Felony Charge in Misconduct Case

Kevin Spacey will be charged with a felony following an accusation of sexual assault made public last year, the authorities in Nantucket said on Monday. The charge, first reported by The Boston Globe, is in connection with an accusation of misconduct that was made by a former television anchor, Heather Unruh, who said that Mr. […]

Patreon Bars Anti-Feminist for Racist Speech, Inciting Revolt

Sam Harris, the polemical atheist neuroscientist known for his popular podcast “Waking Up,” was making tens of thousands of dollars a month from fans who donated to him through Patreon, a crowdfunding site. That stopped this month. On Dec. 6, Patreon kicked the anti-feminist polemic Carl Benjamin, who works under the name Sargon of Akkad, […]

Kodak Black Replaces XXXTentacion at No. 1 With ‘Dying to Live’

Kodak Black opened at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart this week with the kind of consumption pattern that became increasingly common in 2018: big streaming numbers, but such a minuscule number of old-fashioned sales that it barely seemed to count. “Dying to Live” (Atlantic), the South Florida rapper’s latest — and his first […]

Books News: Bottleneck at Printers Has Derailed Some Holiday Book Sales

This year has been, much to everyone’s surprise, a blockbuster for the publishing industry. Despite the relentless news cycle, readers have bought books in droves. Hardcover sales are up, and unit sales at independent bookstores have risen 5 percent. Multiple titles — Bob Woodward’s “Fear,” Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s “The President Is Missing” and […]

Mediator: The Top 18 Media Grinches of 2018

I’m usually cheerful during the holiday season. This year? Not so much. My bad list has grown too long, my patience way too short. So with that, allow me to present what I hope will not have to be an annual Mediator tradition — the Grinchies. It’s an award that doubles as a ranking of […]

Der Spiegel to Press Charges Against Reporter Who Made Up Articles

HANOVER, Germany — Der Spiegel has announced that it will press charges against a former star reporter accused of systemically faking interviews and articles, in what might be the biggest journalism scandal in Germany since another newsmagazine published fake Hitler diaries 35 years ago. The announcement came as the United States ambassador waded into the […]

Mary Poppins: The Peculiar Challenge of Animating Her World

LOS ANGELES — “Mary Poppins” was the first film the director Rob Marshall saw as a boy, so when Disney approached him about directing a sequel, the prospect was exciting — and intimidating. “It was daunting because the film means so much to me,” Marshall said in a recent interview. “But I felt, if anyone’s […]

Facebook Closes 5 Accounts Tied to Russia-Like Tactics in Alabama Senate Race

In an unusual move against Russian-style election deception inside the United States, Facebook said on Saturday it had removed five accounts of Americans who used its platform improperly in the hard-fought Alabama Senate election last year. Among those whose accounts were removed was a prominent social media researcher who worked on the Alabama operation, Jonathon […]

Beyoncé Albums Leaked Online, Causing Concerns About Streaming Platforms

At first the news seemed to follow a familiar, exhilarating pattern. Late on Thursday, two new albums with material by Beyoncé — credited to the name Queen Carter — appeared on Spotify and Apple Music. Social media exploded, assuming that Beyoncé, the master of the surprise album release, had repeated her magic trick yet again. […]

Out There: Apollo 8’s Earthrise: The Shot Seen Round the World

This is where we live. In space. On a marble fortified against bottomless blackness by a shell of air and color, fragile and miraculous as a soap bubble. In 1968, we Earthlings knew that already, sort of. But that abstract notion became visceral on Christmas Eve of that year. While scouting landing spots on the […]

Unbuttoned: Fashion’s Year in Cultural Don’ts

Of all the fashion trends that came and went this year, including 1980s shoulders, 1990s grunge and all things Meghan Markle, perhaps the most unrelenting was the prevalence of cultural missteps. They happened high, they happened low, they happened almost every season. Instead of getting better, it seems as if the offenses are getting worse. […]

Life After Horrific Death for the Journalist James Foley

On a cool October evening, in a Brooklyn studio crowded with canvases, some still wet, Diane Foley stood before an oil painting of two solemn grade-school boys in the Libyan civil war. One of the boys held aloft a photo of a middle-aged man, a relative, who was missing. “I like this one,” Mrs. Foley […]

Seven Comic Books for This Season (and the Next)

A new batch of graphic novels and comic books lands in this season of celebrations, with nods to holidays past and those to come. Crack open these comics — including some classics that are always nice to come back to — and enjoy. How the X-Men and X-Women celebrate ImageThis anthology features 22 stories set […]

The Shift: The 2018 Good Tech Awards

The words “2018,” “good” and “tech” probably don’t seem like they belong in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence. But stay with me here. It’s true that this was a horrible year for many of the tech industry’s biggest companies. Amazon held a nationwide beauty pageant for its new headquarters, raising hopes that […]

Hakuna Matata™? Can Companies Actually Trademark a Phrase Like That?

LONDON — Who wouldn’t like a highly anticipated remake of Disney’s “The Lion King,” starring Beyoncé and featuring a meerkat-and-warthog duo singing a song that includes the now ubiquitous Swahili phrase “Hakuna Matata”? As of Thursday, almost 100,000 people, and counting. The phrase means “no worries,” but for Disney, it’s not that simple. Angry about […]

‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ to Move Off Broadway to New World Stages

The actors might forget their lines. The crew might forget to turn on the lights. And the set might be on fire. But “The Play That Goes Wrong,” the Monty Python-esque murder mystery farce, will go on, by transferring to an Off Broadway production at the New World Stages after its Broadway production closes on […]

BuzzFeed Wins Defamation Lawsuit Filed by Executive Named in Trump Dossier

A federal judge ruled in favor of BuzzFeed on Wednesday, bringing to a close a defamation lawsuit filed by a Russian technology executive over the website’s publication of a dossier containing unverified reports of connections between Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government. In her ruling, Judge Ursula Ungaro of the United States […]

A New Comics Publisher Aims to Shake Things Up

A new comics publisher, TKO Studios, burst onto Twitter last week with an unusual mission statement: “We’ll be doing things a bit differently.” In an industry where buying monthly, serialized stories is the norm, TKO is presenting an alternative: binge releasing its mini-series; simultaneously selling collected editions of those stories; and offering the first issue […]

Not Just Khashoggi: Reprisal Killings of Journalists Surged This Year

Reprisal killings of journalists because of their work nearly doubled in 2018, bringing the total number of journalists killed on the job to the highest point in three years, a press advocacy group reported on Wednesday. The October killing of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi hit squad in Turkey may have […]

Advertisers Flee Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Show After He Derides Immigrants

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson has lost advertisers after saying on the air last week that allowing certain immigrants into the United States “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.” By Tuesday, 11 companies — including IHOP and TD Ameritrade — said they would stop advertising on his prime-time show, “Tucker […]

Lee Leonard, TV Sports Show Host Who Ushered in ESPN, Dies at 89

Lee Leonard, an urbane host of sports and entertainment programs who introduced ESPN to a small audience on the day of its debut in 1979, died on Sunday at his home in South Orange, N.J. He was 89. His wife, Kelly Bishop, confirmed his death. Mr. Leonard was a well-regarded veteran of local and national […]

Steven Spielberg on Storytelling’s Power to Fight Hate

LOS ANGELES — “Pinchas, how old are you?” Steven Spielberg asked the wall screen, a life-size video image of an elderly man in a cardigan, who blinked and answered without missing a beat. “I was born in 1932, so you can make your own arithmetic,” responded Pinchas, in a Polish accent. “He asked me to […]

noted: The Laundromat Is Hot!

A few weeks ago, Jeremy Foster, a photographer, and Marikh Mathias, a model and former contestant on “The Bachelor,” were riding around Salt Lake City, looking for a place to do an Instagram photo shoot. The mountains were a 10-minute drive away, but it was raining that day. A coffee shop is a reliable backdrop, […]

Lens: Beyond the Myth of the War Photographer

The myth of the war photographer is hard to dispel. Infused with machismo, the Hollywood archetype is the hard-living, scarf-wearing loner dashing from one war zone to the next, with romantic partners as expendable as bullets. But clichés ignore the doubts, fears and moral quandaries as well as the loneliness and pain that shadow those […]

Tinder and Bumble Are Hungry for Your Love

Tinder and Bumble are desperate to convince you that you’re not desperate. Dating, they promise, is fun, so fun, that when one date ends badly, it’s a barely disguised blessing: You get to stay on the apps and keep on dating! Both companies are pushing this message with recent advertising efforts. Tinder has a new […]

Tech Companies Dragged Feet on Russian Interference Data, Reports Say

SAN FRANCISCO — When lawmakers asked YouTube, a unit of Google, to provide information about Russian manipulation efforts, it did not disclose how many people watched the videos on its site that were created by Russian trolls. Facebook did not release the comments that its users made when they viewed Russian-generated content. And Twitter gave […]

CBS Says Les Moonves Will Not Receive $120 Million Severance

The CBS Corporation, battered by scandal and facing a leadership vacuum, said its former chief executive, Leslie Moonves, misled the company about multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and tried to hide evidence as he made a frenzied attempt to save his legacy and reap a lucrative severance. As a result, the company said Mr. Moonves […]

Channing Dungey, Former ABC Head of Entertainment, Is Going to Netflix

Channing Dungey, who left ABC only a month ago as its entertainment head, is taking a high-ranking executive position at Netflix, the streaming company announced on Monday. Ms. Dungey, who was the first black executive to run an entertainment division at a major network, will become a vice president of original content, Netflix said. She […]

Concord Music Acquires Samuel French in Big Push Into Theater Business

Samuel French, a venerable publisher of American and British play scripts, has been acquired by a fast-growing music industry conglomerate that is making a big move into the theater business. Concord Music, which started as a jazz label but now owns song catalogs from classical to metal, said Monday that it would establish a new […]

Mediator: More Powerful Than a Russian Troll Army: The National Enquirer

The most powerful print publication in America might just be The National Enquirer. It functioned as a dirty-tricks shop for Donald J. Trump in 2016, which would have been the stuff of farce — the ultimate tabloid backs the ultimate tabloid candidate — if it hadn’t accomplished its goal. The Enquirer’s power was fueled by […]

Tech Workers Got Paid in Company Stock. They Used It to Agitate for Change.

SAN FRANCISCO — Silicon Valley technology firms are known for giving stock to their workers, a form of compensation that often helps employees feel invested in their companies. But tech workers are now starting to use those shares to turn the tables on their employers. As many tech employees take a more activist approach to […]

Facebook’s Version of YouTube Takes Shape With Pranksters, Magicians and Cartoons

A 20-something magician performing on the streets of Thailand and Jamaica. Three Australian brothers who shock bystanders with devious pranks. A conservative commentator in Mississippi who rants about America’s priorities from his car. These are some of the video makers who in recent months have started making serious money from Facebook Watch, the tech giant’s […]

Netflix’s Movie Blitz Takes Aim at Hollywood’s Heart

As hundreds of movie buffs waited in line to see Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” at the Telluride Film Festival in August, an S.U.V. rolled up and a tall, tanned man wearing sunglasses stepped out. He smiled and waved before breezing into the theater with his entourage. “Was that some sort of celebrity?” one ticket holder asked. […]

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and ‘The Mule’ Score at Box Office

LOS ANGELES — The ecstatically reviewed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” stuck its landing, likely starting a new animated franchise for Sony Pictures. And Clint Eastwood, playing a cranky drug courier in “The Mule,” proved that he is still an incredibly bankable star, even at nearly 90 years old. But it was a calamitous weekend at […]

The Weekly Standard, Pugnacious to the End, Will Cease Publication

The Weekly Standard, a primary voice of conservative Washington that found itself out of step with the Trumpward turn in the Republican Party, is ceasing publication after 23 years, its owners announced on Friday. The cause of death was financial, ideological or personal, depending on who was doing the telling. The magazine’s parent company, Clarity […]