Internet

How Uruguay’s Internet Initiative Transformed Its Education System

By Sarah Simon

Education inequality in the United States was a problem long before the internet. With new educational tools requiring internet access, that inequality has only magnified. A 2018 study found that one in five US teens “can’t finish their homework because of the digital divide,” especially among Black teens and those from lower-income homes.

Making education more accessible, and at the same time adapting it to a digital era, is a universal struggle. But the small South American country of Uruguay—as it gains recognition for its “successful fight against COVID-19”—already had the skeleton of an emergency plan in place; the pandemic helped to flesh it out.

Uruguay isn’t often top of mind for average the American, so the fact that it is one of six countries to have successfully implemented the one laptop per child program (OLPC) offers essential food for thought: How couldn’t I have known about

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The human cost of a year of internet blackouts in Kashmir

Exactly a year ago, the Indian government scrapped the controversial Article 370 from the country’s constitution to strip the northernmost state of Jammu & Kashmir of its autonomy. With that, it also cut off internet access for millions of people in the region, with a view to maintaining law and order situation in the state.

It’s been a year since that day and internet connectivity, including broadband usage, has been restored in the region just a few months ago. However, mobile users still have to use 2G connectivity and there are frequent shutdowns that cut them off.

Here’s a look at how this has affected people in the region over the past year, as well as during the pandemic — and what it tells us about the power governments wield over people by controlling access to digital service

A history of Kashmir leading up to the scrapping of Article 370

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Trump moves on China apps may create new internet ‘firewall’

A ban by President Donald Trump’s administration on Chinese mobile apps such as TikTok and WeChat risks fragmenting an already fragile global internet and creating an American version of China’s “Great Firewall.”

Fears about the global internet ecosystem intensified this week with Trump’s executive orders banning the popular video app TikTok and Chinese social network WeChat, following a US government directive to prohibit the use of other “untrusted” applications and services from China.

The restrictions announced on the basis of what Trump called national security threats move further away from the long-promoted American ideal of a global, open internet and could invite other countries to follow suit, analysts said.

“It’s really an attempt to fragment the internet and the global information society along US and Chinese lines, and shut China out of the information economy,” said Milton Mueller, a Georgia Tech University professor and founder of the Internet Governance Project.

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How ‘cancel culture’ quickly became one of the buzziest and most controversial ideas on the internet

origins of cancel culture 2x1
origins of cancel culture 2×1

Samantha Lee/Insider

  • “Cancel culture,” or the idea that people too often pile onto others for bad behavior, emerged only in the past few years but has become a ubiquitous phrase among English speakers.

  • President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump have both criticized a culture of relentlessly calling people out for alleged wrongdoing. In an address at Mount Rushmore last month, Trump said it was “the very definition of totalitarianism.”

  • As social-media users decry cancel culture and poke fun at the criticism itself, the phrase has come to describe a wide variety of behaviors and their consequences.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a congressional antitrust hearing on July 29, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio had a specific question for Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Mr. Cook,” Jordan said, “is the ‘cancel culture’ mob dangerous?”

“Cancel culture,” which President Donald Trump last month called

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The FBI says that most serial killers and school shooters abused animals before they murdered people. In the internet age, that animal torture has found a devoted audience online.

Usually animal crush videos feature bugs or mice.
Usually animal crush videos feature bugs or mice.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

  • People around the world — including in the US — are making “animal crush” videos, an extreme version of torture porn in which animals are tortured and killed on video.

  • The making and distribution of these videos are illegal, and mostly exist on the dark web, but some slip through detection efforts on mainstream social media platforms.

  • Experts say that the people who make these videos have the characteristics of a budding serial killer. 

  • Those who watch them might get sexual pleasure out of pain. 

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Editor’s Note: This story contains graphic details about animal abuse and cruelty.

Many “animal crush” videos will start the same. 

A person whose identity is masked will hold up an animal, like a cat or dog, and pet them affectionately. 

An audience will get a chance to see

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A history of internet shutdowns in Africa and their impact on human rights

It’s broadly accepted that there’s a close relationship between development and access to information. One of the first economists to make the link was Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics.

Increasingly over the past two decades, the internet has been a major factor affecting the right to development. The United Nations definition of this right is that:

Every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development.

Today, all African countries have access to the internet, though the digital divide remains huge within and between countries.

In a recent research paper, one of us (Ilori), together with colleagues, examined the effect of network disruptions on human rights and democratic development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The paper concluded that internet shutdowns have impeded the right to development and posed threats to democratic

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Internet star Gabbie Hanna says YouTube has fostered a toxic environment where drama channels are encouraged to take down top creators

Gabbie Hanna's career as a Viner turned YouTuber took a dark turn over the past year.
Gabbie Hanna’s career as a Viner turned YouTuber took a dark turn over the past year.

Facebook/Gabbie Hanna

  • Internet personality Gabbie Hanna recently stoked controversy by fighting with friends, drama channels, and YouTube itself before deactivating her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

  • Hanna, who has over 6 million YouTube subscribers, also became a TikTok meme when users turned one of her rants into a sound bite.

  • In an interview with Insider, Hanna discussed her recent controversies, her mental health, and her relationship with YouTube.

  • Hanna said the platform had fostered a toxic environment where drama, commentary, and “tea” channels are incentivized to repeatedly tear down top creators.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Before her abrupt disappearance from the internet, Gabbie Hanna seemed as if she were living the influencer dream.

After beginning her online career in 2014 on the TikTok predecessor Vine, Hanna transitioned her audience to YouTube, where she

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How One Direction became the world’s first internet boyband

One Direction with fans in Japan as they promote 'The 1Derland: THIS IS US', 2013: Getty
One Direction with fans in Japan as they promote ‘The 1Derland: THIS IS US’, 2013: Getty

Ten years ago today, five teenage lads – Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Harry Styles – were thrown together in the audition stages of The X Factor. They were chosen for their singing ability, sure, but just as important were their bankable good looks and cheeky sensibilities. Somehow, One Direction only finished third – but as an army of online fans assembled and grew around them, the boyband became the first of their kind to have their enormous legacy documented in real time. By the time they disbanded in 2016, the most successful pop act to come out of Simon Cowell’s long-running series had sold in excess of 11 million records worldwide.

One Direction had a recruitment and promotional technique that no boyband before had ever utilised properly: the

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Haunted TikTok is the next evolution of internet horror

Haunted TikTok is the next evolution of internet horror
Haunted TikTok is the next evolution of internet horror

After hours of scrolling through endless TikToks of teens dancing, couples pranking each other, and dogs being cute — something on your For You Page stops you dead in your tracks.

Someone is walking around a dark, empty house, as text explains that their mom hasn’t come home. As they take us through their neighborhood, they realize it’s not just her — everyone has vanished overnight.

“Hey kinda serious here like my entire town is missing I’m not really sure what to do is this happening elsewhere?” the caption reads.

Clicking on the @where_is_everybody account (with over 240,000 followers), you discover someone named Alexander Nielsen has chronicled this phenomenon since October 2019. Each video shows more of this empty world, where people have been replaced by shadowy ghost figures.

After COVID-19 led to a wave of stay-at-home orders and widespread panic-buying

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A timeline of how the internet turned against the top YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star

Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star began collaborating in 2018 and have netted tens of millions of dollars together.
Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star began collaborating in 2018 and have netted tens of millions of dollars together.

Screenshot Instagram/@shanedawson, Twitter/@shanedawson

  • Shane Dawson disappeared under growing backlash against his old racist content, along with his conduct and statements regarding children and pedophiles that many deemed to be inappropriate.

  • Dawson’s explosive written response and video apology were drowned out by angry comments and exposé videos — which also targeted his frequent collaborator Jeffree Star.

  • Together, Dawson and Star have spent the past two years cultivating controversy for their own benefit, but the tide has now turned against them, and they’re losing friends and followers.

  • Notably, Dawson was called out by Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith, Target removed his books from shelves, and Morphe removed his and Jeffree Star’s makeup collections from stores.

  • On Saturday, Star posted a long-awaited video addressing the controversy. 

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On August

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