Instagram is killing its creepy stalking feature, the Following tab

Instagram is removing its Following tab, a feature that became better known as a stalking tool than one to aid with new account discovery, as the company had intended. Today, Instagram says that its Explore tab is the go-to place to find new people, places and hashtags to follow. Meanwhile, the Following tab is now only used by a small number of people on a regular basis. Combined, those factors were the key reasons behind its shutdown, we understand. But the Following tab wasn’t just unhelpful and therefore ignored by Instagram users — a number of people forgot, or never even knew, it existed in the first place. There are numerous stories of people’s illicit or private activities being outed …

Rapper Riff Raff Accused of Having Sex With High Schooler

Once a celebrated Vine stara kind of human meme, as two others have accused him of rape. But Regalbutos videos brought the issue to the surface once again. I mainly posted my one video just to get things off my chest but it blew up overnight, Regalbuto told The Daily Beast. When you hear other girls saying the same story, its sad but its also relieving, because its good to feel that youre not alone in a situation like this, she added. In a statement, Riff Raffs lawyer said he categorically denies these baseless allegations of a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. The artist, whose real name is Horst Simco, has previously denied all other allegations of sexual misconduct. Regalbuto …

Facebook Dating launches in the US, adds Instagram integration

Are Americans ready to trust Facebook with their dating life? Barely more than a month has passed since the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook a record $5 billion over its privacy lapses, and imposed a modified corporate structure to hold the company more accountable for its decisions over user privacy. In the wake of this historic action, Facebook’s brand-new dating product is today launching to all in the U.S., promising to leverage the company’s deep insight into people’s personal data to deliver better matches than rival dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Match and others. With its U.S. arrival, Facebook Dating will now also allow users to integrate their Instagram posts in their dating profile and add their Instagram followers …

Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia Universitys Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT as well), mostly nonreligious and skeptical people like me, about their struggles to figure out what it means to build a meaningful career and a satisfying life, in a world full of insecurity, instability, and divisiveness of every kind. In related news, I recently took a year-long paid sabbatical from my work at Harvard and MIT, to spend 2019-20 investigating the ethics of technology and …

An inside look at the startup behind Ashton Kutchers weird tweets

In 2017, Matthew Peltier walked barefoot into a pitch meeting with venture capitalists. Young, male, man bun intact, he certainly resembled the stereotypical successful entrepreneur, but it was his startup, an app designed to bring social media stars and their fans into conversation, that drew skepticism. Shimmur, as it was called, ultimately succeeded in raising about $7 million from Greycroft, Arena Ventures, Luma Launch, Right Side Capital Management and Techstars, according to PitchBook, but the business never took off. That is until a pivot to direct messaging in 2018 attracted the support of Hollywood talent manager Guy Oseary and his Sound Ventures investment partner Ashton Kutcher, who jumped on board to relaunch Shimmur, now known as Community. The Santa Monica-based …

Week-in-Review: Googles never-ending autonomous road trip

Hello, weekend readers. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how Alexa wasn’t forgetting what you requested because that data was more valuable than one might think. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images The big story In thinking about what to highlight in this week’s newsletter, I was tempted to talk about Zoom and Apple and Superhuman and the idea that secure communications can get screwed up when consent is bypassed, and I’m sure that’s something I’ll dig into down the road, but …