Category Archives: ethics

Lush has no regrets about quitting Instagram and Facebook

It was a tough sell internally. Its leadership team was quickly on board, but individuals working at the brand were forced to reckon with their personal social media use, and that took time. Now, as Baker looks at the implosion of Twitter, Meta’s share-price meltdown and the increasing government scrutiny over TikTok’s data policies, she feels vindicated. “People can see why we came off now,” she says.

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2022/11/28/people-see-why-we-came-now-lush-has-no-regrets-about-quitting-instagram-and-facebook

Tencent wants you to pay with your palm. What could go wrong?

That’s where Tencent is stepping in. The new tech is undoubtedly appealing as the company competes with Alipay for dominance. And as China continues to grapple with ongoing zero-covid policies that mean people still wear masks and avoid physical contact, allowing people to pay by waving their hands up to a few inches from the camera seems preferable to facial or fingerprint recognition. So by offering users small cash incentives in exchange for their participation and data, Tencent is one step closer to spreading the use of palm-print recognition through everyday life—and on a truly massive scale. 

https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/11/15/1063218/whats-next-biometrics-palm-print-recognition-tencent-we-chat-pay/

America May Not Be Ready for the Looming Tsunami of Deepfakes

Americans may not be ready for this tsunami wave of deepfakes. In our recent research, subjects struggled to distinguish between deepfakes and authentic videos. When we randomly assigned a set of deepfake and authentic videos to more than 2,000 individuals and asked them to pick the deepfake, our test subjects were wrong over one-third of the time. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the social media savviness of American youth, middle school students outperformed adults, including the educators who might be responsible for helping them learn key skills to avoid online misinformation. Even computer science students at a top U.S. engineering university were susceptible: They were unable to sort out deepfakes from authentic videos more than 20 percent of the time.

https://www.rand.org/blog/2022/11/america-may-not-be-ready-for-the-looming-tsunami.html?utm_campaign=&utm_content=1669147501&utm_medium=rand_social&utm_source=linkedin

Brutalist beauty

Grotesque art is a slippery category that can be traced back to ancient Roman paintings, which first merged the human form with animals. Throughout history, grotesquery has embodied the anti-beauty aesthetic that pushes conventional boundaries and showcases the allure of extreme transformations. More recently, drag artists have been pioneers of what’s become grotesque content online — it’s partly why The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula show is so popular — and, while it’s not being painted across elaborate ceilings today, the movement still lingers through pimple-popping videos and extreme beauty tutorials

https://i-d.vice.com/en/article/g5v3bj/grotesque-social-media-trend

The Future of the Amazon, and Maybe the Planet, Depends on Brazil’s President-Elect Lula

I asked Lula about the path to zero deforestation, and suggested that his “moral responsibility” was huge. “People around the world are expecting you not only to save the Amazon but to save the world,” I said. He nodded, then raised his voice and said, “Yes, I know, and that scares me, because people are very optimistic about our government. I spoke to President Biden, and I just spoke to Josep Borrell,” the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. “People are expecting that something will change, and it will change. As for the question of the Amazon, I intend, in Egypt, to make a speech to show what the Amazon will be from now on. We don’t want to transform the Amazon into a sanctuary for humanity. What we want is to study, to research the Amazon. Nor should it be a place where you cut down a tree for no reason. If you want to make a lumber factory, you should have a policy of afforestation, to plant new trees, so that later you can cut them down. There has to be a replacement plan.”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-future-of-the-amazon-and-maybe-the-planet-depends-on-brazils-president-elect-lula

Clean Beauty Is Booming, and Black Consumers Fear Being Left Behind

“It felt like this entire category had really been left behind,” said Heim, who went on to launch her own clean hair care brand for Black women, Bread Beauty Supply. “Beauty was making strides and progressing, and this category felt like it was ten, twenty years behind.” 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-11/clean-beauty-is-booming-and-black-consumers-fear-being-left-behind

How ‘Dupe’ Culture Took Over Online Fashion

TikTok has sped up fashion cycles — and helped push inexpensive knockoffs onto the market in record time


https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/dupe-culture-fast-fashion-tiktok-1234591964/ (Rolling Stone/paywall)

Inside TikTok’s Controversial Dupe Culture (Byrdie)

The case against dupe culture (QJ)

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=duped

Nest Fosters Upcycling in Artisan and Fashion Production

While the industry pivots toward sustainability, innovative solutions beyond upcycled designs are emerging to combat its environmental impacts. In addition to supporting upcycling collaborations, Nest is launching a more scalable solution with Queen of Raw, a digital platform for buying and selling deadstock fabric. In response to the vast amounts of excess fabric reported to be sitting in warehouses around the world (worth more than $120 billion USD), the founders launched an online marketplace where brands can offload these materials and anyone from makers to small brands can purchase them at a reduced price. The intent is to prevent these textiles from being burned, buried, shredded or otherwise destroyed by enabling them to be upcycled into other products.

https://www.buildanest.org/nest-fosters-upcycling-in-artisan-and-fashion-production/