DJ Khaled’s Journey Before Snapchat, and 4 Other Stories You Should Read

By Contently January 31st, 2016

Here’s what you missed while you spent the week following Kanye and Wiz Khalifa’s Twitter beef way too closely…

Bloomberg: Inside Facebook’s Decision to Blow Up the Like Button

Selected by Ann Fabens-Lassen, communications manager

On the surface, this is an article about Facebook’s new “reactions” feature, which will allow users to respond to Facebook posts with five emotions rather than just the traditional like. But the article is really about Chris Cox, the company’s chief product officer and Mark Zuckerberg’s bestie.

As the article explains, “He’s probably the closest thing Internet users have to an editor-in-chief of their digital life.” So who is this dude? Apparently, he “moonlights as a keyboard player in a reggae band, dresses fashionably, usually leaving a button open on the top of his neatly tailored work shirts.” It wasn’t what I was expecting, but this story is a really interesting longform piece about someone most people have never heard of who’s having a huge impact on the world.

Ad Age: #WomenNotObjects Ignites Crucial Advertising Industry Conversation

Selected by Erin Nelson, marketing editor

What’s more likely to bring attention to gender objectification than beautiful women holding up ads that present other women as objects, paired with ironic statements about things they love to do? Example: “I love to give blow jobs to sandwiches,” in reference to a Burger King ad in which the model appears ready to seductively eat a sandwich.

The answer is not much.

In her recent video #WomenNotObjects, Madonna Badger, principal at Badger & Winters, uses vulgar images and blunt irony to demonstrate just how ludicrous female objectification has become in advertising. Ad Age gives a rundown of the response from celebrities, international organizations, and the brands themselves. But mostly, this is worth reading and watching because you get to witness some kick-ass chicks bring shame to these ads while making a call to arms to the advertising industry.

Miami New Times: DJ Khaled’s Journey of Success Started Long Before Snapchat

Selected by Sam Slaughter, VP of content

Kicker of the week goes to this fascinating story about the rise of DJ Khaled, who went from working in a New Orleans record store to international fame.

Quoting famed First Amendment activist Luther Campbell: “Oh, so he’s back to selling? Like the booster phones. He’s going back to his f*cking roots. Let me tell you, if that’s what he’s doing, shit, he could make a billion dollars. This dude could sell ice to an Eskimo.”

Grist: Forget energy storage. We can go renewable without it, scientists say

Selected by Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief

An article that combines two of my favorite subjects—climate change and day drinking:

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association researchers behind this new study say that we could reduce CO2 emissions from the electricity sector by between 33 and 78 percent, relative to 1990 levels, by 2030 without energy storage. All we have to do, they say, is apply the same logic that we do to justify drinking at odd hours of the day. That is — it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, and it’s always windy or sunny somewhere too.

Wired: Inside Facebook’s Ambitious Plan to Connect the Whole World

Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor

Of all the tech stories out there, I think the saga of Facebook’s Internet.org and Google’s Project Loon may be the most interesting. Both companies, without consent from anyone, have decided to make connecting the world to the Internet a top priority—and they’re using drones, lasers, high-tech air balloons, and a boatload of lobbyists to do it.

Zuckerberg has made Internet.org the defining goal of his life, as this article makes clear: “For Zuckerberg, Internet.org is more than just a business initiative or a philanthropic endeavor: He considers connecting people to be his life’s work, the legacy for which he hopes to one day be remembered, and this effort is at its core.”

It sounds noble, but his and Google’s efforts have not been without their critics. While both claim positions of sanctity, the underlying profit incentive is obvious: Google and Facebook want the developing world’s Internet to run through their platforms. Reading between the lines to see if this is the company’s true intentions—and whether that even matters, or if we could even stop them if we decided it did—will be an evolving question.

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