The Download: Open source censorship in China, and US kids are more anxious than ever

Earlier this month, thousands upon thousands of Chinese software developers woke up to discover that their open-source code on Gitee (a state-backed Chinese competitor) had been locked and hidden from the public.

Gitee issued a statement later in the day explaining that the locked source code was being manually reviewed. All open-source code must be approved before it can be published. It wrote that the company had no choice. Gitee did not respond to MIT Technology Review. However, it is widely believed that the Chinese government had imposed another layer of heavy-handed censorship.

This is a shocking move for the open-source community in China that celebrates transparency, global collaboration, and transparency. Code was supposed not to be political. These developers fear that it will discourage people from contributing open-source projects and China’s software industry could suffer. Read more .

–Zeyi Yang

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 America’s children are more anxious than ever
And it runs deeper than the pandemic. (NYT $)
The relentless stream of bad news is making us all feel bad. (Wired $)
How to mend your broken pandemic brain. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Digital surveillance programs make immigrants feel like prisoners
They’re touted as a more humane alternative to detention, but ankle tags carry stigma and stoke anxiety. (Coda Story)
The CIA and US military are spending huge amounts of money on metaverse projects. (The Intercept)

3 The Wikipedia editor exposing the predatory world of cryptomania
That doesn’t mean she’s reveling in its current implosion. (WP $) Six months into the crypto crash, investors are making the same mistakes. (Motherboard)
Fraudsters are using a deepfake of Elon Musk to steal crypto. (Motherboard)
This crypto reality dating show sounds like a parody of itself.
(Input Mag)

4 A new ancestry-predicting DNA tool is solving missing-people mysteries
But experts are wary that DNA phenotyping could further fuel racial discrimination in policing. (NYT $)
Our museums are a treasure trove of genomic data. (Ars Technica)

5 Peter Thiel is bankrolling Trumpian Republicans in the midterm elections
The vast fortune he’s amassed in tech is proving highly influential in crowning the party’s next leader. (The Guardian)

6 Logistics companies are using tracking tech to stop thieves stealing baby formula
The nationwide shortage has made infant formula a highly-prized target. (WSJ $) The scarcity isn’t showing any signs of letting up. (New Yorker $)
The baby formula shortage has birthed a shady online marketplace. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Decarbonizing climate change projects are gathering steam
Pulling carbon from the sky and locking it in mountains might be one way to do it. (Spectrum IEEE)
Carbon removal hype is becoming a dangerous distraction. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Virtual reality is enchanting Nigeria’s care home residents

Dance and music therapy sessions provide them with a portal to other worlds. (The Guardian)

9 How a mathematical formula can make you a better Wordle player
Hint: you may have to guess words you know aren’t the answer. (Quanta)

10 The internet is a love language
Sharing articles, posts and memes is a foundation of many modern relationships. (The Atlantic $)

Quote of the day

“I have nothing left, not even a penny.”

–Mudasir, a crypto investor from Pakistan, tells Rest of World how they lost everything after buying TerraUSD, a stablecoin which has plummeted in the past fortnight.

The big story

Uyghurs outside China are traumatized. Now they’re starting to talk about it

June 2021

The Uyghur diaspora has been forced to watch as their loved ones disappear, and their way of life is destroyed. Leaders in the diaspora claim that the trauma has created a mental health crisis.

Many are reluctant to seek help, leaving the community with unmet needs. A small group of Uyghurs are trying to change this. They use social media to start conversations about grief, mental health, and connect people across the country with volunteer counselors through telehealth. Its creators hope it will foster resilience in the diaspora and provide a lifeline for a community in its darkest hours. Read the full story.

–Andrew McCormick

We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. Have any other ideas? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me. )

This cat version of Seven Nation Army is exactly what we need on a Monday.
Improve the speed and accuracy of your typing by practicing on your favorite classic literature with this website–how many words per minute can you reach?
The Fifth Element did a surprisingly good job of predicting the future (kinda. )
Here’s some of the fun ways in which TikTok has wholeheartedly embraced Harry Styles’ new album. Artist Kelsey Oseid created a tiny museum-like diorama in her wall, and it’s wonderful. (Thanks Danny! )

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