A local news story that became an unexpected viral hit is used as a way to examine the algorithm that influences what people see on Facebook, a place where many people (43% of American adults per the Pew Research Center) continue to get their news.
Fan Bingbing is one of the most recognisable faces in China’s movie industry. So it sent huge ripples through the entertainment world when, for a part of 2018, she disappeared. The story highlights the tightrope on which many of China’s new elite walk – “You play ball, or you are screwed. So you play ball.”
The premise of this piece is extraordinary – the discovery of “a precise geological transcript of the most important sixty minutes of Earth’s history” – that is to say the wave of destruction caused by the asteroid that hit sixty-six million years ago, an event that wiped out 99.9999% of all living organisms on the planet.