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Meme stocks for everyone!

Meme stocks for everyone!

Good morning! This Sunday, here's your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from the most important GameStop stories to a sci-fi look at the future of war.

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THE BEST OF PROTOCOL

What Robinhood got wrong, by Ben Pimentel

Misogyny at Alibaba and Baidu: The struggle of China's female tech execs, by Shen Lu

  • Did you subscribe to Protocol | China yet? If not, you're missing out. This story, about the Chinese tech giants that say one thing about gender equality and often do something very different, is an eye-opening look into a tech culture most people don't understand.

Tesla vs. Mustang: The future of Ford is here. To succeed, it needs to shake off its past, by Mike Murphy

  • A strange feature of the future of cars is that it's only in part about the cars. Mike took the (awesome, beautiful, fun) electric Mustang on a weekend-long journey, and found that way too much of that journey was spent waiting for the car to charge. Or looking for a charger. "It's like an HMO network," Mike wrote, "but for powering your car."

Bilibili grew one of China's biggest esports businesses. Now it has to wrangle with Tencent, by Zeyi Yang

  • It happens to lots of companies: You start small, things go well, you grow big, hurray! But then, suddenly, the giants take notice of you. You go from curiosity to competitor. That's what happened to Bilibili, which has become one of China's most successful esports companies. It's on fire, and that means it has to reckon with Tencent.

What Tracy Chou learned about online harassment while building an app to solve it, by Anna Kramer

  • Tracy Chou is trying to give users control over the way they're treated online. In the process, she's been subject to precisely the kind of harassment she's hoping to help get rid of. But her approach with Block Party — which relies less on algorithms and more on tools that let users curate their experience — seems to be working.

A PR screwup draws unwanted attention to Google's Saudi data centers, by Issie Lapowsky

  • This week in own goals: Google announced that it was expanding its cloud network in countries including Saudi Arabia, and used Snap as a testimonial excitedly proclaiming the future. Snap didn't like that association, and now Google's facing new questions about how and why it plans to operate in Saudi Arabia in the first place.

A MESSAGE FROM SLACK

Slack

Why sales teams at Box and Segment rely on Slack to build stronger customer relationships and seal deals faster.

Read how sales organizations at Box and Segment are harnessing the power of channel-based messaging to keep communication strong, seal deals and streamline the sales cycle when everyone is remote.

Read more

THE BEST OF EVERYTHING ELSE

Keith Gill drove the GameStop Reddit mania. He talked to the Journal — The Wall Street Journal

  • I almost made this whole section about GameStop. There's just so much good stuff to read. (This CNN profile of WallStreetBets is terrific, as is this WSJ interview with its creator and this NYT story about why things like this keep happening.) But to understand what's going on here is really to understand one man: Keith Gill, a.k.a. Roaring Kitty, a.k.a. u/DeepFuckingValue. He is at the center of this, and doesn't see it the way you'd expect.

A vast web of vengeance — The New York Times

  • We often talk about Section 230, online privacy and the like as abstract topics ripe for intellectual debate about good and evil. This is a genuinely unforgettable story about what happens when those issues get really, really real in people's lives.

Nextdoor is quietly replacing the small-town paper — OneZero

  • Every night before bed, my wife reads Nextdoor. Partly out of a sense of civic duty to understand local issues, but mostly because Nextdoor is full of great gossip, important stories and really messy conversations about everything from race to housing to education. Is this the future of media?

The battle inside Signal — The Verge

  • It's really easy to be the good guys when nobody uses your app. But when suddenly tens of millions of new users come aboard — demanding new features and overrunning your infrastructure and creating problems you never even thought about — doing the right thing becomes more challenging. Even when you're Signal.

Has the pandemic transformed the office forever? — The New Yorker

  • This question comes up all the time, in sort of an intellectual, rhetorical way. But this story drills down to the particular and the architectural, trying to map out, square foot by square foot, what the future of the office actually looks like. The office isn't going away, but it's never coming back quite the same way either.

"2034," Part I: Peril in the South China Sea — Wired

  • We don't usually talk about fiction here, but this story — an excerpt from the upcoming book "2034: A Novel of the Next World War" — is the kind of all-too-real-seeming tale that often winds up affecting the way people think about tech. That alone makes it worth a read.

A MESSAGE FROM SLACK

Slack

Why sales teams at Box and Segment rely on Slack to build stronger customer relationships and seal deals faster.

Read how sales organizations at Box and Segment are harnessing the power of channel-based messaging to keep communication strong, seal deals and streamline the sales cycle when everyone is remote.

Read more

Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to david@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day; see you tomorrow.

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