Latest At Large headlines

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

What we talk about when we talk about #BagelBoss

One viral video seems to contain a dozen stories at the same time.

Credit: Lesley Becker/Globe Staff; Adobe

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In Facebook groups, becoming who you aren’t

Yes, we’re the great pretenders.

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Finding human connection (and filthy sofas) in Craigslist’s Free Stuff

What’s at that bottom of one of my longest-enduring Internet fascinations.

CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed why YouTube isn’t removing abusive content.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

Online and off, Pride Month is off to a rocky start

Some of the most threatening attacks against LGBTQ folks happen in virtual space.

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Dancing on iTunes’ grave

The app turned the simple joys of blithely browsing through and adding to one’s music collection into something more like a sequence of tiny tortures. 

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

Altered videos of Nancy Pelosi are a glimpse of things to come

In a new era of weaponized reality, we will all need to scrutinize everything we see.

Audio cassette

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Gen-X’s 25th reunion

Can a generation united only by its shrugging consensus that reality bites truly be called on to repair anything?

James Charles (pictured) and his former BFF and mentor Tati Westbrook got into an Internet spat.

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

James Charles vs. Tati Westbrook — and the art of online feud

How the Internet elevated the art of strangers fighting

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What do the presidential candidates’ logos say about them?

They may still be figuring out what they want to say to the American people, but they sure know what font they’d like to say it in. 


Cute meme alert

The weird journey of “feeling cute, might delete later.”

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

Alternate reality: the kinder, gentler artifice of ‘Terrace House’

This franchise of Japanese reality shows may resemble American reality TV on the surface. But look closely, and it’s a contemplative retreat — an exercise in watching, listening, and learning. 

A white nationalist holds a phone while marching during the “Unite the Right 2” rally on Aug. 12, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

Facebook’s ban on white supremacy only scratches the surface

The social media giant has been utterly ineffectual in stopping, stemming, or even stalling the spread of hate groups and their rhetoric across the platform in the United States and the world.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

In praise of ‘no one’ on Twitter

A meme gives me hope . . . (not that you asked).

(FILES) This illustration file picture shows the US social media Facebook logo displayed on a tablet in Paris on February 17, 2019. - Facebook's feature allowing users to erase all their data is set to be released this year, many months after it was announced by the leading social network.David Wehner, Facebook's chief financial officer, said in comments February 26, 2019 at a Morgan Stanley technology conference that the company is planning to roll out the feature that was announced last May amid heightened scrutiny over Facebook's privacy. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

@ Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

Dealing with downtime

When Facebook just goes kaput it becomes quickly clear (and quite concerning) just how hard-wired we are to it. 

Adobe/globe staff illustration

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

The #MomoChallenge, and the bigger problem with YouTube  

Real or hoax, the controversy is the latest reminder of how YouTube lets us follow the paths tread by each other’s clicks into some of the Internet’s darkest corners.

@large | Michael Andor Brodeur

Private practice: Is it too late for Facebook to change?

This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg turned heads with a rambler of a blog post that laid out his latest plan.

@large | michael andor brodeur

It’s time to remove Alec Baldwin from office as fake president

The case for impeaching the POTUS of “Saturday Night Live.”

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

In loving memory of the third person

Online, it was the coy mode through which millions of us introduced ourselves to the Internet. And looking back, it also signals a critical transition in the way we expressed (and regarded) ourselves.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

As Facebook becomes harder to escape, it becomes easier to leave 

And as even longtime users contemplate an exit, rival apps are capitalizing on the one thing Facebook lacks: focus.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

That Covington Catholic video, and how smirks work

We might be afraid to say how we really feel about each other in America, but it’s written all over our face. 

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

How memes help the Internet stay human

Humor — especially opaque, absurd humor — has long been one of humanity’s go-to methods for reclaiming its bearings in uncertain times.

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

How bad is Washington at technology?

Democracy has never been more in need of a help desk.

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Researchers are developing artificial intelligence that can detect moods, sarcasm, even mental illness

People who develop AI are working to get computers to be more human — even as computers seem to be robbing us of our humanity.

Louis C.K.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

Louis C.K.’s spectacular return to unfunny

C.K.’s new groove sure feels more like a rut.

@large | Michael Andor Brodeur

Low resolutions

Kicking some nasty tech habits in 2019.


Our memes, our selves

From “white caller crime” (think Permit Patty) to the Tide Pod Craze, a look at the biggest memes of 2018.

Lea Delaria recently went viral defending her use of “queer” as an “all-encompassing” description.

Michael Andor Brodeur | @Large

Social media is requeering me

As social media cracks down on content, a contentious word gets rebooted.

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

The Internet: Too fast, too furious

Is more friction what the Internet needs?

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

Social media doesn’t just divide us from each other

There’s a deeper division that comes with submitting one’s self to social media; one that splits us from the inside.

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

When Trump says ‘It is what it is’

A benign expression goes rogue.

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

What the Oxford Word of the Year list says in no certain terms

Reading between the lines of the Oxford Dictionary’s shortlist.


What would life without ‘likes’ look like? 

Would we interact the same way (if at all) without the ability to click that button?

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Can smarter design make a nicer Internet?

Endless and wild as the Internet may seem, it’s the forms we force it into that define its character. 

From left: Azealia Banks, Lana del Rey, and Iggy Azalea


Stars’ online beefs make pop music even worse

Lana Del Rey, Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea put spats in the spotlight.

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

Trump, Kavanaugh, cruelty, and laughter

How cruelty became a punch line.

Group therapy: Facebook groups have become the best way to process Facebook 

How Facebook groups have become the best way to process Facebook. 

@large | Michael Andor Brodeur

That hand symbol you’re seeing everywhere? Not OK

It’s a cheery, neighborly, borderline bumpkiny way to signal interpersonal affirmation, so naturally it’s been co-opted by racist trolls. 


With selfies, is this a snapping point?

Have we reached peak selfie? 

People walk by a Nike advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick on display, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2018 in New York.


The fire this time

The burning of a Nike taps into a long tradition of Americans gathered in circles around fires to change the world within eyeshot — burning witches, burning books, burning crosses, burning their neighbors.

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

Are Mastodon and Gab here to help or hurt? 

Staying on Twitter means suffering its fools; but does leaving it mean picking sides? 

An episode of “TKO: Total Knock Out” on CBS.

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

Oh, the de-humanity! Reality TV takes a cold turn.

Should we be concerned that hurting each other is trending? That dehumanization is rebranding as entertainment?

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

How social-media sharing amplifies what we want to hear — and what we don’t

Like a virus, awareness of news spreads indifferently through contact. And this is a condition capitalized on by conspiracy theorists.

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

Deleted tweets, removed records, and our disposable past

Scale our throwaway perceptions of the past up to places of power, and it becomes a major structural risk: It becomes less about shaping an image than shaping reality.

Hannah Gadsby in “Nanette.”

@LARGE | Michael Andor Brodeur

‘Nanette,’ Sacha Baron Cohen, and the limits of laughter

Coming to comedy in unfunny times.


America in profile (pics)

When facing off on social media, it’s hard to see one another.

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

The official language of the US? It’s euphemism

The border child-separation controversy offers an uncomfortable look at how Americans say the unspeakable.

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

In a lonely place, with Trump

Maybe the president is just lonely? He sure acts like it. But what’s scarier is that he is operating from the same place many of us do when we log online.


Spotify’s Discover playlist feels like a trusted friend, but can you trust it?

The Discover Weekly algorithms can send listeners into something like a feedback loop. And that’s a problem.


The wolverine and the birthday: a Roseanne Barr parable

A canceled sitcom, a firestorm of outrage, and a question: Why do we keep hiring wolverines to do jobs better suited to clowns?

@Large | Michael Andor Brodeur

The death of the acquaintance in the Facebook era

Old-fashioned acquaintanceships were founded upon simple criteria like proximity and courtesy. But Facebook friendships erode those buffers our real lives install for us.