Today I have for you some social media news, an interview with an LGBTQ+ author on his inspiring new nonfiction book and a roundup of hot links.

—Nick Wolny

In ‘Morally Straight,’ Mike De Socio chronicles the Boy Scouts’ LGBTQ reckoning

My friend and journalism colleague Mike De Socio debuted his new book this week, and it's a stunner.

Scouting has been one of America's most popular youth programs for decades. The Boy Scouts of America, which recently renamed itself to Scouting America, had over 2 million participants between the ages of 5 and 21 in 2018.

But beginning in the 1970s, pressure campaigns led the BSA to establish anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments in its policies, including a directive that scouts aspire to be “morally straight.” The resulting decades-long battle led to extensive activism, vitriol, and eventually massive legal judgments against the BSA, forcing them into bankruptcy.

Mike chronicled all of this history and more in his new book. I interviewed him back in April about it, and the story goes up today -- give it a read over on Medium.

🔗 Read on Medium (friend link)

Instagram is testing unskippable ads

Picture this: You're scrolling along on social media, and then everything stops and you have to watch an ad in order to continue browsing. Would you stay or would you go?

Instagram wants to find out. The company is beta-testing unscrollable ads that would appear in feed. Screenshots from users experiencing the beta test show an ad break icon with a countdown timer, showing how long you have to watch the ad before you can continue, similar to how YouTube works.

Some consumers don't like it and have taken to conversational platforms like X and Reddit to air out their grievances. But the stickiness of social media might make this a lucrative move for Meta-owned Instagram, which has become an advertising cash cow in recent years. And the Instagram feed has changed a lot recently; nearly half of a user's feed is AI-recommended content from unfollowed profiles.

If you're a mindless doomscroller, this forced video ad break might actually be good for you.

🔗 Read at TechCrunch

Reading Is Fundamental

Online business industry

Descript released Underlord, an AI Editor for videos and podcasts. (Descript)

X tweaked its rules to formally allow adult content. The conditions are that the activity is consensual and legal, but that can be hard to prove. (TechCrunch)

Stop With the MLMs Already. Watch Out for This Predatory New Instagram and TikTok Scam. Nice piece from Latina money expert Jannese Torres on how to read between the lines in the online business industry. (CNET)

When being “first” is not a competitive advantage. (A Smart Bear)



After raising $100M, AI fintech LoanSnap is being sued, fined, evicted. Oops! (TechCrunch)

E*Trade Considers Kicking Meme-Stock Leader Keith Gill Off Platform. The meme stock trader is the mastermind behind juicing GameStop's prices. (The Wall Street Journal)

Need a catch-up? Here are the key milestones in the latest GameStop frenzy. (Reuters)

From Friends to Foes: A new survey found money ruins 1 in 5 friendships. (Bread Financial)

How to simplify or avoid the probate process. If you don't have a will and trust, your loved ones often end up having to endure probate court when you die, and no one wants that. (Rocket Lawyer)


AI and future tech

OpenAI fixed an issue that caused ChatGPT outage for several hours. (TechCrunch)

Embattled robotaxi company Cruise will begin testing service in Dallas with human drivers in its vehicles. Some nuance here is that the state of Texas controls the laws regarding AVs, not the cities. (Axios)

Elon Musk directed Nvidia to reroute $500 million in processing chips to X ahead of Tesla, likely delaying innovation efforts by several months. The move raises ethical questions regarding a CEO's ability to route resources intended for a publicly-traded company to a private one. (CNBC)

AI is imitating the dead and dying, raising new questions about grieving. Griefbots are becoming a thing now. (AP News)



Ernst and Young released a “US LGBTQ+ Workplace Barometer“ whitepaper. (EY)

Tinder is adding “pride badges.” The badges let users communicate their relationship to Pride month with things like “came out online,” “ally,” and more. (Tinder newsroom)

Professional wrestler Bulk Bronson receives “overwhelming” support after coming out as bisexual. Love an alliterated stage name. (LGBTQ Nation)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that the government discriminated against a government employee when they denied him gender-affirming healthcare. The prison employee, Marc Lawrence, had been appealing for eight years regarding the incident, which happened in 2013. (LGBTQ Nation)


Are you playing Coffee Golf yet? I AM OBSESSED.

The game is free and uses haptic feedback. It has a daily game as well as a map to navigate over time -- kinda like Candy Crush. This gay knows what the wedge does now! ⛳️

Download Coffee Golf for free on the App Store here or the Google Play store here. It takes a moment to get used to, but once you find your bearings you'll be hooked.

Cheering you on,