WeeklyTech #150

Yelp jumps into abortion politics – and hurts women searching for help with pregnancies

Yelp has chosen abortion activism over accuracy in its latest move. The technology company announced last month that it would recategorize pregnancy resource centers and other faith-based medical clinics on their platforms to distinguish them from abortion clinics.

However, the problematic language Yelp has applied mislabels many clinics, introducing doubt and creating confusion in the minds of those seeking help for an unplanned pregnancy.

The company’s decision-making is clearly partisan and runs against Yelp’s own corporate values of telling the truth, treating others with respect and valuing diversity in viewpoints. Yelp is risking the trust of communities and consumers with its new labeling policy.

Yelp’s label isn’t clear about clinics’ work

Under the auspice of providing “reliable information” to users, Yelp placed warnings on such listings by stating that crisis pregnancy centers “typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite,” without attempting to discern the reality of what these clinics might offer or the qualifications of those who work there.

Leaders at Yelp announced these labels as part of their commitment to support “access to reproductive healthcare for our employees, underserved communities, and our users.”

These changes came amid growing pressure on tech companies from some government leaders and employees to ensure access to abortion services after this summer’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. But unlike Google’s recent shifts in how pregnancy resource centers and faith-based clinics are displayed on their platforms, Yelp has decided to blanketly apply misleading labels rather than to provide clear and honest information.

The Rundown

Does Ideology Shape Community, or Community Shape Ideology? – David French | The Dispatch

I’ve been extremely interested in why so many Americans can look at each other and ask, with complete sincerity, “What happened to you?” As a lifelong Republican turned independent, I get that question quite a bit. I know that Trump Republicans get that same question from their Never Trump friends. “We used to be so aligned. What happened?”

Google’s Revolution in Historical Research – Philip Jenkins | Anxious Bench

I research and publish a lot in history. The more I do, the more struck I am – astounded would be a better word – at the revolution wrought by Google and other search engines. Literally, they allow you to find things that a hundred well-trained and -funded research assistants could never have dug up just a couple of decades ago. Having said that, there is a certain art in using this resource. Excuse me if I am stating the obvious in what follows!

An A.I.-Generated Picture Won an Art Prize. Artists Aren’t Happy. – Kevin Roose | The New York Times

This year, the Colorado State Fair’s annual art competition gave out prizes in all the usual categories: painting, quilting, sculpture. But one entrant, Jason M. Allen of Pueblo West, Colo., didn’t make his entry with a brush or a lump of clay. He created it with Midjourney, an artificial intelligence program that turns lines of text into hyper-realistic graphics.

This Is the Apple Way – Klon Kitchen | The Dispatch

Yesterday, Apple announced new phones, new watches, new earphones, and new services—all of which look awesome. The company continues to be an innovation and economic juggernaut, with more than $94.7 billion in profits on revenues of $365.8 billion last year, and a total net worth of more than $2 trillion. But that’s not the only news made by the company this week.