Britney Spears, Donald Trump, GIFs, and Your Bank Account: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today we have stories about Donald Trump defeating the GOP and Britney Spears’ mental health, as well as a terrifying meditation on cybersecurity. Lastly, a profile of Giphy, the company that’s managed to turn the art of gif-making into a business.

Motherboard reporter Sarah Jeong offered an anecdote about how an identity thief recently drained her bank account and worked up more than $800,000 in debt in her name. Despite the fact that Jeong, who covers cybersecurity, knows all the things people should do to keep their themselves safe from hackers, the reality is that knowing how to protect yourself isn’t enough.

Like any journalist who reports on security and privacy, I am an exceedingly paranoid person. This is not the same thing as careful or secure. I know just enough about computers to be dreadfully afraid, but I’m not knowledgeable or disciplined enough to actually take care of myself. I live day-to-day in a permanent miasma of fear, calculating my risk every time I download an app, connect to a new wifi network, or visit a site with an out-of-date HTTPS config.

Backchannel profiled Gif-sharing platform Giphy, which has a plan to corner the market on moving images, and basically win the internet.

If Giphy succeeds, it could represent a massive shift in the way GIFs are produced and shared, effectively moving GIFs from a mostly bottom-up expression of the Internet counterculture to a mostly top-down product led by the marketing agendas of big media companies and brands. While Giphy has not begun working officially with brands or sponsored content, it’s not hard to see how it might turn on the taps once the plumbing has been laid.

The New York Times reported on the mental recovery of Britney Spears, who has spent nearly a decade under the stewardship of legal guardians because drug addiction and an “undisclosed mental illness” made her incapable of managing her own life.

According to the arrangement, which is typically used to protect the old, the mentally disabled or the extremely ill, Ms. Spears cannot make key decisions, personal or financial, without the approval of her conservators: her father, Jamie Spears, and a lawyer, Andrew M. Wallet. Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control. While the conservators are widely credited with rescuing Ms. Spears’s career — and her life — her apparent stability and success could belie the need for continuing restrictions.

Finally, with Donald Trump’s Indiana primary win Tuesday night, along with Kasich and Cruz withdrawing from the race, he has effectively won the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The Atlantic explains why this may truly be the end for the Republican establishment, and how we got here.

But unity may not be so easily summoned. As Trump’s hostile takeover of the party drew to a close, many of its leaders, particularly members of the conservative intelligentsia, were in revolt. George Will had denounced “collaborationists” who sided with Trump, branding them “ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.” David Brooks had proclaimed “a Joe McCarthy moment,” adding, “People will be judged by where they stood at this time.” They had stood athwart Trump’s nomination, yelling, “Stop!”—but the Republican voters had ignored them, and now they feared their party was lost.