Ripping out the IV drip of the news feed

Su Hang
Friday, 9 April 2021

To paraphrase Tognazzini, the default is what we've accepted right before the technocrats stole our powers to self-determination.

It's a bit of a mystery how we came to use the word default to mean: the standard fall-back option in the absence of an explicitly declared choice. But one can guess: its Latin roots, de 'away' + fallo 'deceive, cheat, escape notice of', point their spindly fingers at a slippery skiver. With its older senses, we speak of failure, of negligence, in meeting any of a variety of obligations: failing to make payments, we default on a loan; failing to show up, we default a game, or a court summons.

When we speak of defaults today—factory defaults, default search engines, default home-pages, we speak first and foremost of their pre-set nature. Tucked away neatly behind each app's hamburger menus are screens full of configurable options that go untouched for the most part, out of sight and out of mind. Who today has the time or the energy to fiddle with all those thousand and one knobs? These deserted digital basements are the final resting place of our unspoken default: our unwitting abdication of our ability—and indeed, responsibility—as human operators to specify our own instructions for the machine.

The unflattering denotation of the default was not lost on early designers of computer systems. Bruce Tognazzini, setting down design guidelines for the Apple IIe, for instance, opens the section on 'Defaults' thus:

Please do not ever use the word default in a program designed for humans. Default is something the mortgage went into right before the evil banker stole the Widow Parson's house. There is an exhaustive list of substitutes (previous, automatic, standard, etc.) in the Appendix to How to Write a Manual.

Defaults should be declared, not assumed. Undeclared (not displayed) defaults such as pressing RETURN for Yes (or for No?) will cause confusion and anger.

apple-iie-designp. 37

Bruce is probably out there somewhere today, spinning with confusion and anger.

The power of the default has not been lost on Silicon Valley types either, in their clamouring for market share—nor on government officials looking to engineer social behaviour. Not least because we humans can be consistently relied upon to be very lazy indeed: back in the days of the First Browser War, Microsoft had infamously managed to propel Internet Explorer to market dominance by bundling it into their popular Windows operating system. That made IE the default browser, the browser of lazy consumer (non-)choice, effectively killing off Netscape, then the most popular browser. All told, a stellar strategy for the lumbering tech giant attempting to break into a new market. Why bother doing all the hard work of developing a better product when you could just tack it on to your already-popular platform, and make all your pre-existing users adopt it?

This story of the demise of Netscape came back to me again and again as I was looking into referral traffic to news websites—something of an evergreen subject while I was a data scientist at Chartbeat1. What is a "Chartbeat"? Think of a major online news source. Any one would do. Chances are, on that website that you just thought of, Chartbeat is tracking your every move, on every visit. "Chartbeat is the leading provider of real-time analytics to major online publishers around the world, such as The New York Times, Le Monde, The Telegraph, et al. More at, a quirky little internet startup whose lore is inextricably tied up in the story of the online news media.

It goes something like this: the year was 2009. The hulking mass media had struck the iceberg of social media. The ship was sinking, fast. Publishers were desperately bailing water. For as long as anyone alive could remember, news operations had been funded almost entirely by deep-pocketed advertisers. Their proprietors were historically flush with cash, for no other could provide such untrammelled access to consumer attention. Circulation had made the fortunes of the press barons back in the day. Reach made the fortunes of the media moguls when broadcasting came onto the post-war scene. But it is DAU's and the ad-dollars their eyeballs generate that now make the fortunes of Zuckerberg, Pichai, Dorsey, and their shareholders, leaving news sites, these former titans of advertising, to tussle over the dwindling scraps of online traffic the Internet giants deign to toss their way. Part of my job at Chartbeat was to wrangle a cold, rubbery spaghetti of messy referral URL data into a comprehensible tally of how much traffic each website or app sent publishers.

Unsurprisingly, the top 2 spots in the referral rankings invariably went to the duopoly, Google and Facebook, driving an order of magnitude more traffic than any of the other individual referral sources. But of ongoing (and sometimes disproportionate) interest to publishers were also the referrers a little further down the list. If there was an up and coming referral source, they'd want to be the first to get a jump on. One such referrer was Google Chrome's Articles for You2. At Chartbeat, we'd dubbed it Google Chrome Suggestions. on the browser's new tab page. The amount of monthly traffic it was referring had grown 21x over the course of just a year, and had even surpassed even that of Twitter, then the third largest referrer after FB and GOOG.

Although Chrome's Articles for You had, at the time, been limited to just Android devices, the realization that this fast-growing feed was being shunted by in front of people on the most popular browser in the world, by default, got me thinking back to Microsoft's infamous Netscape murder.

A little ways down the referrers list, too, were other signs of default: upday news for Samsung came pre-installed on Samsung phones; Pocket, a link-saving app, started to surface link recommendations on each new tab Firefox users opened—much like Articles for You. But these referrers never broke the top 10—Samsung and Mozilla never held the manner of market monopoly Google does today.

Around this time, Google also launched their feed for the Google app (which also appears—by default—on the left-of-home panel on Android). This was later to be rebranded as Google Discover, and subsequently shown, again by default, on mobile itself. Yet another default feed, served up this time on Google's flagship product. Frustratingly, for people like me looking at referral spaghetti, there was no way to tell whether that uptick in Google traffic was coming from people actively searching out information on Google Search, or from those mindlessly scrolling through that bottomless buffet of Recommended Content.

Google Chrome's Articles for you
Google Discover, in the Google App
Google Discover, on

I already hear you protesting at this caricature: Su, what do you have against feeds? Feeds are great! I want to be an empowered and informed member of society. News is by definition that which I don't know about but should be apprised of, and feeds, like how Google has so cleverly put it, feed my need to know with the lowest level of requisite effort on my part. If I had to go out there and search out the information I needed to know all the time, I wouldn't have the time for doing anything else—pragmatism, not idealism!

Well. Humour me for a minute, and think back to the last time you (doom)scrolled through a news feed3. Just the word feed itself—like the word default—gives me the heebie-jeebies. What does it mean, to be a consumer of a feed? Prolefeed - animal feed - a pig, in a cage, on antibiotics?; Facebook, Google, Twitter, whichever, doesn't matter. Of the news items you came across, how many did you simply scan over the headlines and preview image or autoplay video of? How many did you actually click through to peruse? Of those you perused, how many would you say had a direct impact on your life, that you've done something differently on account of having read or watched it? Or was it just another piece of trivia you instinctively retweeted, and then brought up as a bit of idle chit-chat as you ran into other people that day? As NPR so cheekily demonstrated, who even reads anymore? As we collect articles and share links like hermit crabs scrabbling to encrust the shells of our online personae with the shiny, discarded excreta of our mediated reality, what becomes of that reality known as Real Life?

What news, as we commonly encounter it today, does one actually need to know? For Neil Postman, the answer to this question was, not very much. Not because we'd survive living under a rock, but because the news—that decontextualised, objectivised view from nowhere, blasting at us 24/7 through the media firehose—does not contain information that most of us can realistically act on. In his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death amusing-ourselves-to-death, written in the golden age of MTV, Postman coined the term information-action ratio as a précis for the phenomenon. Others have compared news consumption to an information diet, which, like the stuff that we eat, has increasingly come to be made up of junk: high in calories, low in actual nutrition. This food metaphor is one I've witnessed being employed over and over unironically in the industry—references would be made to the production of "snackable content", little packets of bite-sized information that the "busy professional" would consume on the go as they went about their day.4. Not that this is a perspective uniformly shared by all publishers. A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of the NYT, complained in an interview with Time magazine, "I actually hate the word content. It’s a word for junk … the junk you shovel into Facebook. What we do is journalism." But even with clean, honest journalism, a small voice within me can't help but ask—how many times have we delved into stellar, hard-hitting investigative reporting, say, the Snowden leaks, the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, or the release of the Panama papers, only to emerge feeling concerned, but ultimately powerless?

How did we get this way, drowning in information and still so lost at sea? Postman drew on Marshall McLuhan's "medium is the message" in uncovering TV as a medium that inherently short-circuited any attempt at measured discourse, tugging on the false visual intimacy created between rapt viewer and dazzling TV personality to relay its visceral messages. But it is certainly not the case today that all feeds simply beam autoplay videos into our eyeballs. Content™ comes at us in galleries, videos, and listicles alike. The medium being the message, in any case, doesn't explain why there's so much chum in those Outbrain buckets.

To do that, we need to, as fictional Deep Throat said, follow the money. For decades, mass media companies had enjoyed the undivided attention of the popular mind. The larger the circulation of a paper, the more a print publication was able to charge advertisers for a romp between its sheets. Circulation was king. The lifestyle section and the Sunday paper were just two of the "innovations" that publications came up with in their drive to reach ever widening audiences and demographics. Women, especially, were in their sights, since they the ones known to actually go out and spend money on the wares the advertisers were hawking. Similarly, when the hey-day of TV rolled around, the wider the reach of a network, the higher its Nielsen ratings, and the more the broadcaster was able to charge for an advertising slot.

All this, obviously, changed with the internet. At first, the internet was just this dinky little space where all the hipsters would just put their articles up on for free, a technological curiosity obsessed over by the IT nerds lurking in the basement. But it seemed one day we were inking our fingers and smudging our cheeks with powdery grey transfers from newsprint, and the very next, our eyes were glued to our smartphones, glassy-eyed captives in the walled gardens of the Books of Faces—and so where the eyeballs went, the ad dollars soon followed.

Of course, all is not well in the walled gardens. Social media feeds have been blamed for the full gamut of social ills we face today, regardless of whether they started the fire: the disintegration of our social fabric into personalised and polarised echo chambers, the radicalising effects of runaway recommendation systems, hijacking our emotional responses to harvest more clicks, incite more outrage, excite more stans—and in doing so extract more ad revenue for the tech giants.

But insofar as journalists have dutifully documented these abuses of tech, written up (rightly) critical think-pieces on the impacts that tech is having on our attention spans and our mental health, as much as they have (also rightly) bemoaned the ill-gotten gains of the tech behemoths, engorged on the appropriated labour of those engaged in the real work of newsgathering and reporting, what we fail to notice amidst all this hullabaloo about the exploitation of our minds under the attention economy is that the attention economy was booming decades before Tristan Harris started pontificating about Time Well Spent.

What the New York Times doesn't tell you, when it propagates its Truth; what the op-eds don't say, when they opine that "You Are the Product" of the social networks, is that the mass media in crisis today was itself established on selling you, the consumer, as a product5. television-delivers-people AFAIK, this short video entitled Television delivers people is the first time that the phrase, "you are the product" gets applied to a form of media. Although the video refers explicitly to TV, the same analysis can certainly apply to any form of media that is (nearly) free to the consumer—including the newspaper. to the advertiser. Not only were you already the product, the mass media's claims to "truth" and "objectivity" were instituted not so much on the grounds of some noble sense of journalistic integrity, but more so out of fear of upsetting the paying advertisermedia-future-past, or losing access to valuable high-level sourcesmanufacturing-consent. The imperative for scale, the need to sell more papers, or to reach a wider audience—these incentives did not come about primarily because more readers = more money from their subscriptions. The real reason why the media sought the masses—the truly lucrative part of the business in its hey-day—was to cultivate a captive audience to sell on to advertisers. And as soon as a medium started to derive most of its revenue from the advertiser6. As one point of reference: in 1966, the NYT was N° 404 on the Fortune 500, that had a "350-man department that [brought] in more than $100 million a year by selling ads," and moreover, "the revenue derived from advertising [was] three times what the paper earn[ed] from its circulation sale and its other business ventures combined." kingdom-power-nytch. 4 and not from you, the reader, it had already been de-fanged as a speaker of the people's truth.

The ways in which we apprehend the world today, with our smartphones, algorithmic feeds and Twitter diplomacy, may seem completely alien to an observer living just a decade or two ago, who knew only the newspaper, the radio, the television. But beneath the glassy new surface, the same invisible hand of advertising continues to conveniently direct our attention towards certain pieces of information—and magically hand-wave other more inconvenient truths into obscurity. Though it may be an algorithm now curating your personalised Google feed7. It's pretty questionable, however, to what extent the content that shows up on such feeds is truly "personalised". I recently heard a complaint (from someone with a Ph.D. in physics) about the recommended links showing up on her Google feed being mostly celebrity gossip, whereas those showing up on her husband's feed were things like, "recent advances in physics!" In this connexion, the "personalised feed" comes across as little more than the algorithmic identification and perpetuation of stereotypes (that we formerly tended to associate with the mass media), selectively shown and now with the middle(hu)man simply cut out. I suggested that she could probably turn the feed off if she didn't like the recommendations, but she demurred, saying that she wouldn't be otherwise exposed to "news from outside her bubble" without having to lift a finger.

Much more about algorithmic bias and how it can lead to the further entrenchment of our own societal biases in Weapons of Math Destruction wmd.
by churning through terabytes upon terabytes of clickstream data, where before it was experienced editors handpicking stories deserving of a spot on Page 1, advertising dollars still fuel the attention economy. The salaries paid out to the tech employees building the feeds, just the same as those of the editors baptising stories as "newsworthy", still ultimately issue from the deep pockets of corporate marketing departments. The default feed has vied to replace the front page, with the structural incentive to mine human attention more naked than ever before.

Again, I sense you shifting in your seat—well, so what if I actually am the product? They're corporations, they exist to make money, and besides, it's not like I'm not getting something out of this exchange—my attention, for their information.

To assume that such an exchange is fair is dangerous: that some expert out there, human or machine, can automatically know—far removed from your context—what you, a living, breathing person with your own unique set of motivations and experiences, needs to engage with in going about your life.8. I bring up the uniqueness of the human experience here not as an assertion of some individual "unique snowflake" status. In fact, I've found that people proclaiming such screeds also readily embrace representations of people—and ultimately, themselves—as mere grab-bags of predetermined "identities", ultimately producing rather the opposite effect of turning themselves into a statistic, an individual instantiation of some atomised agent, acting alone in some cold, absolute, and unchanging world. It is to acquiesce to another's vision for our own lives, to deny our humanity, our agency, our inherent ability to build, to destroy, and to affect our collective social reality with our words and actions.

For this is exactly where the trap of the default lies: in failing to specify our own instructions for the system—for tools we are supposed to be using to further our own ends—we do not simply fall prey to the control of some magical, omniscient machine. Such a statement is an absurdity; the machine didn't build itself, people in search of profits built the machine. What we in fact fall prey to, are the machinations of the wizards behind the curtains: the editors and producers, then latterly the tech executives, product managers, and engineers dictating the default states of the front pages, apps, and feeds that have come to occupy every waking moment of our lives. To paraphrase Tognazzini, the default is what we've accepted right before the technocrats stole our powers to self-determination.

Why on earth have we come to live with such a state of things? I think it has something to do with the implacable "more is better" ideology of our times: more growth must lead to higher standards of living; more healthcare spending must lead to a healthier populace; more information must lead to better decision making. Quantity trumps quality any day. All noise must of course be signal, utility be damned. All the information in the world, available at our fingertips in real-time—and who cares if it's delivered in fragmented factoids stripped of personal context or human meaning? Breaking News: more sanctions against nuclear-aspirant Iran—who cares if it was a CIA-backed coup that overthrew their inchoate democracy and brought about the rise of the ultra-religious republic?all-the-shahs-men Now This: yet another third-world country facing down an intractable debt-crisis—who cares if the foreign aid so "generously" disbursed upon the global south has tended to entrench them further into debt bondage, rather than lifting them out of poverty as the aid agencies claim?debt-boomerang All this information, so conveniently available—neat, bite-sized packets, optimised for the frictionless delivery of commercial propaganda—presents to us but the aesthetic surface, the hard, glossy shell of best-selling narratives from which our attention limply glides off, finding no purchase or channels in to the messy reality seething underneath.

The most egregious example of the harms of relying on the attention merchants for an accurate representation of reality comes in the form of our gravest challenge today: the intersecting climate and ecological crises that threaten every being on Earth. This is the perfect storm of mis-aligned 21st century incentives, a planetary-scale disaster unfolding in slow motion, with little of the quick, easy visual synopses or sound-bites so suited to our attention-deficient consciousnesses. Chris Hayes infamously claimed that "climate change is a ratings killer", strictly untouchable for any business predicated on undivided attention for the delivery of advertising. This is an instinct that has extended even to broadcasters with a scientific background. Sir David Attenborough, perhaps the most celebrated natural historian on television of our times, was saying just in 2018 that reminding viewers of the extinction crisis could become a "real turn-off". Thankfully, he has recently been somewhat less inclined to continue tiptoeing around the problem.

The more we lean on the infotainment that characterises our "media consumption", the less we understand how we got to that shit-show of a year called 2020—and the more we despair of being able to do anything about any of it. Global zoonotic pandemics, yawning social inequalities, widening fissures in bodies politic. Unprecedented wildfires from Australia to California, from the Amazon to the Arctic, unprecedented numbers of named storms in the Atlantic, unprecedented environmental destruction and extinction on all fronts. As St. Thunberg puts it, our house is on fire. Climate change—ratings killer no longer.9. Full disclosure: my analysis is quoted in this article. Yet all we seem to be able to muster up is "This is fine" memes while slumped on the couch, our very own deer-in-the-headlights position of the 21st century. When the 2020 wildfire season turned San Francisco skies a bloody orange, drone footage of the apocalyptic cityscapes went viral, Bladerunner soundtrack setting the scene for our quotidian reality. We play make believe, pretending to be protagonists living through some grand disaster movie, larger-than-life media spectacles taking up so much of the air in our social exchanges as to choke out any attempt at meaningful conversation—difficult conversation—about what exactly it is about the way we live and the stories we tell ourselves that's brought us here.


Where do we go from here? Ad-revenue, for better or for worse, is out of the question for media outlets fighting tooth and nail now to survive. The instinct for many has been to put up paywalls, the most obvious way of transitioning to a reader-supported revenue model. Yet, restricting access to news and information surely defeats the purpose of public-service journalism. When elite publications put up walls restricting access to information, they serve only to further entrench the informational inequalities that plague our societies. As Nathan Robinson argued in his excellent article, "Truth is Paywalled but the Lies are Free"truth-is-paywalled-but-lies-are-free, it's little wonder that the likes of Breitbart have had so much success spewing their lies all over Facebook. When responsible publications deem their reporting to be privileged information available only to those who can pay, truth and integrity are readily subverted by those with every incentive to spread their toxic messages far and wide by pumping out freely-accessible viral content.

Incisive though his critique of the paywall is, I must respectfully disagree with his prescriptions. Robinson proposes that governments draw on our taxes in order to fund publications—academic and media alike—allotting payments according to how often each piece of content is accessed. For academic publishing at least, such a model could be an improvement; why do the likes of Elsevier deserve 30% profit margins11. In 2019, RELX, Elsevier's parent company, reported a profit margin of 31.6% (p. 2). for simply throwing academic research—often already funded by our tax dollars—behind a private paywall on the internet? I wholeheartedly agree, too, that there is already more than enough room in what we pay in taxes to be able to fund such a programme (ahem, military budgets).

This compensation for engagement payment model, however, continues to feed into the exact same attention economy that we lament today—and again, engagement is a very different beast than understanding or action. Applied to the news media, this would mean funding the Outbrains and Taboolas of the world with our tax dollars, instead of just our eyeballs. Scroll is an experiment in just such a revenue model (albeit subscriber, rather than publicly funded)—and while I am a paying supporter of theirs, I believe different efforts are needed to help us rebalance the information-action ratio.

A tax-funded media also throws another spanner into the works: the state would gain more direct leverage over reportage and programming. Even though the funds come nominally from the taxpayer, they are still funnelled through the state apparatus, which ultimately has discretion over the allocation and disbursement of such taxes. Depending on the prevailing political culture, this can mean anything from state control over the media and widespread self-censorship (SG), the promulgation of state propaganda and censorship (VOA - US), neo-colonial whitewashing (BBC - UK), intelligence agencies pulling the strings on HR decisions (BBC - UK), to fearless public-interest reporting that are nevertheless subject to other arms of state control (ABC - AU); possibly all occurring within the same broadcaster. The point here is not that public broadcasters should be abolished—where would we be without BBC's Doctor Who, or CBC's Ideas, or, heck, Channel 4's Black Mirror? But no state ought not be allowed absolute monopoly over a nation's media ecosystem either—or its public discourse by extension.

Instead, with the death of ad-revenue, I think we should seize the moment to clean out that simultaneous offspring and enabler of the advertising model: the attention economy. It is high time to say goodbye to those chain outlets calling themselves local papers, that still think that republishing wire stories constitutes sufficient "journalism" for the communities they should be serving, to those purveyors of click-bait cholesterol that have clogged up our informational arteries.

What I'm truly excited about today, is open, reader-supported journalism. Journalism that finally re-aligns the financial incentives and power structures in favour of those that it purports today to serve. As some have noted, the best part about subscribing to The New York Times is being able to call up and threaten to cancel.citation-needed As the ad-supported model becomes increasingly insupportable, publishers would do well to now recognise the interests of their readers, instead of the will of their advertisers—who have unceremoniously abandoned them now that the tech giants can provide them with direct access to consumers, and at greater scale than the news media can now scrape together.

The Anglophone publication that has done best in this regard, in my opinion, is The Guardian. It has purposefully rejected the use of a paywall12. Though it remains to be seen how the data-wall skirmishes in the EU/CA will work out, in favour of keeping its journalism free and open. Though it still serves up ads to fund part of this open access, 28% of its funding now comes via subscriptions and donations from its members and readers. The latest figures I could find on this subject were from 2018-2019. Those who pay get ad-free access to its materials (unlike some other outlets who shall remain unnamed). Its reportage speaks incisively to the zeitgeist, investigating the intersecting environmental, social, and political crises of our day. Pleas for funding are prominent, consistent, and clearly demonstrate their sustained reporting on the issues that matter. They re-iterate just how important their readers' support is to them at the ends of articles, where a more ad-driven publication would have been tempted to add in an infinite scroll of other articles to milk your attention for all its worth. They are demonstrably rising to the moment, practising what they preach in their reporting by auditing their operations for its environmental impact, and cutting off fossil fuel advertising in their pages. Few other outlets walk the talk the way The Guardian does. I think it is for this very reason that this forward-thinking publication has weathered the upheavals of the media industry remarkably well, reporting that it has recently broken even in its finances, even as exsanguinated competitors merge and shutter all around it.

Above and beyond the re-alignment of financial incentives with reader-supported journalism, I am even more excited about the rise of participatory journalism, flipping the script on the already famous and powerful as the active news-makers and the masses as mere passive consumers of its by-products. To truly opt out of the default, we need to reject the prevailing view that only the already powerful are newsworthy, that only the already famous wield the power to effect change. We need to recognise and re-affirm ordinary citizens: our neighbours, and ourselves, as the able co-constructors of our social reality.

Closer to home for me, this means cheering on small but enormously consequential voices such as those of Kirsten Han on her We, The Citizens newsletter, or the multi-national and multi-lingual efforts of New Naratif in South-East Asia. Equally exciting are the citizens elsewhere in Asia, coming together to resist the neo-liberal international order in Taiwan (New Bloom, sprouting from the seeds of the Sunflower movement), or banding together in diaspora to resist the hegemonic repression of the Chinese state (Lausan, Hong Kong).

How is this participatory journalism different from just posting on social media? The social media networks of our day have found their winning formula in exploiting the "network effects" that venture capitalists love so much. It is exactly this scale that enables their out-sized advertising revenues, which the Silicon Valley types are unlikely to give up any time soon.13. Jack Dorsey floated the idea of a subscription Twitter a while back, but it's a little unclear if there would be an appetite for such a paid service, especially as younger, hipper, and free platforms are mushrooming up all the time to upstage the older ones. Popular social platforms are likely to remain mired in the exact ad-supported infotainment paradigm we need to extricate ourselves from.

This means that, for the foreseeable future, the dynamics of these platforms would continue to favour the sorts of attention-seeking Content™ we so urgently need to tune out. Even though any media operation will, like it or not, need to rely upon at least some manner of social network in order to recruit contributors and audiences, Content™ created solely for the purposes of going viral is of a different nature than participatory reporting.

Participatory journalism, on the other hand, is more interested in delving deep into everyday concerns of everyday people, concerns so repressed and glossed over by dominant corporate media narratives that they sour and ferment in people's hearts, building up unreleased pressure and resentment over time. Concerns that, again and again, have proven to be dangerous and explosive when they have gone un-addressed. It is not always enough to conduct citizen journalism in the form of verbatim recordings of events IRL, despite the admirable results it has undoubtedly produced. Human events attain their significance only in context, and we are, for better or for worse, creatures of narrative. To piece together a comprehensive and comprehensible picture requires compassion, effort, resources, access, and in many cases, experience, which not everyone possesses equally. It is only when ordinary citizens—doing the actual living and the celebrating and the suffering—work with journalists—doing the digging and the listening and the dot connecting—that we can together, give voice to the stories that we really need to tell.



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