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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Dating and Relationships"

Jeff Bezos, Tabloid Man

Westlake Legal Group 23bezos1-facebookJumbo Jeff Bezos, Tabloid Man Washington Post Text Messaging Sanchez, Lauren (1969- ) national enquirer Gossip Divorce, Separations and Annulments Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet Bezos, Jeffrey P American Media Inc Amazon.com Inc

SEATTLE — When Jeff Bezos and his former wife, MacKenzie, celebrated what would be their last anniversary together around Labor Day 2018, they arrived at a Miami nightclub with no fanfare. His table was booked online, which is “totally what tourists do” and “totally dorky,” the club’s celebrity liaison said in an interview at the time.

Almost a year later, Mr. Bezos arrived at a hot Miami seafood restaurant in grander fashion, on a 90-foot-long Leopard superyacht in what The Miami Herald called “the most extravagant entrance ever.”

It was not his only superyacht of the summer. He lounged with his girlfriend on the media mogul David Geffen’s boat in the Mediterranean, along with the supermodel Karlie Kloss and the former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. Mr. Bezos, 56, was also spotted on a ship owned by Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller off the coast of Venice. After gossip sites gushed about the $260 purple octopus swim trunks he wore in many photographs, the swimwear quickly sold out.

At the beginning of 2019, Mr. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, was widely regarded as a low-key guy — or at least about as low-key as the world’s richest man, and one of the country’s top executives, could be. He’d geek out over “Star Trek” and he publicly joked that washing dishes every night was “the sexiest thing I do.”

That image exploded by the end of January, when The National Enquirer reported about his affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV personality, including contents of intimate text messages between the two. After the Enquirer reporting, Mr. Bezos said he had opened up an investigation into how the paper acquired the messages, hinting that Saudi Arabia may have been involved because of his ownership of The Washington Post.

This week, the United Nations released a statement, based largely on a forensic report commissioned by Mr. Bezos’ investigators, that essentially accused Saudi Arabia’s crown prince of hacking Mr. Bezos’ phone to spy on him. The Saudi government called the claims “absurd.”

The report did not provide evidence that hacked material ended up in The Enquirer. But it did provide a potent reminder of how much has changed in a year. Mr. Bezos had become a tabloid fixture, with yacht appearances, evening strolls and romantic dinners captured in detail.

For people who know Mr. Bezos or have worked with him for years, the shift to the glare of The Daily Mail and Page Six is almost an out-of-body experience.

“It is a story that is pretty much irresistible to anyone,” said George Rush, who co-wrote a gossip column with Joanna Molloy in The Daily News for 15 years.

“It has changed the public perception of him,” Mr. Rush added.

Jay Carney, Amazon’s spokesman, said Mr. Bezos remained much the same.

“In the senior leadership here, which includes some of the people who have known and worked with Jeff the longest, there is a lot of empathy for what he’s had to deal with and a lot of admiration for his remarkable ability to tune it out and focus on what matters,” Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Bezos remains deeply engaged with his work at Amazon and committed to the mission of The Washington Post, Mr. Carney said. “None of that has changed.”

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos worked together to start Amazon 25 years ago. He was the chief executive, and she was the first accountant and an influential adviser in its early years.

Ms. Bezos later focused on novel writing and studiously protected her family’s privacy. Mr. Bezos’ own employees used to tease him about his cargo pants. At one large staff meeting early in the company’s history, someone asked what exactly he had in all those pockets. Among other things, Mr. Bezos pulled out a Swiss Army knife, to everyone’s laughter, according to a longtime Amazon worker.

Even as the company grew, Mr. Bezos did relatively little press for a tech executive and was far from a jet-setter. In a 2014 interview, he said he didn’t like being on the road because it made him “feel disconnected from the office.” He estimated he traveled as little as 10 percent of the time.

As Amazon became ascendant and Mr. Bezos was on his way to becoming the world’s richest man, his profile rose. He put on Oscar parties, supporting the company’s investment in Hollywood, and bought The Washington Post. He began putting a billion dollars a year into his space company, Blue Origin.

But only rarely did he become a subject of celebrity news and tabloid publications. In the summer of 2017, he strutted through the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, an event swarming with prominent executives, bulked up with muscle. “Swole Bezos” became a viral sensation. Soon after, The New York Times Style section said he had “steadily, and stealthily,” transformed into a “full-fledged style icon.”

Then came the Enquirer revelations about the affair a year ago, supported by publishing photos and texts. It was juicy gossip, but received little sustained mainstream news coverage until February, when Mr. Bezos snapped back.

He published a post on Medium, the online publishing platform, accusing The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, of blackmail and extortion. He said the publisher had threatened to print a “below-the-belt selfie” of Mr. Bezos and other embarrassing photos if he didn’t back off his claims that the paper’s reporting was politically motivated. His post said American Media had motivations to please President Trump and the Saudi government. American Media said it acted lawfully.

Suddenly the saga involved sex, wealth and politics. “That is the perfect cocktail for a tabloid story,” said Ryan Linkof, who wrote a history of the tabloid press.

The headlines have continued ever since, bouncing back between tabloids and mainstream news organizations, depending on the topic. The gossip columns showed the couple at Wimbledon, walking the streets of St. Tropez and holding a party in New York for one of Meghan Markle’s “BFFs.” They zoomed in close on Ms. Sanchez’s right hand, where she sported a large diamond ring.

There were less glamorous news moments, like the former couple’s divorce proceedings. After the split, Mr. Bezos retained 75 percent of their Amazon stock and all of their ownership of The Post and Blue Origin. And then this week, the United Nations experts released their statement, in advance of a documentary screening at the Sundance Film Festival about the murder of a Saudi critic who was a columnist at The Post.

Mr. Rush said in his long career covering the romps of the rich, he could not recall an affair where the political dimensions were as large as this story. “It is hard to humanize a multibillionaire,” he said.

But Mr. Bezos’ resistance to American Media and exposing the potential Saudi hack makes him “more heroic,” Mr. Rush said.

“Regardless of where his relationship with Ms. Sanchez goes,” he added, “people will be waiting for the next episode.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jeff Bezos, Tabloid Man

Westlake Legal Group 23bezos1-facebookJumbo Jeff Bezos, Tabloid Man Washington Post Text Messaging Sanchez, Lauren (1969- ) national enquirer Gossip Divorce, Separations and Annulments Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet Bezos, Jeffrey P American Media Inc Amazon.com Inc

SEATTLE — When Jeff Bezos and his former wife, MacKenzie, celebrated what would be their last anniversary together around Labor Day 2018, they arrived at a Miami nightclub with no fanfare. His table was booked online, which is “totally what tourists do” and “totally dorky,” the club’s celebrity liaison said in an interview at the time.

Almost a year later, Mr. Bezos arrived at a hot Miami seafood restaurant in grander fashion, on a 90-foot-long Leopard superyacht in what The Miami Herald called “the most extravagant entrance ever.”

It was not his only superyacht of the summer. He lounged with his girlfriend on the media mogul David Geffen’s boat in the Mediterranean, along with the supermodel Karlie Kloss and the former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. Mr. Bezos, 56, was also spotted on a ship owned by Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller off the coast of Venice. After gossip sites gushed about the $260 purple octopus swim trunks he wore in many photographs, the swimwear quickly sold out.

At the beginning of 2019, Mr. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, was widely regarded as a low-key guy — or at least about as low-key as the world’s richest man, and one of the country’s top executives, could be. He’d geek out over “Star Trek” and he publicly joked that washing dishes every night was “the sexiest thing I do.”

That image exploded by the end of January, when The National Enquirer reported about his affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV personality, including contents of intimate text messages between the two. After the Enquirer reporting, Mr. Bezos said he had opened up an investigation into how the paper acquired the messages, hinting that Saudi Arabia may have been involved because of his ownership of The Washington Post.

This week, the United Nations released a statement, based largely on a forensic report commissioned by Mr. Bezos’ investigators, that essentially accused Saudi Arabia’s crown prince of hacking Mr. Bezos’ phone to spy on him. The Saudi government called the claims “absurd.”

The report did not provide evidence that hacked material ended up in The Enquirer. But it did provide a potent reminder of how much has changed in a year. Mr. Bezos had become a tabloid fixture, with yacht appearances, evening strolls and romantic dinners captured in detail.

For people who know Mr. Bezos or have worked with him for years, the shift to the glare of The Daily Mail and Page Six is almost an out-of-body experience.

“It is a story that is pretty much irresistible to anyone,” said George Rush, who co-wrote a gossip column with Joanna Molloy in The Daily News for 15 years.

“It has changed the public perception of him,” Mr. Rush added.

Jay Carney, Amazon’s spokesman, said Mr. Bezos remained much the same.

“In the senior leadership here, which includes some of the people who have known and worked with Jeff the longest, there is a lot of empathy for what he’s had to deal with and a lot of admiration for his remarkable ability to tune it out and focus on what matters,” Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Bezos remains deeply engaged with his work at Amazon and committed to the mission of The Washington Post, Mr. Carney said. “None of that has changed.”

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos worked together to start Amazon 25 years ago. He was the chief executive, and she was the first accountant and an influential adviser in its early years.

Ms. Bezos later focused on novel writing and studiously protected her family’s privacy. Mr. Bezos’ own employees used to tease him about his cargo pants. At one large staff meeting early in the company’s history, someone asked what exactly he had in all those pockets. Among other things, Mr. Bezos pulled out a Swiss Army knife, to everyone’s laughter, according to a longtime Amazon worker.

Even as the company grew, Mr. Bezos did relatively little press for a tech executive and was far from a jet-setter. In a 2014 interview, he said he didn’t like being on the road because it made him “feel disconnected from the office.” He estimated he traveled as little as 10 percent of the time.

As Amazon became ascendant and Mr. Bezos was on his way to becoming the world’s richest man, his profile rose. He put on Oscar parties, supporting the company’s investment in Hollywood, and bought The Washington Post. He began putting a billion dollars a year into his space company, Blue Origin.

But only rarely did he become a subject of celebrity news and tabloid publications. In the summer of 2017, he strutted through the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, an event swarming with prominent executives, bulked up with muscle. “Swole Bezos” became a viral sensation. Soon after, The New York Times Style section said he had “steadily, and stealthily,” transformed into a “full-fledged style icon.”

Then came the Enquirer revelations about the affair a year ago, supported by publishing photos and texts. It was juicy gossip, but received little sustained mainstream news coverage until February, when Mr. Bezos snapped back.

He published a post on Medium, the online publishing platform, accusing The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, of blackmail and extortion. He said the publisher had threatened to print a “below-the-belt selfie” of Mr. Bezos and other embarrassing photos if he didn’t back off his claims that the paper’s reporting was politically motivated. His post said American Media had motivations to please President Trump and the Saudi government. American Media said it acted lawfully.

Suddenly the saga involved sex, wealth and politics. “That is the perfect cocktail for a tabloid story,” said Ryan Linkof, who wrote a history of the tabloid press.

The headlines have continued ever since, bouncing back between tabloids and mainstream news organizations, depending on the topic. The gossip columns showed the couple at Wimbledon, walking the streets of St. Tropez and holding a party in New York for one of Meghan Markle’s “BFFs.” They zoomed in close on Ms. Sanchez’s right hand, where she sported a large diamond ring.

There were less glamorous news moments, like the former couple’s divorce proceedings. After the split, Mr. Bezos retained 75 percent of their Amazon stock and all of their ownership of The Post and Blue Origin. And then this week, the United Nations experts released their statement, in advance of a documentary screening at the Sundance Film Festival about the murder of a Saudi critic who was a columnist at The Post.

Mr. Rush said in his long career covering the romps of the rich, he could not recall an affair where the political dimensions were as large as this story. “It is hard to humanize a multibillionaire,” he said.

But Mr. Bezos’ resistance to American Media and exposing the potential Saudi hack makes him “more heroic,” Mr. Rush said.

“Regardless of where his relationship with Ms. Sanchez goes,” he added, “people will be waiting for the next episode.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jeff Bezos, Tabloid Man

Westlake Legal Group 23bezos1-facebookJumbo Jeff Bezos, Tabloid Man Washington Post Text Messaging Sanchez, Lauren (1969- ) national enquirer Gossip Divorce, Separations and Annulments Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet Bezos, Jeffrey P American Media Inc Amazon.com Inc

SEATTLE — When Jeff Bezos and his former wife, MacKenzie, celebrated what would be their last anniversary together around Labor Day 2018, they arrived at a Miami nightclub with no fanfare. His table was booked online, which is “totally what tourists do” and “totally dorky,” the club’s celebrity liaison said in an interview at the time.

Almost a year later, Mr. Bezos arrived at a hot Miami seafood restaurant in grander fashion, on a 90-foot-long Leopard superyacht in what The Miami Herald called “the most extravagant entrance ever.”

It was not his only superyacht of the summer. He lounged with his girlfriend on the media mogul David Geffen’s boat in the Mediterranean, along with the supermodel Karlie Kloss and the former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. Mr. Bezos, 56, was also spotted on a ship owned by Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller off the coast of Venice. After gossip sites gushed about the $260 purple octopus swim trunks he wore in many photographs, the swimwear quickly sold out.

At the beginning of 2019, Mr. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, was widely regarded as a low-key guy — or at least about as low-key as the world’s richest man, and one of the country’s top executives, could be. He’d geek out over “Star Trek” and he publicly joked that washing dishes every night was “the sexiest thing I do.”

That image exploded by the end of January, when The National Enquirer reported about his affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV personality, including contents of intimate text messages between the two. After the Enquirer reporting, Mr. Bezos said he had opened up an investigation into how the paper acquired the messages, hinting that Saudi Arabia may have been involved because of his ownership of The Washington Post.

This week, the United Nations released a statement, based largely on a forensic report commissioned by Mr. Bezos’ investigators, that essentially accused Saudi Arabia’s crown prince of hacking Mr. Bezos’ phone to spy on him. The Saudi government called the claims “absurd.”

The report did not provide evidence that hacked material ended up in The Enquirer. But it did provide a potent reminder of how much has changed in a year. Mr. Bezos had become a tabloid fixture, with yacht appearances, evening strolls and romantic dinners captured in detail.

For people who know Mr. Bezos or have worked with him for years, the shift to the glare of The Daily Mail and Page Six is almost an out-of-body experience.

“It is a story that is pretty much irresistible to anyone,” said George Rush, who co-wrote a gossip column with Joanna Molloy in The Daily News for 15 years.

“It has changed the public perception of him,” Mr. Rush added.

Jay Carney, Amazon’s spokesman, said Mr. Bezos remained much the same.

“In the senior leadership here, which includes some of the people who have known and worked with Jeff the longest, there is a lot of empathy for what he’s had to deal with and a lot of admiration for his remarkable ability to tune it out and focus on what matters,” Mr. Carney said.

Mr. Bezos remains deeply engaged with his work at Amazon and committed to the mission of The Washington Post, Mr. Carney said. “None of that has changed.”

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos worked together to start Amazon 25 years ago. He was the chief executive, and she was the first accountant and an influential adviser in its early years.

Ms. Bezos later focused on novel writing and studiously protected her family’s privacy. Mr. Bezos’ own employees used to tease him about his cargo pants. At one large staff meeting early in the company’s history, someone asked what exactly he had in all those pockets. Among other things, Mr. Bezos pulled out a Swiss Army knife, to everyone’s laughter, according to a longtime Amazon worker.

Even as the company grew, Mr. Bezos did relatively little press for a tech executive and was far from a jet-setter. In a 2014 interview, he said he didn’t like being on the road because it made him “feel disconnected from the office.” He estimated he traveled as little as 10 percent of the time.

As Amazon became ascendant and Mr. Bezos was on his way to becoming the world’s richest man, his profile rose. He put on Oscar parties, supporting the company’s investment in Hollywood, and bought The Washington Post. He began putting a billion dollars a year into his space company, Blue Origin.

But only rarely did he become a subject of celebrity news and tabloid publications. In the summer of 2017, he strutted through the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, an event swarming with prominent executives, bulked up with muscle. “Swole Bezos” became a viral sensation. Soon after, The New York Times Style section said he had “steadily, and stealthily,” transformed into a “full-fledged style icon.”

Then came the Enquirer revelations about the affair a year ago, supported by publishing photos and texts. It was juicy gossip, but received little sustained mainstream news coverage until February, when Mr. Bezos snapped back.

He published a post on Medium, the online publishing platform, accusing The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, of blackmail and extortion. He said the publisher had threatened to print a “below-the-belt selfie” of Mr. Bezos and other embarrassing photos if he didn’t back off his claims that the paper’s reporting was politically motivated. His post said American Media had motivations to please President Trump and the Saudi government. American Media said it acted lawfully.

Suddenly the saga involved sex, wealth and politics. “That is the perfect cocktail for a tabloid story,” said Ryan Linkof, who wrote a history of the tabloid press.

The headlines have continued ever since, bouncing back between tabloids and mainstream news organizations, depending on the topic. The gossip columns showed the couple at Wimbledon, walking the streets of St. Tropez and holding a party in New York for one of Meghan Markle’s “BFFs.” They zoomed in close on Ms. Sanchez’s right hand, where she sported a large diamond ring.

There were less glamorous news moments, like the former couple’s divorce proceedings. After the split, Mr. Bezos retained 75 percent of their Amazon stock and all of their ownership of The Post and Blue Origin. And then this week, the United Nations experts released their statement, in advance of a documentary screening at the Sundance Film Festival about the murder of a Saudi critic who was a columnist at The Post.

Mr. Rush said in his long career covering the romps of the rich, he could not recall an affair where the political dimensions were as large as this story. “It is hard to humanize a multibillionaire,” he said.

But Mr. Bezos’ resistance to American Media and exposing the potential Saudi hack makes him “more heroic,” Mr. Rush said.

“Regardless of where his relationship with Ms. Sanchez goes,” he added, “people will be waiting for the next episode.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal and Urging Suicide Is a Tactic

Westlake Legal Group 25NewWorld-illo-facebookJumbo For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal and Urging Suicide Is a Tactic Women and Girls Strauss, Neil sexual harassment pickup artist Peking University Dating and Relationships China

“You’ve given your best thing to another man,” he texted her, referring to her virginity. “I’m left with nothing.”

She texted back: “I’ve said my best thing is my future.”

“You’re shameless,” he lashed out, calling her a “stinking idiot” and a “slut.”

“I want you to get pregnant with me then get an abortion,” he said.

On Oct. 9, the woman, referred to as Bao Li, the Chinese equivalent of Jane Doe, tried to commit suicide. She has since been declared brain dead.

One of her last messages to the man: “You’re dazzling while I’m a piece of garbage.”

Her tragic story shocked the Chinese public. A hashtag referring to screenshots of her text exchanges got nearly 1.4 billion views in just two days on the social media platform Weibo before it was censored.

Many people could not fathom how an undergraduate at a prestigious school, Peking University, could end up in such a toxic relationship. Many also did not know that there is a name for men who often use such cruel tactics in pursuit of women: PUAs, or pickup artists.

In China, the English initials PUA refer to both the man and his manipulative techniques. Pickup artists often employ gaslighting, a form of psychological control intended to make someone question her own sanity. Friends of the Peking University student and many online users believed that her boyfriend, Mou Linhan, a fellow student, had used such techniques.

“Many of the details of their relationship reminded us of the notorious PUA,” her friends wrote in a long social media post that included screenshots of chat messages between the couple.

“After a long time of mental abuse, including cursing, humiliation and vilification, she was filled with pain and fear and lost the ability to push back,” they wrote.

PUA as a concept came to China from the United States. Chinese men translated what is widely considered a bible of the pickup artist community, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists,” by Neil Strauss, and began sharing his seduction tricks. (Mr. Strauss did not respond to a request for comment.)

Over the last decade, it has become a big business in China. Thousands of companies and websites catering to the pickup community and offering dating advice for men have cropped up. One of the biggest websites, Paoxuewang, said it had nearly two million members before it was shut down in 2018. At its peak in late 2017, Langji, the most-well-known PUA company, employed a staff of about 400 and had nearly 100,000 students, according to Chinese news reports.

It is not clear whether Mr. Mou had enrolled in any such programs. But WeChat Index, which monitors the popularity of topics on WeChat, China’s biggest social media platform, indicated that mentions of the term “PUA” soared nearly 1,700 percent overnight after a news article about the woman’s attempted suicide spread across the internet.

In interviews with Chinese news outlets, Mr. Mou said he had not tried to manipulate his girlfriend psychologically and did not know what mind control was.

Some of the companies and websites geared toward men and dating provide common-sense lessons. They advise dressing nicely, holding doors for women and being considerate in relationships.

But the more nefarious teach men to manipulate women for their own sexual needs. They dismiss the concept of romantic love, instead promoting the idea that men should sleep with as many women as possible and dominate them completely.

One widely circulated curriculum offers a chapter-by-chapter guide to achieving such goals. It includes methods of destroying a woman’s self-esteem, setting emotionally manipulative traps to prevent women from leaving, pressuring women to change their personalities to become more compliant, encouraging suicide, and exploiting women financially to buy cars and homes.

“Then you will be on your way to the top of the world,” the guide reads.

The popularity of these programs reveals deeper societal issues. China is a highly patriarchal society, where men rarely face scrutiny for sexual assault and harassment, while women are routinely criticized for their age, weight, virginity or any number of perceived failings.

“Can PUA explain such tragedies?” Fang Kecheng, an assistant professor of journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote in a blog post about Ms. Bao’s suicide attempt. “If we expose PUA’s usual tricks, are we sure that such things won’t happen again?”

He says the root lies in China’s gender inequality. “PUA is an easy scapegoat,” he said. “Focusing on it simplifies the complexity of the tragedy.”

Some PUA programs seek to capitalize on that inequality, openly teaching misogynistic techniques.

In one program run by Langji, the teacher, Wang Huanyu, held out the prospect of sleeping with three women in a day, as he claimed to do. “That’s the life of a professional PUA,” he told students, according to a three-part documentary produced by a Chinese news site, The Paper.

“I’m the best PUA in China,” Mr. Wang told the class. “Chat up girls on the street in an hour.”

“Take them directly to a hotel,” he continued in the undated video.

In a series of YouTube videos, Mr. Wang, who is also a co-founder of Langji, demonstrates how to make sexual advances toward women — seeking consent is discouraged. In a 2016 video, he explained what to do when women say “no.” “The best way to prevent the girls from rejecting you is not asking the question ‘Can I hold your hand?’” he said.

He recommended against telling women where they were going when the man had sex in mind. “You don’t need to ask them, ‘Can I take you home?’” he said. “Just take them to a private space.”

If a woman is not willing to have sex, Mr. Wang suggested a solution in Chinese that can best be translated as persistent harassment. He also told his YouTube audience to initiate sex at 3 a.m., when women were sleepy and vulnerable.

“Tuidao,” or push down in Chinese, a euphemism for having sex, is the ultimate goal, he told the students. “How many have you tuidao?” he asked a thin young man in glasses in the documentary. “Sixteen in seven days,” the man responded.

Mr. Wang’s company would become a standard-bearer for the industry. In 2016, it was named a pioneering education institution by a Chinese online video platform, iQiyi.

The government started to crack down on PUA companies in the last two years, and Mr. Wang and his company became targets. Last year, he served 37 days in jail for spreading pornographic products. After the outcry over Ms. Bao’s suicide attempt increased scrutiny of the industry this month, the company deleted all the content on its official website and posted an apology letter, saying it had done “many bad things.”

Four students sued Langji in 2018 for teaching unethical content, including seducing women for sex through manipulative and controlling means, according to court verdicts. A court in the southwestern city of Chengdu, where Langji is based, ruled this year in their favor and ordered the company to refund their tuitions, between $1,000 and $4,250. Mr. Wang and his co-founder declined to be interviewed.

The police in the eastern province of Jiangsu announced in May that they had arrested a man who ran another program that taught men to encourage women to commit suicide, abuse them emotionally and treat them as “pets” and “prey.” The man was detained for five days and fined over $7,000. His websites and social media groups have been deleted.

Such programs are an outgrowth of the uneven balance of power in China. The country’s economic growth in the last 40 years has benefited men much more than women. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ranks China at 106, falling from 63 in 2006.

Chinese women are better educated than before, yet they have fewer opportunities. They are still largely judged by whom they marry.

After I asked on Weibo if any women had boyfriends who followed PUA techniques, two young women contacted me. Neither of them was sure that her former boyfriend had actually studied PUA strategies, but both identified with the student who had tried to commit suicide.

One of them, Amy, from Sichuan Province, said her ex-boyfriend had been very sweet in the beginning, then had started criticizing her for the smallest things. During their three-month relationship, he kept saying she needed to get married and have children as soon as possible since she was too old at 30.

“He called me his husky and asked me to call him master,” according to the woman, who said she was scared to use her full name because of fears of retribution by him.

The other, Kate Zhang, said she and her ex-boyfriend had been high school sweethearts in Shanghai. The trouble, she said, began when he left to go to a top university in Britain, while she left for a school in the United States.

Ms. Zhang said he had become much more domineering, telling her that she needed to lose weight and was a toxic person. They fought all the time on WeChat, just like the couple at Peking University, she said, adding that he similarly told her to get pregnant and then get an abortion. When she told him that she wanted to kill herself, he said, “Go ahead.”

Both women are going to therapy. Both said they were not sure if they could trust men in their future relationships. It was a sentiment echoed by the student at Peking University before she tried to commit suicide.

“When I think of love now,” she texted, “I can’t help but shiver.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal and Urging Suicide Is a Tactic

Westlake Legal Group 25NewWorld-illo-facebookJumbo For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal and Urging Suicide Is a Tactic Women and Girls Strauss, Neil sexual harassment pickup artist Peking University Dating and Relationships China

“You’ve given your best thing to another man,” he texted her, referring to her virginity. “I’m left with nothing.”

She texted back: “I’ve said my best thing is my future.”

“You’re shameless,” he lashed out, calling her a “stinking idiot” and a “slut.”

“I want you to get pregnant with me then get an abortion,” he said.

On Oct. 9, the woman, referred to as Bao Li, the Chinese equivalent of Jane Doe, tried to commit suicide. She has since been declared brain dead.

One of her last messages to the man: “You’re dazzling while I’m a piece of garbage.”

Her tragic story shocked the Chinese public. A hashtag referring to screenshots of her text exchanges got nearly 1.4 billion views in just two days on the social media platform Weibo before it was censored.

Many people could not fathom how an undergraduate at a prestigious school, Peking University, could end up in such a toxic relationship. Many also did not know that there is a name for men who often use such cruel tactics in pursuit of women: PUAs, or pickup artists.

In China, the English initials PUA refer to both the man and his manipulative techniques. Pickup artists often employ gaslighting, a form of psychological control intended to make someone question her own sanity. Friends of the Peking University student and many online users believed that her boyfriend, Mou Linhan, a fellow student, had used such techniques.

“Many of the details of their relationship reminded us of the notorious PUA,” her friends wrote in a long social media post that included screenshots of chat messages between the couple.

“After a long time of mental abuse, including cursing, humiliation and vilification, she was filled with pain and fear and lost the ability to push back,” they wrote.

PUA as a concept came to China from the United States. Chinese men translated what is widely considered a bible of the pickup artist community, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists,” by Neil Strauss, and began sharing his seduction tricks. (Mr. Strauss did not respond to a request for comment.)

Over the last decade, it has become a big business in China. Thousands of companies and websites catering to the pickup community and offering dating advice for men have cropped up. One of the biggest websites, Paoxuewang, said it had nearly two million members before it was shut down in 2018. At its peak in late 2017, Langji, the most-well-known PUA company, employed a staff of about 400 and had nearly 100,000 students, according to Chinese news reports.

It is not clear whether Mr. Mou had enrolled in any such programs. But WeChat Index, which monitors the popularity of topics on WeChat, China’s biggest social media platform, indicated that mentions of the term “PUA” soared nearly 1,700 percent overnight after a news article about the woman’s attempted suicide spread across the internet.

In interviews with Chinese news outlets, Mr. Mou said he had not tried to manipulate his girlfriend psychologically and did not know what mind control was.

Some of the companies and websites geared toward men and dating provide common-sense lessons. They advise dressing nicely, holding doors for women and being considerate in relationships.

But the more nefarious teach men to manipulate women for their own sexual needs. They dismiss the concept of romantic love, instead promoting the idea that men should sleep with as many women as possible and dominate them completely.

One widely circulated curriculum offers a chapter-by-chapter guide to achieving such goals. It includes methods of destroying a woman’s self-esteem, setting emotionally manipulative traps to prevent women from leaving, pressuring women to change their personalities to become more compliant, encouraging suicide, and exploiting women financially to buy cars and homes.

“Then you will be on your way to the top of the world,” the guide reads.

The popularity of these programs reveals deeper societal issues. China is a highly patriarchal society, where men rarely face scrutiny for sexual assault and harassment, while women are routinely criticized for their age, weight, virginity or any number of perceived failings.

“Can PUA explain such tragedies?” Fang Kecheng, an assistant professor of journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote in a blog post about Ms. Bao’s suicide attempt. “If we expose PUA’s usual tricks, are we sure that such things won’t happen again?”

He says the root lies in China’s gender inequality. “PUA is an easy scapegoat,” he said. “Focusing on it simplifies the complexity of the tragedy.”

Some PUA programs seek to capitalize on that inequality, openly teaching misogynistic techniques.

In one program run by Langji, the teacher, Wang Huanyu, held out the prospect of sleeping with three women in a day, as he claimed to do. “That’s the life of a professional PUA,” he told students, according to a three-part documentary produced by a Chinese news site, The Paper.

“I’m the best PUA in China,” Mr. Wang told the class. “Chat up girls on the street in an hour.”

“Take them directly to a hotel,” he continued in the undated video.

In a series of YouTube videos, Mr. Wang, who is also a co-founder of Langji, demonstrates how to make sexual advances toward women — seeking consent is discouraged. In a 2016 video, he explained what to do when women say “no.” “The best way to prevent the girls from rejecting you is not asking the question ‘Can I hold your hand?’” he said.

He recommended against telling women where they were going when the man had sex in mind. “You don’t need to ask them, ‘Can I take you home?’” he said. “Just take them to a private space.”

If a woman is not willing to have sex, Mr. Wang suggested a solution in Chinese that can best be translated as persistent harassment. He also told his YouTube audience to initiate sex at 3 a.m., when women were sleepy and vulnerable.

“Tuidao,” or push down in Chinese, a euphemism for having sex, is the ultimate goal, he told the students. “How many have you tuidao?” he asked a thin young man in glasses in the documentary. “Sixteen in seven days,” the man responded.

Mr. Wang’s company would become a standard-bearer for the industry. In 2016, it was named a pioneering education institution by a Chinese online video platform, iQiyi.

The government started to crack down on PUA companies in the last two years, and Mr. Wang and his company became targets. Last year, he served 37 days in jail for spreading pornographic products. After the outcry over Ms. Bao’s suicide attempt increased scrutiny of the industry this month, the company deleted all the content on its official website and posted an apology letter, saying it had done “many bad things.”

Four students sued Langji in 2018 for teaching unethical content, including seducing women for sex through manipulative and controlling means, according to court verdicts. A court in the southwestern city of Chengdu, where Langji is based, ruled this year in their favor and ordered the company to refund their tuitions, between $1,000 and $4,250. Mr. Wang and his co-founder declined to be interviewed.

The police in the eastern province of Jiangsu announced in May that they had arrested a man who ran another program that taught men to encourage women to commit suicide, abuse them emotionally and treat them as “pets” and “prey.” The man was detained for five days and fined over $7,000. His websites and social media groups have been deleted.

Such programs are an outgrowth of the uneven balance of power in China. The country’s economic growth in the last 40 years has benefited men much more than women. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ranks China at 106, falling from 63 in 2006.

Chinese women are better educated than before, yet they have fewer opportunities. They are still largely judged by whom they marry.

After I asked on Weibo if any women had boyfriends who followed PUA techniques, two young women contacted me. Neither of them was sure that her former boyfriend had actually studied PUA strategies, but both identified with the student who had tried to commit suicide.

One of them, Amy, from Sichuan Province, said her ex-boyfriend had been very sweet in the beginning, then had started criticizing her for the smallest things. During their three-month relationship, he kept saying she needed to get married and have children as soon as possible since she was too old at 30.

“He called me his husky and asked me to call him master,” according to the woman, who said she was scared to use her full name because of fears of retribution by him.

The other, Kate Zhang, said she and her ex-boyfriend had been high school sweethearts in Shanghai. The trouble, she said, began when he left to go to a top university in Britain, while she left for a school in the United States.

Ms. Zhang said he had become much more domineering, telling her that she needed to lose weight and was a toxic person. They fought all the time on WeChat, just like the couple at Peking University, she said, adding that he similarly told her to get pregnant and then get an abortion. When she told him that she wanted to kill herself, he said, “Go ahead.”

Both women are going to therapy. Both said they were not sure if they could trust men in their future relationships. It was a sentiment echoed by the student at Peking University before she tried to commit suicide.

“When I think of love now,” she texted, “I can’t help but shiver.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal and Urging Suicide Is a Tactic

Westlake Legal Group 25NewWorld-illo-facebookJumbo For China’s Pickup Artists, Sex Is the Goal and Urging Suicide Is a Tactic Women and Girls Strauss, Neil sexual harassment pickup artist Peking University Dating and Relationships China

“You’ve given your best thing to another man,” he texted her, referring to her virginity. “I’m left with nothing.”

She texted back: “I’ve said my best thing is my future.”

“You’re shameless,” he lashed out, calling her a “stinking idiot” and a “slut.”

“I want you to get pregnant with me then get an abortion,” he said.

On Oct. 9, the woman, referred to as Bao Li, the Chinese equivalent of Jane Doe, tried to commit suicide. She has since been declared brain dead.

One of her last messages to the man: “You’re dazzling while I’m a piece of garbage.”

Her tragic story shocked the Chinese public. A hashtag referring to screenshots of her text exchanges got nearly 1.4 billion views in just two days on the social media platform Weibo before it was censored.

Many people could not fathom how an undergraduate at a prestigious school, Peking University, could end up in such a toxic relationship. Many also did not know that there is a name for men who often use such cruel tactics in pursuit of women: PUAs, or pickup artists.

In China, the English initials PUA refer to both the man and his manipulative techniques. Pickup artists often employ gaslighting, a form of psychological control intended to make someone question her own sanity. Friends of the Peking University student and many online users believed that her boyfriend, Mou Linhan, a fellow student, had used such techniques.

“Many of the details of their relationship reminded us of the notorious PUA,” her friends wrote in a long social media post that included screenshots of chat messages between the couple.

“After a long time of mental abuse, including cursing, humiliation and vilification, she was filled with pain and fear and lost the ability to push back,” they wrote.

PUA as a concept came to China from the United States. Chinese men translated what is widely considered a bible of the pickup artist community, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists,” by Neil Strauss, and began sharing his seduction tricks. (Mr. Strauss did not respond to a request for comment.)

Over the last decade, it has become a big business in China. Thousands of companies and websites catering to the pickup community and offering dating advice for men have cropped up. One of the biggest websites, Paoxuewang, said it had nearly two million members before it was shut down in 2018. At its peak in late 2017, Langji, the most-well-known PUA company, employed a staff of about 400 and had nearly 100,000 students, according to Chinese news reports.

It is not clear whether Mr. Mou had enrolled in any such programs. But WeChat Index, which monitors the popularity of topics on WeChat, China’s biggest social media platform, indicated that mentions of the term “PUA” soared nearly 1,700 percent overnight after a news article about the woman’s attempted suicide spread across the internet.

In interviews with Chinese news outlets, Mr. Mou said he had not tried to manipulate his girlfriend psychologically and did not know what mind control was.

Some of the companies and websites geared toward men and dating provide common-sense lessons. They advise dressing nicely, holding doors for women and being considerate in relationships.

But the more nefarious teach men to manipulate women for their own sexual needs. They dismiss the concept of romantic love, instead promoting the idea that men should sleep with as many women as possible and dominate them completely.

One widely circulated curriculum offers a chapter-by-chapter guide to achieving such goals. It includes methods of destroying a woman’s self-esteem, setting emotionally manipulative traps to prevent women from leaving, pressuring women to change their personalities to become more compliant, encouraging suicide, and exploiting women financially to buy cars and homes.

“Then you will be on your way to the top of the world,” the guide reads.

The popularity of these programs reveals deeper societal issues. China is a highly patriarchal society, where men rarely face scrutiny for sexual assault and harassment, while women are routinely criticized for their age, weight, virginity or any number of perceived failings.

“Can PUA explain such tragedies?” Fang Kecheng, an assistant professor of journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote in a blog post about Ms. Bao’s suicide attempt. “If we expose PUA’s usual tricks, are we sure that such things won’t happen again?”

He says the root lies in China’s gender inequality. “PUA is an easy scapegoat,” he said. “Focusing on it simplifies the complexity of the tragedy.”

Some PUA programs seek to capitalize on that inequality, openly teaching misogynistic techniques.

In one program run by Langji, the teacher, Wang Huanyu, held out the prospect of sleeping with three women in a day, as he claimed to do. “That’s the life of a professional PUA,” he told students, according to a three-part documentary produced by a Chinese news site, The Paper.

“I’m the best PUA in China,” Mr. Wang told the class. “Chat up girls on the street in an hour.”

“Take them directly to a hotel,” he continued in the undated video.

In a series of YouTube videos, Mr. Wang, who is also a co-founder of Langji, demonstrates how to make sexual advances toward women — seeking consent is discouraged. In a 2016 video, he explained what to do when women say “no.” “The best way to prevent the girls from rejecting you is not asking the question ‘Can I hold your hand?’” he said.

He recommended against telling women where they were going when the man had sex in mind. “You don’t need to ask them, ‘Can I take you home?’” he said. “Just take them to a private space.”

If a woman is not willing to have sex, Mr. Wang suggested a solution in Chinese that can best be translated as persistent harassment. He also told his YouTube audience to initiate sex at 3 a.m., when women were sleepy and vulnerable.

“Tuidao,” or push down in Chinese, a euphemism for having sex, is the ultimate goal, he told the students. “How many have you tuidao?” he asked a thin young man in glasses in the documentary. “Sixteen in seven days,” the man responded.

Mr. Wang’s company would become a standard-bearer for the industry. In 2016, it was named a pioneering education institution by a Chinese online video platform, iQiyi.

The government started to crack down on PUA companies in the last two years, and Mr. Wang and his company became targets. Last year, he served 37 days in jail for spreading pornographic products. After the outcry over Ms. Bao’s suicide attempt increased scrutiny of the industry this month, the company deleted all the content on its official website and posted an apology letter, saying it had done “many bad things.”

Four students sued Langji in 2018 for teaching unethical content, including seducing women for sex through manipulative and controlling means, according to court verdicts. A court in the southwestern city of Chengdu, where Langji is based, ruled this year in their favor and ordered the company to refund their tuitions, between $1,000 and $4,250. Mr. Wang and his co-founder declined to be interviewed.

The police in the eastern province of Jiangsu announced in May that they had arrested a man who ran another program that taught men to encourage women to commit suicide, abuse them emotionally and treat them as “pets” and “prey.” The man was detained for five days and fined over $7,000. His websites and social media groups have been deleted.

Such programs are an outgrowth of the uneven balance of power in China. The country’s economic growth in the last 40 years has benefited men much more than women. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ranks China at 106, falling from 63 in 2006.

Chinese women are better educated than before, yet they have fewer opportunities. They are still largely judged by whom they marry.

After I asked on Weibo if any women had boyfriends who followed PUA techniques, two young women contacted me. Neither of them was sure that her former boyfriend had actually studied PUA strategies, but both identified with the student who had tried to commit suicide.

One of them, Amy, from Sichuan Province, said her ex-boyfriend had been very sweet in the beginning, then had started criticizing her for the smallest things. During their three-month relationship, he kept saying she needed to get married and have children as soon as possible since she was too old at 30.

“He called me his husky and asked me to call him master,” according to the woman, who said she was scared to use her full name because of fears of retribution by him.

The other, Kate Zhang, said she and her ex-boyfriend had been high school sweethearts in Shanghai. The trouble, she said, began when he left to go to a top university in Britain, while she left for a school in the United States.

Ms. Zhang said he had become much more domineering, telling her that she needed to lose weight and was a toxic person. They fought all the time on WeChat, just like the couple at Peking University, she said, adding that he similarly told her to get pregnant and then get an abortion. When she told him that she wanted to kill herself, he said, “Go ahead.”

Both women are going to therapy. Both said they were not sure if they could trust men in their future relationships. It was a sentiment echoed by the student at Peking University before she tried to commit suicide.

“When I think of love now,” she texted, “I can’t help but shiver.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought.

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — On a Monday afternoon in June 2017, Renee Holland was draped in an American flag at Philadelphia International Airport, waiting for a soldier she had befriended on Facebook.

The married 56-year-old had driven two hours from Delaware to pick him up. Their blossoming online friendship had prompted her to send him a care package and thousands of dollars in gift cards. She also wired him $5,000 for plane tickets to return home.

Now she was looking for a buff, tattooed man in uniform, just like in his Facebook photos. But his flight was not on the airport arrivals board. Then a ticket agent told her the flight didn’t exist.

From there, Ms. Holland said, it was a daze. She walked to her car, with “Welcome Home” written on the windows, and sobbed. She had spent much of her family’s savings on the phantom soldier. “There’s no way I can go home and tell my husband,” she remembered telling herself. She drove to a strip mall, bought sleeping pills and vodka, and downed them.

The man in the Facebook pictures had no idea who Ms. Holland was. His real identity was Sgt. Daniel Anonsen of the Marine Corps, and he had joined the social network a decade earlier to keep in touch with friends and family in Maryland. Now he was contending with dozens of Facebook impostor accounts using stolen photos of him at the gym, at his brother’s wedding and in Afghanistan.

“For every one that I deleted, there was 10 more that were popping up,” he said. “It turns my stomach.”

“There’s no way I can go home and tell my husband,” Renee Holland said she thought to herself.CreditCreditVideo by “The Weekly”/FX/Hulu

Ms. Holland and Mr. Anonsen represent two sides of a fraud that has flourished on Facebook and Instagram, where scammers impersonate real American service members to cheat vulnerable and lonely women out of their money. The deception has entangled the United States military, defrauded thousands of victims and smeared the reputations of soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines. It has also sometimes led to tragedy.

The scheme stands out for its audacity. While fraud has proliferated on Facebook for years, those running the military romance scams are taking on not only one of the world’s most influential companies, but also the most powerful military — and succeeding. Many scammers operate from their phones in Nigeria and other African nations, working several victims at the same time. In interviews in Nigeria, six men told The New York Times that the love hoaxes were lucrative and low risk.

“Definitely there is always conscience,” said Akinola Bolaji, 35, who has conned people online since he was 15, including by posing on Facebook as an American fisherman named Robert. “But poverty will not make you feel the pain.”

Watch The Times’s TV show, “The Weekly,” on FX and Hulu.
Facebook Love Scams: Who’s Really Behind That Friend Request?

Jul 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 28theweekly-fbhoax-promoimage4-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought. United States Defense and Military Forces Social Media Nigeria Love (Emotion) Imposters (Criminal) Hoaxes and Pranks Frauds and Swindling Facebook Inc Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet
5 Things to Know About Military Romance Scams on Facebook

Jul 28, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 00hoaxsidbar-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought. United States Defense and Military Forces Social Media Nigeria Love (Emotion) Imposters (Criminal) Hoaxes and Pranks Frauds and Swindling Facebook Inc Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet

Facebook has long had a mission to “connect the world.” But in the process, it has created a global gathering place where the crooks outnumber the cops.

For digital criminals, Facebook has become a one-stop shop. It has plenty of photos of American service members. Creating an impostor account can be easy. Facebook groups for single women and widows are full of targets. Scammers can message hundreds of potential victims. And they congregate in their own Facebook groups to sell fake accounts, Photoshopped images and scripts for pulling off the cons.

“There are so many people out there that are lonely, newly divorced, maybe widowed,” said Kathy Waters, head of a group called Advocating Against Romance Scams. “Everybody wants somebody to love and to listen to them and hear them. And these scammers know the right words to say.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155303280_06430823-1643-42dc-8ef8-ed144e5dc16c-articleLarge Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought. United States Defense and Military Forces Social Media Nigeria Love (Emotion) Imposters (Criminal) Hoaxes and Pranks Frauds and Swindling Facebook Inc Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet

Akinola Bolaji, 35, in Lagos, Nigeria, said he has posed on Facebook as an American fisherman named Robert.CreditThe New York Times

Facebook said it requires people to use their real identities on its sites. To eliminate impostor accounts, it has invested in technology and more human reviewers. The company works with the authorities to prosecute scammers. Billions of fake Facebook accounts have been blocked over the past year, the company said, though its estimate for the number of active fakes has steadily risen to about 120 million. It declined to disclose a figure for Instagram.

“That job is not finished and we are committed to sharing our progress,” Facebook said in a statement.

Kim Joiner, a deputy assistant to the secretary of defense who oversees the military’s social media accounts, said her team works with Facebook to remove impostors and was pleased with the company’s response. “I’m absolutely satisfied,” she said.

When shown that searches by The Times for three top American generals on Facebook and Instagram had yielded more than 120 impersonators, Ms. Joiner said it was “disturbing.” She said she did not know why the fakes were not eradicated.

“I mean, the numbers are astounding,” she said.

To her friends and family, Ms. Holland was known as trusting and impulsive. Born in Philadelphia, she had spent time in Arizona and Missouri, working as a gardener and in an auto shop. She met her fifth husband, Mark Holland, when she offered him a ride off the side of the road.

In 2001, she moved to Delaware to care for her sick mother. When her mother died in September 2016, Ms. Holland found herself depressed and with free time. She noticed her sister glued to her smartphone, scrolling through Facebook. So she bought a smartphone, too, and created a Facebook profile.

A few weeks later, Ms. Holland got a Facebook message from a stranger. The profile showed a man in uniform named Michael Chris. He told her he disarmed bombs in Iraq.

A selfie of Mr. Anonsen that impostor accounts used on Facebook and Instagram.Credit

Ms. Holland said she initially felt uneasy, but the conversation flowed. Mr. Chris told her about life at war. She made him laugh.

“He kept saying, ‘You’re really funny. And you make it easier for me just to know that somebody is at home that I can talk to,” she said. “How cool is this that I could really make somebody feel better?”

Over several months, their relationship deepened. Ms. Holland said she felt motherly. Mr. Chris began calling her “my wife.”

What Ms. Holland did not know was that the man in Mr. Chris’s photos was actually Mr. Anonsen — and that his images were all over the internet.

Mr. Anonsen grew up in suburban Maryland, about two hours from Ms. Holland’s Delaware home. The oldest of four boys, he said he had “wanted to be in the military since the day I could remember.” After graduating high school in 2006, he joined the Marines.

In 2010, while browsing Facebook, he discovered hundreds of unsolicited messages from women he did not know. Many said they loved him. They asked why, after months of correspondence, he was not responding. They implored him to write back.

Confused, Mr. Anonsen searched for his name on Facebook and found dozens of impostor accounts. The problem quickly mushroomed. The women who thought he had duped them harassed his parents online. A new real-life girlfriend grew suspicious.

“She started questioning everything about what I was doing,” said Mr. Anonsen, now 31. “It actually ended our relationship.”

Mostly searching variations of his name, The Times found 65 profiles on Facebook and Instagram that used Mr. Anonsen’s photos. When The Times reported the fakes to the sites, 24 were removed over more than six months.

Many more accounts have used Mr. Anonsen’s photos with different names. One used the name Michael Chris — and began messaging Ms. Holland in late 2016.

Several months into their online chats, Mr. Chris asked Ms. Holland for money. She bought him iTunes gift cards so, he said, he could buy more minutes on his cellphone. She sent money for beer for his birthday. And she paid for medicine for what he said was a sick daughter, Annabelle, in California.

A boarding pass that was edited to include the false flight details the scammer gave Ms. Holland.Credit

In June 2017, she wired $5,000 for Mr. Chris and a friend to fly to Philadelphia from Iraq. She sneaked the money from a pile of cash she and her husband hid in their bedroom, which represented their life savings. Mr. Chris promised to pay her back when he got there. He never arrived.

That was when Ms. Holland took the sleeping pills and vodka. Days later, she awoke in a hospital bed. “You open your eyes, and the person you didn’t want to face the most is sitting next to you,” she said. “Mark.”

Mr. Holland knew about his wife’s Facebook friend. An Army Airborne veteran himself, with tours in Honduras and South Korea, he once helped Ms. Holland prepare a care package of snacks, underwear and foot powder for Mr. Chris. (The package was returned.) Now he said he realized his wife’s relationship with this man had gone further than he understood.

“I had a lot of anger,” Mr. Holland, 53, said in an interview last year. “But I also had a little bit of compassion because I knew how bad she felt.”

When Ms. Holland returned home from the hospital, her relationship with her husband and her then 82-year-old father, whom she was caring for, was strained. One person kept talking to her: Mr. Chris.

“He wanted to make it up to me,” she said. “He was going to sit there, look my husband in the eye and tell him how sorry he was and pay him back.

“How cool is this that I could really make somebody feel better?” Ms. Holland said in an interview about messaging Michael Chris.CreditAdam Beckman

Ms. Holland said she had been convinced that it was a scam. But Mr. Chris swore to her that he had been delayed by a military operation. She received an email from someone claiming to be Gen. Stephen Townsend of the Army, confirming the story. There were soon new photos of Mr. Chris injured in war, documents showing he was due big insurance payments and promises she would be reimbursed for more than she had lost.

She just needed to get him home.

Twice more, Ms. Holland sent money for airfare, partly with credit cards, without her husband’s knowledge. Mr. Chris never showed.

The Hollands lost $26,000 to $30,000. To start afresh, they moved to Fort Pierce last year.

But the strains remained. Mr. Holland was arrested on domestic violence charges in August 2018, according to a police report. Ms. Holland dropped the charges. She said in an interview last year that there had been another incident in 2017.

On Dec. 23, 2018, Mr. Holland shot and killed Ms. Holland and her father at their new home. Mr. Holland then turned the gun on himself.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said Mr. Holland left no indication of motive.

While Reporting on Facebook Scams, an Unexpected Tragedy

Jul 28, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 29insider2-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Facebook Connected Her to a Tattooed Soldier in Iraq. Or So She Thought. United States Defense and Military Forces Social Media Nigeria Love (Emotion) Imposters (Criminal) Hoaxes and Pranks Frauds and Swindling Facebook Inc Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Dating and Relationships Computers and the Internet

By the end of 2017, Mr. Anonsen had quit Facebook and Instagram in frustration.

He estimated that he had reported roughly 200 impostor accounts to Facebook. The company removed some, but said many didn’t violate its rules. When he sent messages to Facebook pleading for help, he received automated responses.

Mr. Anonsen told his platoon commanders about the issue, then his battalion’s intelligence officers. All said it was out of their hands.

“I thought military intelligence would be able to type a couple of zeros and ones and it would all go away, but it’s not that simple,” said Mr. Anonsen, who left the military last year and now works on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico.

His experience reflects the futility of stopping military romance scams: No one appears to be able to help.

Mr. Anonsen left the military last year and now works on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico.CreditSandy Huffaker for The New York Times

“I don’t know what else we can be doing,” said Ms. Joiner, the Defense Department official. She called Facebook impostors “the new norm” and said the Pentagon combats them with education and reporting fake accounts to Facebook.

On Facebook and Instagram, The Times recently found more than 120 accounts impersonating three of the military’s highest-ranking generals. One Instagram account posing as Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had posted a photo of a child in a hospital bed, asking for donations to Nigeria via Western Union.

Ms. Joiner said when the Pentagon reported fakes, Facebook took them down. Yet when The Times reported 46 of the accounts to Instagram, the site responded within 24 hours that none violated its rules, without explaining why.

The Times later provided the list of impostors to the Pentagon. Four months later, 25 accounts were still active.

“I just don’t know how to influence it more than we are,” Ms. Joiner said.

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which investigates crimes involving Army personnel, said it fields calls from hundreds of victims of romance scams a month. But it said its investigators cannot look into those reports because the perpetrators and victims are civilians.

“Our jurisdiction stops there,” said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the division. He said they distribute public warnings and urge service members to protect their identities.

There are no exact figures on how many service members and civilians have been affected. The F.B.I. said it received nearly 18,500 complaints from victims of romance or similar internet scams last year, with reported losses exceeding $362 million, up 71 percent from 2017.

The F.B.I. investigates a fraction of those reports, said James Barnacle, head of the F.B.I.’s money laundering unit. Many victims lose a few thousand dollars, and “it’s really hard for an agency like the F.B.I. to work something that low, just because there’s so many cases that come in our door,” he said.

Facebook said it constantly removes impostor accounts with the help of software, human reviewers and user reports. Its software also scans for scammers and locks accounts until owners can provide proof of identity. It has a video warning people of scams.

The hoax has created a brigade of victims’ advocates. One is the group Advocating Against Romance Scams, run by Ms. Waters, a health care worker from Fresno, Calif., and Bryan Denny, a retired Army colonel.

“These scammers know the right words to say,” said Kathy Waters, head of a group called Advocating Against Romance Scams.CreditCreditVideo by “The Weekly”/FX/Hulu

Since 2017, they have met five times with Facebook and with 11 separate congressional offices to lobby for a law to hold social media sites responsible for such scams.

Since last year, Facebook has used Colonel Denny in tests of a new system to quickly remove impostors of commonly impersonated service members. He provided Facebook with 51 photos that his imitators used. Months later, he said, the fakes still showed up.

In an email to Ms. Waters and Colonel Denny last year, a Facebook spokeswoman wrote, “I understand what it must look like to you guys. I hope we can redeem ourselves.”

Ms. Holland left behind a trail of clues about Mr. Chris.

It started with receipts from Western Union and MoneyGram, which wire money around the world. Those revealed that Ms. Holland had not sent money directly to Mr. Chris, but to people in places like New Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Mr. Chris had told Ms. Holland they were “Army agents.” In reality, the F.B.I.’s Mr. Barnacle said, they were probably “money mules” who laundered payments to confuse victims and the authorities. They could be accomplices or victims themselves.

One of the names on Ms. Holland’s receipts was Maria, a Greek immigrant in New Jersey. She spoke on the condition of anonymity to hide her involvement in the scam from her adult children.

Maria, 57, said she joined Facebook after her husband died in 2010. She quickly heard from men in uniform and developed a relationship with a supposed Army sergeant named Jacob. He showered her with compliments, called her “my Queen” — and then requested money.

Over two years, Maria sent roughly $15,000. She pawned her jewelry and stopped paying her mortgage. When her bank blocked her from sending more, her scammer persuaded her to forward a payment from someone else: Ms. Holland.

“Am tired disappointed depressed I lost everything I don’t know what ales to do,” Maria wrote to her scammer in messages reviewed by The Times.

“Just give me your trust one more time,” the person wrote.

“Okay one time,” Maria responded.

Messages between Maria and “Jacob Barrett.” The texts have been altered to redact identifying information.Credit

In 2017, the bank foreclosed on Maria’s house. To save her home, she increased her working hours at a factory to seven days a week.

“I don’t know how humans can do that to another human,” she said.

All of the clues ultimately pointed to Nigeria.

Maria’s receipts showed her payments went to someone in Nigeria named Victor Ohaja. That name had also appeared in Ms. Holland’s receipts. In her final payment to Mr. Chris, $350 went to Mr. Ohaja. His connection to the person purporting to be Mr. Chris was unclear.

According to the Internet Protocol address for the person messaging as Mr. Chris — a kind of online identification number that can provide a rough location — he appeared to be in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Times messaged the person and presented its reporting about his scam. “Nice job,” he responded. “No one is perfect.” Then he logged off and has not returned.

Nigeria has become synonymous with online scams, fairly or not. Easy internet access, poverty and English are widespread. And those who learn the trade pass it to others, said the men who talked to The Times about the internet schemes.

They called their victims “clients” and themselves “Yahoo Boys,” a nod to the online chat service Yahoo Messenger where love scams gained traction nearly 20 years ago. Now they ply their trade on Facebook and Instagram, they said, because that’s where the people are.

Many ‘Yahoo Boys’ operate out of cyber cafes.CreditThe New York Times

Three Nigerian men, age 25, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they conned people on Facebook to pay for their education at Lagos State University.

They said they previously made $28 to $42 a month in administrative jobs or pressing shirts. With love hoaxes, the money was inconsistent but more plentiful. One estimated he made about $14,000 in two years; another took in $28,000 in three years.

Nigerian authorities have publicized raids on Yahoo Boys, but the scammers said they do not worry. Some said they paid bribes to evade arrest.

Facebook was becoming tougher on their profession, they added, but Instagram was easy to elude. If their accounts were blocked, they bought new ones; a six-month-old profile cost about $14, one said.

Adedeji Oyenuga, a senior lecturer in criminology at Lagos State University who has studied Yahoo Boys, said Nigeria’s older generation largely rejects the scammers, but many youths embrace them. “Girls would rather date a Yahoo Boy,” he said.

The trail of Ms. Holland’s and Maria’s money led finally to Owerri, a city of 1.2 million people in southern Nigeria.

A bank in Owerri, Nigeria, where Victor Ohaja picked up some of the money sent by Renee Holland and Maria.CreditGrace Ekpu

During his cash pickups at banks in Owerri, Mr. Ohaja left four nearby addresses and three phone numbers, according to an official at a money-transfer company, who declined to be identified because the information was confidential.

There was another name. Maria’s scammer had once instructed her to send a package to an Orji James Ogbonnaya at a different Owerri address. Her scammer also sent a phone number for Mr. Ogbonnaya that was the same number that Mr. Ohaja left during one of his pickups.

In Owerri, the addresses led to dead ends: a convenience store, an electronics shop, a DHL location and an office building.

“There’s no name like that here,” said Peace Benjamin, the building’s security officer. “It’s a trick. Don’t you understand?”

When The Times tried the phone numbers, one left by Mr. Ohaja was disconnected; another went to a lecturer at the local university, who expressed confusion. The number linked to both Mr. Ohaja and Mr. Ogbonnaya was answered by a deep-voiced man who identified himself as Mr. Ogbonnaya. He hung up when he learned The Times was calling.

“Please. I don’t know you. I don’t have any information related to what you’re looking for,” he texted later. “Don’t bug me. I really need some peace.”

That night, Mr. Ogbonnaya called back. He denied any connection to Yahoo Boys. “I’m just a delivery man,” he said.

Last month, the same man answered the phone again.

“I don’t know anybody like that,” he said, when referred to as Mr. Ogbonnaya. “I’m Chris. You can call me Chris.”

Jack Nicas reported from Fort Pierce, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; New York; Seattle; San Francisco; Belton, Mo.; and Lagos and Owerri, Nigeria. Bukky Omoseni and Mayowa Tijani contributed reporting from Lagos. Tony Iyare contributed reporting from Owerri. Susan Beachy contributed research.

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For Boris Johnson, the Tumult Begins Inside Downing Street

LONDON — As he finally moves into the job he has wanted all his life, the newly anointed prime minister, Boris Johnson, brings with him a formidable array of challenges, the most pressing being his promise to extricate Britain from the European Union.

He also brings a chaotic personal life and, as the first single prime minister in more than 40 years, an unsettled domestic situation unique in the annals of modern-day prime ministerial politics.

Separated from and in the process of divorcing Marina Wheeler, his wife of 26 years, Mr. Johnson has since last year been dating and intermittently living with Carrie Symonds, 31, a former spokeswoman for the Conservative Party. Ms. Symonds has been credited with getting Mr. Johnson, 55, to cut his hair, lose some weight, effect more gravitas and start wearing clothes that look to be ironed.

But the couple have not appeared at any public events or been photographed together since neighbors called the police last month to report that the two were having a loud domestic argument at her apartment. (The police said they visited and there was no need for further action.)

Ms. Symonds was not by Mr. Johnson’s side when he addressed the Conservative Party as its new leader on Tuesday. (“Where’s Carrie Symonds?” The Mirror asked.)

Asked about the argument at a televised campaign event last month, Mr. Johnson repeatedly danced around the question. “I think what people have come here today, seductive interviewer though you are, I think people have, I don’t think they want to hear about that kind of thing,” he said.

Mr. Johnson and Ms. Wheeler have four children together. Mr. Johnson, whose womanizing has been the subject of extensive coverage in the British news media, is the father of at least one child from an extramarital affair. He and Ms. Wheeler had split up several times before but had always gotten back together.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158345475_9a6e7d72-cfa3-41c8-9f92-475cdfbe80ac-articleLarge For Boris Johnson, the Tumult Begins Inside Downing Street Legislatures and Parliaments Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Dating and Relationships Conservative Party (Great Britain)

Carrie Symonds, a former spokeswoman for the Conservative Party, has been in a relationship with Mr. Johnson since last year.CreditBen Cawthra/Sipa, via Associated Press

Their marriage has now broken up for good, friends say, over his relationship with Ms. Symonds.

Ms. Symonds was spotted with her mother over the weekend moving things into a new house in Camberwell that, according to newspaper reports, she and Mr. Johnson have bought together.

Meanwhile, the Brexit-supporting Daily Telegraph, a kind of in-house organ for Mr. Johnson that tends to know what is going on with him, reported a few days ago that Ms. Symonds does plan to move into Downing Street. But she will do it quietly and over the coming weekend, the paper claimed, so as not to draw attention to herself during what she feels is meant to be “Boris’s moment.”

A spokesman for Mr. Johnson did not return an email seeking comment.

In the 2003 film “Love Actually,” a single prime minister (Hugh Grant) starts dating a young woman (Martine McCutcheon) who brings tea to his office every afternoon. But there is little precedent in real life for a First Partner in Downing Street, and it is unclear what, if any, formal role Ms. Symonds would have in Mr. Johnson’s premiership.

The new prime minister — who has an air of personal disorganization, tends to lose things, and used to lug his belongings to and from work in a backpack slung over his shoulders — is said to have lived with friends, and at his house in Thame, Oxfordshire, over the past few weeks.

He and Ms. Wheeler have reportedly sold their family home in Islington, London. Since their argument, neither Ms. Symonds nor Mr. Johnson appear to have stayed in her apartment.

But the job of prime minister comes with government-sponsored housing at 10 Downing Street, one of three connected townhouses on a small, blocked-off road in central London.

Downing Street is not like the White House. It is smaller, more crowded and much less grand, and the housing arrangements inside are more fluid.

Beginning with Tony Blair, who took office when he still had a young family, the last few prime ministers have lived in the apartment on the upper floors of 11 Downing Street, which is larger and more spacious than the pokier apartment at No. 10. That has relegated the chancellors of the Exchequer, who usually live in No. 11, to the apartment at No. 10.

Ms. Wheeler and Mr. Johnson with Ivo Sramek, a Czech official, at a meeting of European foreign ministers in 2017.CreditPool photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas

Prime ministers typically provide many of their own furnishings, aided by public money for upkeep of their living quarters. Unlike in the United States, where the two-plus months between the presidential election and inauguration provide for a measured and organized housing transition, a change in premiership in Britain is abrupt. One prime minister moves out of Downing Street; the next moves in right away.

Last weekend, The Mail on Sunday reported that due to his divorce, Mr. Johnson “didn’t have any stuff” and had asked the government to pay for new furniture to fit out his prime ministerial apartment.

A spokesman told the newspaper that Mr. Johnson had been offered taxpayer-funded furniture but had turned it down, and that the prime minister would foot the bill for his own furnishings.

Sir Ed Davey, a member of Parliament from the opposition Liberal Democrat party, said he wanted to get to the bottom of the whole thing and planned to write to the Cabinet Office to find out what the government intended to spend on Mr. Johnson’s apartment.

“I’ve heard of sofa government, but this is ridiculous,” he told The Mail, using a Britishism for a leader’s circle of advisers. “He earns a fortune and should be able to earn his own furniture.”

In addition to his parliamentary salary, which is about 79,000 pounds a year, Mr. Johnson is reportedly paid 275,000 pounds a year for his weekly column in The Daily Telegraph and last year earned tens of thousands of pounds in speaking engagements. Those activities will most likely have to stop now that he is prime minister.

Declaring that Theresa May, the departing prime minister, had paid for her own furnishings and that “she has never earned anything like as much as Boris Johnson,” Mr. Davey alluded to accounts of Mr. Johnson’s fight with Ms. Symonds.

Neighbors said Ms. Symonds could be heard accusing Mr. Johnson of spilling red wine on her sofa and being spoiled about money.

“Rather than wine stain, he should be worried about the stain he is making on British politics,” Mr. Davey told The Mail.

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The Shift: Instagram Is Trying to Curb Bullying. First, It Needs to Define Bullying.

If you were to rank all the ways humans can inflict harm on one another, ranked by severity, it might be a few pages before you got to “intentional inducement of FOMO.”

Purposefully giving someone else FOMO — fear of missing out — is not a crime, or even a misdemeanor. But it is a big problem on Instagram, where millions of teenagers go every day to check on their peers. And it is one of the subtle slights that Instagram is focused on classifying as part of its new anti-bullying initiative, which will use a combination of artificial intelligence and human reviewers to try to protect its youngest users from harassment and pain.

The anti-bullying effort is part of a larger attempt by Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, to clean themselves up. Both platforms have struggled to contain a flood of toxic behavior, extreme content and misinformation on their services.

Instagram is particularly vulnerable because of its young user base. About 70 percent of American teenagers use the service, according to the Pew Research Center. And 42 percent of cyberbullying victims ages 12 to 20 reported being bullied on Instagram, according to a 2017 survey by the British anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label.

This week, I went to Instagram’s New York office with several other reporters to hear its executives describe how they’re trying to fight bullying. It’s not the company’s first time talking about the topic — the former chief executive, Kevin Systrom, discussed bullying all the way back in 2016 — but it is a subject of renewed focus there. Last year, Instagram announced an effort to use A.I. to label instances of bullying within photos. This year, it said it would begin testing new features aimed at improving teenagers’ mental health, including the ability to hide “like” counts on posts.

“There are a lot of teens using Instagram, so we actually see new behaviors and words all the time, and we need to work quickly to understand if these new trends are harmful,” said Bettina Fairman, Instagram’s director of community operations.

These efforts are still unproven, and, like any Facebook-related promises, they’re best taken with a heaping handful of salt. But Instagram seems to be more aggressive about this than competing platforms like Twitter and Snapchat.

If you want to stamp out bullying, you first have to know what forms it takes. So late last year, Instagram began assembling focus groups of teenagers and parents and gathering feedback about what types of unwanted behavior they encountered on the platform.

Some were the predictable types of threats and insults — like rating users’ attractiveness on a one-to-10 scale, a practice that Instagram already prohibits — while others were more unexpected.

Some teenagers reported feeling bullied when their exes showed off new boyfriends or girlfriends in a menacing way — for example, by tagging the jilted ex in the photo to trigger a notification and rub in the fact that they had moved on to someone new.

Instagram came up with a name for this category of bullying — “betrayals” — and started training an algorithm to detect it.

“One of the things we learned early on is that how we were defining bullying in our Community Guidelines doesn’t necessarily capture all the ways people feel like they’re being bullied,” said Karina Newton, Instagram’s global head of public policy.

Not all of these behaviors necessarily violate Instagram’s rules. The company has not yet decided where to draw every line; for now, it is just trying to understand bullying’s many flavors and teach machines to flag them for human reviewers, who then decide whether or not they violate the platform’s rules.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154196568_8e0307b9-083a-41af-88b4-871b071d2477-articleLarge The Shift: Instagram Is Trying to Curb Bullying. First, It Needs to Define Bullying. Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Mental Health and Disorders Instagram Inc Facebook Inc Dating and Relationships Bullies Artificial Intelligence

Instagram product head Adam Mosseri discusses the social network’s anti-bullying efforts during the F8 Facebook Developers conference.CreditJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook and Instagram already use A.I. to detect various types of off-limits content, including nudity, child exploitation and terrorism-related material. But classifying bullying is a bigger challenge, because doing so often depends on the context of a social interaction.

Take one of the examples used by the executives during Tuesday’s briefing: a photo of two teenage girls that was posted to Instagram with the caption “love you hoe.”

Normally, Instagram’s systems would pick up on the derogatory word “hoe” and flag the post to a human reviewer. But in context, it’s clear that the user meant it as a term of endearment, so the correct action would be to leave the post up.

Or consider a hypothetical photo of a teenage couple at the beach, posted to Instagram with the caption “Wish you were here, Amanda!”

Normally, that post would be bland and inoffensive. But you can imagine contexts in which it would constitute bullying:

Are the people in the photo mocking Amanda for being the only senior not invited to Beach Week? If so, it could constitute “intentional inducement of FOMO.”

Is Amanda the ex-girlfriend of the boy in the photo, being taunted by the new girlfriend? If so, it could be classified as a form of betrayal.

Is there a whale in the background that is tagged as Amanda, as a cruel joke about her weight? If so, it could be classified as an insult.

It’s odd to realize that what Instagram is describing — a planetary-scale A.I. surveillance system for detecting and classifying various forms of teenage drama — is both technically possible and, sadly, maybe necessary. It should make us all question whether a single company should have so much power over our social relationships, or whether any platform of Instagram’s size can be effectively governed at all.

But if you have to have an Instagram-size platform, there are arguments in favor of using A.I. to seek out bad behavior, rather than wait for users to report it. One reason, Instagram’s executives said, is that teenagers often don’t report bullying when it happens to them. Some fear social repercussions or retaliation from their bullies, while others fear that their parents will take away their phones.

Eventually, the company hopes its A.I. will be good enough to identify and remove all types of bullying on its own, without the need for human review. But, executives cautioned, that day may be distant, especially outside the English-speaking world, where it has fewer moderators and less local-language data available to train algorithms.

“Our algorithms aren’t yet as good as people when it comes to understanding context,” Ms. Fairman said.

Instagram’s critics probably won’t be satisfied that, after making billions of dollars in profits and contributing to what researchers say is an epidemic of teenage depression and anxiety, the company is now trying to dismantle the culture of social media bullying it helped to create.

“Where were they five years ago? It’s about time, honestly,” said Jim Steyer, the chief executive of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit watchdog group that advocates better protections on children’s technology. “This has been a huge issue for years, and most of these companies buried their heads in the sand until they were under pressure to do something about it.”

It’s true that Instagram’s anti-bullying effort may be useful for generating good P.R., and that the company seems to be making up some of the details as it goes along. It’s also true that Instagram has a multitude of serious problems on its hands — including anti-vaccine misinformation and rampant hate speech and extremism — and that building A.I. to detect bullying is probably a more convenient challenge than rethinking the ad-driven business model and platform design issues that encourage antisocial behavior in the first place.

But better too little, too late than nothing, ever. Instagram’s bully-detecting A.I. is a good idea, and a step toward giving young people an easier time navigating the vicissitudes of 21st-century adolescence. For their sake, let’s hope it works.

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