Top reads for today
"Anyone who hasn't read this needs to do so. Should I change my name to Donald?" wonders freelance financial journalist Donna Ferguson, sharing The Guardian's deep dive into the dark side of their comment section (at 3,400+ shares right now)."10 writers who get the most online abuse are 8 women and 2 black men. 10 writers who get the least? all white dudes," TIME's Charlotte Alter breaks it down. "I won a place in the top 5 most abused Guardian writers! Never won anything before," fake-gushes commentator Nesrine Malik. "Good on the Guardian for turning its 70m+ comments into a giant data set & confirming what we already know as truth," praises Sarah Weinman at Publishers Lunch. "I'd also like to know how many commenters had actually read the article (my pet hate)," admits education editor Alice Woolley. "Journalists do need to be challenged. But yeah. Not like that," tweets VICE's Mike Diver. "Key lesson from @becky_gardiner deep dive below the line: write more about crosswords, cricket, horse racing & jazz," suggests Berlin correspondent Philip Oltermann, enumerating the least troll-worthy posts. Visuals editor Xaquín G.V. pointedly asks, "Is this really the web [we] want?"
In an emotional plea, Saints coach Sean Payton rails against guns after former defensive end Will Smith's death at the hands of one this weekend. “If this opinion in Louisiana is super unpopular, so be it,” Payton tells USA Today in his first interview since Smith's killing. "Brave (for Louisiana) stance by @Saints coach @SeanPayton in this thoughtful interview: 'I hate guns,'" details Toronto Star's Robert Benzie. Speaking of Canada, Dan Levin's perfectly titled "My Daddy’s Rich and My Lamborghini’s Good-Looking" takes a look at how that country's weak currency and welcoming immigration policies have made Vancouver a top destination for China’s one-percenters. "Fuerdai learns poverty by going out with just Victoria’s Secret pajamas & $1,000 Chanel shoes. We've all been there," snarks WSJ's Chun Han Wong. Meanwhile, Jia Tolentino puts out a riveting read dissecting exactly how "empowerment" became something for women to buy. "Women’s empowerment borrows the virtuous window-dressing of the SW’s doctrine and kicks its substance to the side," Tolentino convincingly argues.
Taking a turn toward the truly dark side of news, we learn from Unicef that Boko Haram is using more children as suicide bombers: over the past two years, 20 percent of suicide bombers deployed by Boko Haram have been children, and most often girls. And in the U.S., religious day cares also get freedom from oversight with frequently tragic results--such as a child drowning in a baptismal font. "When Jesus says 'Suffer little children...' I doubt this is what he had in mind," points out Ry Rivard at Voice of San Diego.
Here's something we never thought we'd see: the National Weather Service will stop using all caps in its forecasts. "BEGINNING ON MAY 11, @NOAA’S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECASTS WILL STOP YELLING AT YOU," the NWS account tweets, later adding, "Don't worry, we'll still YELL when it's important!"