Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Mental wellness apps are basically the Wild West of therapy

Here’s a Counter-Factual: Social Media Is Making Us… Nicer?

In person, we still know how to be classy friends. But class is tricky on social media. No one can be expected to read the room when the room is planet-sized. - Wired

Digital therapy is here to stay. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, therapy apps were already starting to gain popularity amongst people struggling with issues ranging from stress to serious mental illness. When offices went virtual, they secured their spot in the mental health space. While some applications like Talkspace and Betterhelp connect you with a licensed therapist, a substantial portion of the market has gone fully humanless.

Mental wellness apps are basically the Wild West of therapy

Therapy apps are booming, but mental health experts have vetted precious few

The man behind last month's scraping of LinkedIn data, which exposed the location, phone numbers, and inferred salaries of 700 million users, says that he did it "for fun" -- though he is also selling the data. 9to5Mac reports: BBC News spoke with the man who took the data, under the name Tom Liner: "How would you feel if all your information was catalogued by a hacker and put into a monster spreadsheet with millions of entries, to be sold online to the highest paying cyber-criminal? That's what a hacker calling himself Tom Liner did last month 'for fun' when he compiled a database of 700 million LinkedIn users from all over the world, which he is selling for around $5,000 [...]. In the case of Mr Liner, his latest exploit was announced at 08:57 BST in a post on a notorious hacking forum [...] 'Hi, I have 700 million 2021 LinkedIn records,' he wrote. Included in the post was a link to a sample of a million records and an invite for other hackers to contact him privately and make him offers for his database." 

Liner says he was also behind the scraping of 533 million Facebook profiles back in April (you can check whether your data was grabbed): "Tom told me he created the 700 million LinkedIn database using 'almost the exact same technique' that he used to create the Facebook list. He said: 'It took me several months to do. It was very complex. I had to hack the API of LinkedIn. If you do too many requests for user data in one time then the system will permanently ban you.'"

Bearing Witness – Stories behind the artifacts in the Yad Vashem Museum Collection – “Preserved in the Artifacts Collection of Yad Vashem’s Museum are approximately twenty chess sets that were used by Jews during the Holocaust. Some were crafted during the war, others were made before the war and taken with Jews who were deported from their homes. Playing chess helped to alleviate the suffering of Jews and allowed them a few brief moments of relief from the hunger, the cold and the fear, temporarily easing their loneliness and sense of isolation…”