Elon Musk had been planning to acquire his fave social media, but this turned into a Twitter escape after he pulled out of a $44 billion deal. Twitter still wants to force the acquisition process through the court, and his fans still consider Musk a genius billionaire and a witty shitposter. Well, the world’s richest man made Anti-Boredom month memorable. Either way, I’ve also heard some other tech news in July.
In today’s letter:
⚡️Reface Breaking: check out our new webpage Reface Business
💸 Number: how much money did the army of shitposters help raise for Ukraine?
✏️ Twitted: do CEOs burn out?
🤜 Point: ethical concerns grow as countries spend more on military AI
🤫 Smoking room: hyping DALL-E, Playboy NFTs, TIME’s metacover
🔭 Oh, my meme: farewell, Hubble
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Over $50К raised for the Georgian Legion of Ukraine – NAFO making memes and raising money by trolling Russian officials on social media.
You must have seen those goofy doggo memes online, but few people knew their backstory until this summer. The cartoon army of Shiba Inu dogs makes Russian propagandists shake. They are NAFO, the North Atlantic Fellas Organization, catching those who spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine.
In May, digital artist Kama started designing doggos and putting them on pics from Ukraine. At the same time, the Georgian Legion — a volunteer military unit of Georgians fighting in Ukraine — was seeking donations for equipment, and Kama began to create avatars for those who donated to the Legion.
NAFO skyrocketed in June after a dinosaur of a Russian diplomat argued with the Fellas on Twitter and lost. Now you can find the Fellas acting in every thread from a Russian official: a small army of shitposters that react to fake posts and anti-Ukrainian provocations.
“The Russians are good at disinformation,” one of the Fellas told Vice. “They’re good at controlling it and processing it, but they’re not used to any kind of operation at this scale. So now what they’re dealing with is trying to control up to 100,000 soldiers who are just doing soldier shit.”
NAFO makes collabs, sells avatars and prints, and created a Discord server to organize charity events, expose propaganda, and share Ukrainian news from trusted sources. Actually, it was great to know NAFO had even used Reface app to create videos for their channel.
Over the past six months, the power of memes has made us take a fresh look at many situations. NAFO’s creator believes his army is allowing people to see the truth behind the veil of Russian propaganda without losing themselves. So do I.
🥵 Even CEO can burn out
Summer is the best season to catch yourself wondering if you’re doing everything right. Rising demands, blurring lines between work and personal life, constant rushing, and staying connected 24/7 can turn into a groundhog day for anyone running a startup or growing business.
Leadership burnout is a bummer and can happen to anyone. I won’t tell you to keep it up; it’s time to break the stereotypes about business supermanship. But I have shared some ideas about this on my Twitter.
Military AI is booming
According to a recent study in MIT Technology Review that I couldn't skip, the war in Ukraine has encouraged many countries to review their budgets for tech development — namely, the usage of AI in defense.
Ethical concerns about the use of AI in war are surfacing as technology advances and systems of AI regulation are still a long way away.
Tech and military relations had been strained even four years ago. However, due to the security threat to the entire civilized world, Silicon Valley startups are now much closer to the militaries of the world.
The demand for AI is growing, but the process is moving too slowly. What are the risks of switching AI from a positive to a lethal use, and will its systems of restriction be implemented? The new generation of military AI raises difficult ethical questions with no clear answers. While some experts fear the uncontrolled use of technology, others are convinced that some of those solutions are already saving lives.
🤫 smoking room
Overheard at the water cooler
- Sounds political: Web 3 platforms have teamed up to foster inclusiveness, transparency, decentralization, and other “lawmaking” in the metaverse.
- DALL-E Mini goes viral with more opportunities for creative shitposting. Even better news for Wordle geeks: a homemade version of DALL-E, is way more fun.
- TIME’s new cover is dedicated to the metaverse. Here’s the story behind how a former Major League baseball shortstop turned digital artist ended up in collabs with media giants.
- Playboy mansion to launch in the metaverse. Sandbox COO & co-founder has proof (or maybe NFTs).
💋 oh, my Meme
NASA has shared the first jaw-dropping pics from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which doesn’t compare to anything before. Thank you, Hubble, for showing us space. It's time to see it deeper.
That’s it for tonight, Refacers. Stay tuned, prevent burnout, & see you at the next monthly recap.