When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: social media


Milei's Victory In Argentina: The Cult Of Personal Freedom At All Costs

Javier Milei has scored a stunning victory on a populist far-right platform promising maximum personal liberties and a shrunken state. But the deep rifts and economic hardship in Argentinian society present huge risks for the nation and its incoming president.

Updated Nov. 20, 2023 at 12:55 p.m.


BUENOS AIRES – Riding the cult of unfettered personal liberty, Javier Milei, the far-right populist Libertarian candidate, has scored a stunning victory to become Argentina's next president. The rival to Milei in Sunday's second-round runoff, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, called him to concede, trailing by a 10-point margin after nearly 90% of the vote was counted.

It's another populist victory in a major country (Indeed, former U.S .President Donald Trump was quick to congratulate Milei whom he said would "Make Argentina Great Again!"), and defied pollsters and the political establishment that questioned whether voters would elect someone who'd vowed to "blow up" the central bank and carry out major changes to the economy and politics.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Milei had seemingly swayed a significant enough portion of public opinion by promising to unleash a new era where personal freedom would be supreme. Regularly exercising his freedom to shout at viewers, he had declared that, if elected, he would maximize liberties at the expense of state powers. But after October’s first-round results showed Miei trailing Massa, the runoff realized the worst fears of many that a society based almost solely around individualism was here to stay in Argentina

Watch VideoShow less

Mob Influence? Italy's Mafia Is Turning To TikTok For New Recruits

Italy's highest-profile nemesis of organized crime networks, prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, discusses the mob's use of social networks, and how TikTok allows criminal organizations to advertise their lifestyle to impressionable viewers. Sound familiar?

NAPLES — "TikTok is the mob's most used social media platform. It is where the criminal world can showcase its wealth through golden watches and luxury cars, attracting ignorant young people who only want money, and are willing to put aside any ethics or morality."

These are the words of Nicola Gratteri, top anti-mafia prosecutor, now based in the southern city of Naples.

In an interview with La 7 television network, Gratteri analyzed the evolution of the mob's communication networks, which now leverage the influence of social media on the new generations to warp their perceptions of wealth and success.

Keeping up with new trends is not new for criminals. Gratteri explains: "the mafia has always behaved like a business, even a hundred years ago. For example, when mafia figures made substantial offerings to the church saint, in front of everyone, they were essentially engaging in advertising. It was a demonstration of power, similar to the acquisition, in the 1960s, of football coaches and teams, which then began climbing the competitive rankings."

Keep reading...Show less

Gaza Hospital “Catastrophic,” China Calls For Myanmar Ceasefire, Nepal’s TikTok Ban

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where U.S. President Joe Biden calls for the protection of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, China calls for a ceasefire between Myanmar and rebel fighters, and Nepal cracks down on social media. We also feature a story of an unlikely library opening on the tiny Italian island of Capraia.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

Keep reading...Show less

Meet The Weather Influencers: Climate Change, Vacation Plans, Lightning Bolts!

In recent years, social interest in climatology has grown exponentially, turning meteorologists into quasi-rockstars who, thanks to technology, can interact with their audiences and provide real-time updates.

Bernard Mergen's bookWeather Mattersexplores the notion that meteorological experiences hold a strong presence in people's imagination, sometimes even elevated to a quasi-religious category: it illuminates the paradoxes of order and disorder in everyday life and brings together forces such as scientific law, chance, and free will.

Our society lives with the constant need to know what the weather will be, tallied in the countless inquiries we make to websites or mobile apps. In the face of this and the specter of global warming, the job of climatologist and good ol' fashion weather forecaster is no longer confined to a trivial elevator conversation, but becomes a matter of public interest.

And with that, meteorologists have become true modern rock stars.

Keep reading...Show less
Lucetta Scaraffia

Giorgia Meloni's Ugly Break-Up And The Future Of Right-Wing Feminism

Last week, Italy was caught in the uproar of Giorgia Meloni's break-up, a swirl of TV scandal and political controversy. But now that the dust is settled, what does this mean for a single mother standing strong, though alone, on the political right.


ROMEGiorgia Meloni, Italy's controversial first female Prime Minister, took to her social media on Friday to announce her break-up from television journalist Andrea Giambruno. This comes after Meloni's winning right-wing campaign last year revolved around the family unit, even if she and Giambruno (father to their 7-year-old daughter) had never been married.

First, we must explain the events leading to last week's break-up: Giambruno had found himself at the center of a scandal after an Italian television program aired inappropriate comments which had been recorded on hot microphones and off-air microphones. The TV personality was caught asking female colleagues for threesomes, telling them he would be "touching himself" during conversations, and other other instances of workplace harassment.

This was not the first time Giambruno had revealed himself as a source of sexist embarrassment, after incurring outrage over the summer for declaring that if women didn't get drunk they could avoid being victims of sexual violence.

But last week's controversy was the last straw for Meloni, and with a swift move, she defied the conventions of her own political family, becoming a right-wing single woman — and single mother.

Watch VideoShow less
In The News
Haïfa Mzalouat and Emna Chebaane

Gaza's Info War: On-The-Ground Journalism v. Fake News Online

Since the beginning of Israel's attacks on Gaza, journalists on the ground have been on the front lines, and many of them have already lost their lives. Meanwhile, the media machine in the rest of the world has gone wild, with even the most prominent media outlets spreading fake news.

"There’s no safe place, but I’m trying my best to stay safe”. Twenty-two year-old journalist Plestia Alaqad has been reporting on the situation as best she can on social networks, while escaping Israel's bombing raids on Gaza. “I am barely able to do my job under these circumstances”.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Journalists in the field are on the front lines, trying their best to cover the facts, often losing their lives in the process. Fourteen journalists have already been killed, while others are directly suffering the consequences of the attack: power cuts, water and food shortages and forced displacement.

Meanwhile, false information has been flooding in through the media and online. In fact, several newspapers have been criticized for their biased coverage.

Watch VideoShow less
Simonetta Sciandivasci

Dolce Vita, Where Are You? An Italian Takedown Of The Cult Of Working Out

With the social value of sports having recently been officially acknowledged in the Italian constitution, writer Simonetta Sciandivasci reflects on the cult of excessive health, and rants about the impossibility of keeping up beauty trends masked as self-care.


Gyms open before coffee bars. Some never close. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Years ago, unions rose up in vain against the continuous, eternal openings of supermarkets, accusing the "Save Italy" decree of blurring, even nullifying, the distinction between weekdays and holidays, day and night, overtime and regular time. Many spoke of deregulation, oppressive liberalism, a "capitalist assault on sleep."

None of those voices ever even whispered a complaint against the non-stop hours of gyms. And now you are here, at 6 a.m., living through the consequences. As badly as you wish you could buy a cappuccino and a croissant, the only light you can see lit from the street is that of the hall of a fitness center. It looks like it was tastefully decorated by a minimalist sadist who is passionate about the Ming dynasty and Nazism.

Coffee bars closed and gyms open. The market has chosen: physical maintenance above all else.

Watch VideoShow less
Emanuela Minucci

The Vacant Era Of 'Homo Viden' — A Philosopher's Takedown Of Selfie Culture

Italian philosopher Umberto Galimberti says it is a tragedy to photograph a life into existence rather than living it.


"The selfie is indecent," proclaims Italian philosopher Umberto Galimberti.

Watch VideoShow less
Ru Sang

How China Fell In Love With Syria's First Lady

Asma al-Assad fits China's traditional, nationalist, and sexist stereotype of the 'perfect woman'. Her image has also helped distract from her husband's oppressive regime.

BEIJING — It was September 21 when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad arrived in Beijing on a special Air China plane and began their six-day state visit to China.

Photos of the couple getting out of the plane and walking on the red carpet became an instant hit on Chinese social media. Their brief presence during the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games quickly became viral and a top search on Weibo.

Asma was widely praised for both her appearance and temperament. As they visited Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, local media reported that a woman tourist touched Asma's face and paid her a compliment. Asma also did an exclusive interview with Phoenix Satellite TV and visited Beijing Foreign Studies University with her children to participate in a symposium — she was warmly welcomed and her presence was highly appreciated by teachers and students alike.

During their visit, keywords such as "First Lady", "Desert Rose" and "Diana Of The Orient" trended on China's mainstream social media platforms. Asma, who has dual British and Syrian nationality, was called a "hero" who "resists American hegemony".

If you believe some social media users, Asma is unaware of the real situation of the Syrian civil war, as she is an angel of "wisdom, beauty and kindness" and "the person who has the most fans in China."

Watch VideoShow less
Riccardo Luna

Collateral Tech Damage Of Hamas Attack: The Final Demise Of Twitter

Elon Musk has been criticized before for his management of Twitter, now known as X. But it was not until Saturday that the social network revealed just how inept and dangerous it had become, as fake news spread far and wide. It may never recover.


No, Twitter didn't end on July 24, 2023 — that's when Elon Musk, seemingly out of the blue, decided it would be called X.

Twitter, as we'd come to know it and appreciate its usefulness, died on the morning of October 7, following the surprise terror attack by Hamas and the Israeli response. The platform's deeper transformation of the past months was revealed to us that day, in all its ugliness: Rather than a natural evolution, Twitter has experienced a ghastly genetic mutation.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

X has failed to live up to Musk's old dream of a single app that does everything for everyone. But X has also become something far from the once-loved social network that invented microblogging in 2006, helping users share their insights into the world in 140 characters.

The little blue bird today is an unrecognizable beast. It's like a public intersection without traffic light and signs, and chances are you've also heard the sound of the crashes on your timeline.

Watch VideoShow less
Gaspard Koenig

It's Us Not Them: A French Philosopher Takes On The Paris Bed Bug Hysteria

Despite the panic on social media, at home and abroad, there is absolutely no evidence of a "bed bug invasion" in the City of Lights. French philosopher Gaspard Koenig explores why Paris (and the world) get sucked in to a bunker mentality of always fearing the worst.

Updated October 6, 2023 at 5:15 p.m.


PARIS — And suddenly, like an army descending from a Trojan horse in the night, bedbugs appeared before our frightened eyes.

We see them on trains, in movie theaters, in our apartments. We read heartbreaking accounts of ravaged families. With horror, we look at photos of their victims, their bellies swollen with bites. The progress of the invasion is documented city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Reactions are equally dramatic. Journalists, like the author of these pages, revel in a subject that is far more exciting than the exploding burden of public debt or the planned administrative harassment of welfare recipients.

Some wonder about the effectiveness of ultrasonic devices, while others wonder whether migrants could be seen as some type of new ruse by migrants to undermine the foundations of our nation.

The public authorities are not to be underestimated. The Paris city council is proposing a review of home insurance contracts. The government has summoned transport operators "to reassure and protect" transit users. A national conference on pest control is planned. It's only a matter of time before the president of the Republic announces that "we are at war" — with bedbugs.

Watch VideoShow less
In The News

Worldcrunch Magazine #53 — Incelosphere

October 9 - October 15, 2023

Here's the latest edition of Worldcrunch Magazine, a selection of our best articles of the week from top international journalists, produced exclusively in English for Worldcrunch readers.


Watch VideoShow less