I'm not always quite so serious

You Weren’t Born in 1905? Why People Lie to Facebook

WASHINGTON—When news of an enormous Facebook breach broke last month, Chris Wellens couldn’t help feeling a little smug. After all, nearly all the information the technology executive had given the social media giant was false. Consumers, wary of how their information is being used, lie about everything from names to birth dates to professions when companies ask for personal details online. Some are worried about identity theft, some just want to protect their privacy and some hope to fool adve

How a Facebook Fakery Fooled Africa Reporters

As rebels fought last month to overthrow Gambia’s autocratic leader, reporters who cover Africa frantically called Gambian government landlines for comment, with no luck. But one source had the information they sought: a Facebook page for President Yahya Jammeh. “Rest assured that the Enemies of the People have been defeated,” it proclaimed. Unfortunately for the numerous media houses that cited the page, it was a fake—a parody...

The real extreme sport: skiing in Afghanistan

KOH-E-BABA MOUNTAINS, Afghanistan — A gaggle of villagers deep in the mountains of central Afghanistan stared in wonder as a professional snowboarder from New Zealand launched himself over half a dozen young children, two of them perched atop donkeys. It was one of the oddest interactions between foreigners and Afghans in the decade since U.S.-led forces invaded the country, and the result of a surprising tourism push in a country at war. International aid workers and enterprising locals are trying to attract snowboarders and skiers to the untouched slopes of the Koh-e-Baba mountains to improve the fortunes of Bamiyan province — the site of towering Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, and one of Afghanistan's poorest provinces.