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Cameron Russell asked models about sexual harassment. Here are 3 must-read responses.

The model and activist shines a light on an important issue.

It's been more than five years since model and activist Cameron Russell filmed her breakthrough TED Talk, "Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model."

Russell is a model who has consistently used her platform to advocate for topics she's passionate about, such as gender, race, and climate change. She's also one of the founders of Model Mafia, an ever-growing network of models fighting for more equitable and less exploitative working conditions.

In the wake of the ongoing assault and harassment scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, and the ever-present issue of sexual harassment in the workforce — which, according to a 2015 survey, 1 in 3 women in the U.S. workforce have experienced — Russell decided to once again use her following and position to call attention to an important, if unpleasant, topic.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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