Stop us, won’t you, if you’ve heard this one before: Political sea change drives calls for Big Tech to address hate speech and misinformation.
This time, it’s the convergence of nationwide protests over police violence and a global pandemic that’ve placed renewed scrutiny on the role of companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple in our democracy. On Wednesday, chief executives from those companies will face lawmakers — virtually — for a much-anticipated hearing on their power and influence in this election year.
We had New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz on the show to talk about it. He covers tech and social media for the magazine, and he wrote the book “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”
We’ll discuss what’s happened since the last time we dove deep into this topic: the Facebook ad boycott, QAnon’s evolution and whether the George Floyd protests — and the coinciding rise in hate speech — could drive lasting change. The conversation was actually a lot more optimistic than it sounds!
Later, Kai and Molly get curious about virtual conferences (an oxymoron?) and the Garmin hack. Plus, we’ll hear from a listener who’s both a renter and a landlord about the coming eviction wave and an Air Force officer who’s reconsidering what he thought he knew about diversity in the military.
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You can find a list of what we talked about today down below:
- Marantz’s work at the New Yorker
- “What to Watch for in Congress’ Big Tech CEO Hearing” from Wired
- “Facebook Fails to Appease Organizers of Ad Boycott” from The New York Times
- “What a damning civil rights audit missed about Facebook” from the Verge
- “What we still haven’t learned from Gamergate” from Vox
- “Free Speech Is Killing Us: Noxious language online is causing real-world violence. What can we do about it?” also from The New York Times
- “Garmin confirms ransomware attack took down services” from TechCrunch
- “CES 2021 will be an all-digital event” from CNET
- “San Diego Comic Con’s Virtual Event Leaves Fans with Mixed Feelings” from IndieWire
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