Episode 298
Oct 13, 2020

Playing whack-a-troll with our democracy

On today's show: an informative, if depressing, look at the depth and breadth of the online disinformation problem.

Disinformation is a growing business that brings up a lot of questions. Is that fake news story getting to your timeline from a troll farm in Russia? Or a teenage contractor a few states over? More importantly, who is actually making money off this?

On today’s show, we’re joined by Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center and the author of the book “How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News and the Future of Conflict.” She’ll help us dive into this ever-evolving ecosystem and explain its ripple effects. Hint: We might want to be concerned about our democracy.

Later, we’ll talk about vaccines and the disinformation around them, plus more of your ideas for a term to use when people get misled by the internet. Finally, roboticist Ayanna Howard answers the Make Me Smart question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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The team

Molly Wood Host
Jody Becker Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sam Anderson Associate Producer