Playing whack-a-troll with our democracy
Oct 13, 2020
Episode 298

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:

None of us is as smart as all of us.

No matter how bananapants your day is, “Make Me Smart” is here to help you through it all— 5 days a week.

It’s never just a one-way conversation. Your questions, reactions, and donations are a vital part of the show. And we’re grateful for every single one.

Donate any amount to become a Marketplace Investor and help make us smarter (and make us smile!) every day.

The team

Molly Wood Host
Donna Tam Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Marissa Cabrera Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior producer