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9 minutes | a day ago
Taking down content is not censorship. It’s business.
On the show recently, we talked about tech companies and social media platforms regulating speech, banning President Donald Trump and other accounts, removing groups and topics and even booting Parler off of app stores and Amazon web hosting. And of course, there’s been a lot of backlash and claims of censorship and questions about whether speech on social media should be regulated by the government. All of that gets us to a topic that’s worth revisiting right now, which is the First Amendment. Molly speaks with Berin Szóka, the president of the nonprofit TechFreedom. He says, first of all, we’ve got to get our vocabulary right.
5 minutes | 2 days ago
Social media has been radicalizing people for years
Back in March 2019, a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and streamed the whole thing on YouTube. After that event we took a weeklong look at how social media radicalized people to violence, and how a troll becomes a terrorist. Now, nearly two years later and after a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, there still seems to be some surprise that online speech leads to offline consequences, so I wanted to revisit some of what I heard that week.
10 minutes | 5 days ago
Will “cancel culture” come for us all?
Pro-Trump Republicans are furious that Twitter, Facebook and Amazon Web Services have taken President Donald Trump’s accounts and the app Parler offline. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, as well as other Republicans, called it “cancel culture.” Last March, Molly spoke with futurist Amy Webb, who predicted that cancel culture and the backlash to it would become an even bigger deal in the year ahead. She said that’s proving true in more ways than she expected.
9 minutes | 6 days ago
Archiving posts from the Capitol attack has value for police and researchers
Since the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which was filmed and photographed extensively, there’s been a scramble to find and archive all those images. Law enforcement and researchers are collecting them for clues and also to understand what happened. The research and investigative journalism site Bellingcat collects open-source intelligence and publishes reports on news and global events with a small staff of researchers and digital forensics experts and a big crew of volunteers. Molly speaks with Giancarlo Fiorella, an investigator at Bellingcat. He said the site just published a sort of forensics report on the movements of the San Diego protester Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed during the riot.
6 minutes | 7 days ago
Another fear after Capitol attack: information security
As we examine the fallout from the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, what are the cybersecurity implications? Maybe not the top thing on your mind. But consider that for hours rioters had almost unimpeded access to offices, networks and computers on desks. A laptop was even stolen, and security experts say there’s the potential for all kinds of hacking and intrusions. And the cybersecurity threat is made worse by a unique feature of Congress: Everyone is in charge of their own IT. Molly speaks with Bruce Schneier, a security technologist. He lists some of the things intruders could have done.
8 minutes | 8 days ago
One effect of the Instagrammed insurrection: FOMO
The insurrection at the Capitol last week was inspired by social media, organized on social media and finally, recorded on social media. We saw images of extremists breaking windows and sitting at Nancy Pelosi’s desk. In some ways, those images were one of the goals of the insurrection: for extremists to prove they were there and to inspire others to take part in the movement. But Wendy Schiller, professor of political science at Brown, says they could soon be replaced by other images of, for example, mugshots. “Marketplace Tech” host Molly Wood talks with her.
8 minutes | 9 days ago
Surveillance tech is not accomplishing the things it’s supposed to
The federal government, along with state and local governments, spends billions of dollars every year on security and surveillance technology. In theory, to prevent things like the attack on the U.S. Capitol that happened last week. It’s sophisticated, comprehensive and creates a whole lot of privacy concerns, but also might not be accomplishing the right things. Molly speaks with Alvaro Bedoya, director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown.
10 minutes | 12 days ago
Social media companies block Trump, but where’s the bigger reckoning with hate speech?
Facebook and several other platforms have banned President Donald Trump indefinitely. Twitter banned Lin Wood, Trump’s conspiracy theory-spouting lawyer, but new conspiracies theories are spreading, for instance that antifa was actually behind Wednesday’s deadly events at the U.S. Capitol. And all of it is fueling the question of how to deal with hate speech and online radicalization. Molly speaks with Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. She said historically in the U.S., hate speech has been treated like any other speech. Your support makes our podcast possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
5 minutes | 13 days ago
Insurrection could be a turning point for social media
For years, and especially in the past year, far-right groups have used social platforms like Twitter and Facebook to organize violent movements. On Wednesday, once again, we saw the results of that online organization lead to real-life violence with an armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In response, Facebook and Twitter removed posts by President Donald Trump that seemed to encourage the mob, and locked Trump’s accounts on both platforms. Facebook and Instagram started blocking hashtags related to the attack on the Capitol, and Facebook said it would also scan posts for mentions of bringing weapons to any location, in or outside Washington. Molly speaks with Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. She said Wednesday that an event like the Capitol assault, though, felt almost inevitable. Your support makes our podcast possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
8 minutes | 14 days ago
Apple’s privacy labels show which apps collect the most data. Will people care?
A few weeks ago, Apple released an iOS update that shows you how much data every app on your phone or tablet is collecting — and it can be surprising. For example, even though WhatsApp offers encrypted messaging — no one can read your actual messages — it still collects a ton of other information, like your location, what you buy through the service, who your friends are, and shares all that with parent company Facebook. The idea here is much like the idea that once you find out a single burrito has 1,000 calories, you’ll be horrified and make better choices. Of course, Apple would love for people to choose its built-in apps instead. Molly speaks with Ashkan Soltani, a fellow at Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology. He says the labels could surprise people if they care. Your support makes our podcast possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
8 minutes | 15 days ago
Algorithms for vaccine distribution have a weakness: the people behind them
To deal with the massive logistical problem of distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the federal government and some states are turning to private companies to create algorithms for prioritizing shipments. Some hospital systems, like George Washington in D.C. and Stanford in Palo Alto, California, created their own software systems to prioritize which health care workers get it first. In Stanford’s case, we now know the process went notoriously wrong, prioritizing doctors and administrators working remotely over residents working directly with patients every day. We wondered, is vaccine allocation a problem algorithms are meant to solve, or are officials letting algorithms take the blame for built-in inequality? Molly speaks with Karen Hao, who reported on this for the MIT Technology Review. Your support makes our podcast possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
4 minutes | 16 days ago
Telehealth is here to stay
Telehealth — remote doctor visits for non-emergency treatment — has spiked dramatically since the start of the pandemic. The American Medical Association is throwing its support behind legislation that would expand funding and reduce regulations on telehealth, by letting anyone access telehealth services no matter where they are. And legislators on both sides of the aisle have called on congressional leaders to expand access. PwC’s Health Research Institute put out a report late last year, saying telehealth will be huge in 2021. But there are roadblocks, especially around equity. Molly speaks with Karen Young, PwC’s Health Industries Leader. Your support makes our podcast possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
8 minutes | 4 months ago
How the Gates Foundation’s values shape the world
The Gates Foundation is trying to eradicate polio and malaria globally. Bill Gates created a billion-dollar climate investment fund, funded multiple factories to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and is matchmaking companies around the world to get that vaccine distributed. Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is in the position to do all this because he is one of the world’s richest people. And that’s a little weird. Molly Wood asks him how his philanthropy ends up doing so much of the work of government. He said some of it is mission creep.
6 minutes | 20 days ago
Mapping internet access: No clear data on haves and have-nots
This episode originally aired on Jun. 23, 2020. All this week on, we’re revisiting some of our shows from 2020 that touch on issues we think will continue to be pivotal in the year ahead. Chief among those is the internet. It now touches pretty much every part of our lives, but not everyone has access to good service. Earlier this month, the FCC announced the results of a $9 billion auction to provide high-speed broadband to homes and businesses that don’t have it. The money comes from something called the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and this is just the first chunk of money to come from it. The FCC is planning to allocate billions more. But the data the FCC is using to map where broadband is most needed is wildly inaccurate, even by the agency’s own admission. Molly speaks with Nicol Turner Lee, who researches technology access as a fellow in the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. She says the coronavirus pandemic has made the mapping problem even more obvious.
11 minutes | 4 months ago
For-profit online schools are getting a second look from parents
It’s yet another Monday, and each week this fall we’re covering the challenges of remote school. As parents try to figure out the best digital options, enrollment in alternative online schools is skyrocketing. Some of these are for-profit schools that get public money from states or public school districts for each student that they enroll. They have been around for years. Jennifer King Rice is a professor of education at the University of Maryland who’s studied for-profit virtual schools. She tells Molly that just because they have experience in remote learning doesn’t means their outcomes are better.
10 minutes | 4 months ago
With all this new tech in remote schooling, what are the privacy implications?
If your kids are going to school online, then one thing you’re probably concerned about is the data that’s being collected about them, and how it’s being stored and used. Well, there are some rules — actually, lots of them. You’ve probably heard of COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and perhaps FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Those are both federal laws governing data collection and kids. And, in the last six years, states have passed dozens more student privacy laws. But the problem is not everyone knows about them. Molly talks about it with Amelia Vance of the nonprofit Future of Privacy Forum.
6 minutes | 23 days ago
Making sure climate solutions don’t make more problems
We’ve been looking at how technology can help us adapt to climate change as part of our series “How We Survive.” One big problem is the technology that could help us survive is not being evenly distributed. So building resilience can’t only be about one home, one tribal chapter, one town at a time.
11 minutes | 4 months ago
Refocusing climate change as a human problem
For the past year, we’ve been talking about how to adapt to climate change and how the tech industry can help. But here’s the part, even on a tech show, where we acknowledge that climate change isn’t just about tech solutions or whiz-bang inventions. In fact, like the pandemic, climate change is a problem that reflects and exposes a lot of things about our society. Molly Wood speaks with Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson, who co-edited a book called “All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis.” It features poems, essays and other works of art by women working on climate issues.
8 minutes | a month ago
Making datasets inclusive from the ground up
Now, more than ever, we rely on technology when we work, go to school, get health care and connect with people we can’t visit in person. But technology is only useful if it’s accessible. Host Kimberly Adams speaks with Microsoft’s Mary Bellard, who says we are in a “data desert.”
7 minutes | a month ago
A possible life raft for small businesses selling online
For many small businesses, the pandemic-driven shift to selling on the internet is a huge change. Plenty of brick-and-mortar store owners were selling in person only, using everything from spreadsheets to paper and pencil to keep track of it all. So companies are increasingly offering new tools to help those brick-and-mortar stores manage their inventory and figure out which online platforms are best for them. Intuit launched something called QuickBooks Commerce earlier this year to help companies sell everywhere. Molly speaks with Alex Chriss, the EVP of the small business group at Intuit. Your support makes our podcast possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
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