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About the Show
If Then is a show about technology, society, and power. Each week, the hosts take you on a lively tour of the tech news that actually matters, from fake news in your Facebook feed to the algorithms that want your job to the Uber drivers who want a job with benefits. With news-making interviews of key tech-industry figures, fascinating academics, and top tech journalists, we explore not only how the technology that’s shaping our world works, but the ideas, ideologies, incentives, and biases that underlie it.
Host Shannon Palus talks to Sarah Roberts, a researcher at UCLA and the author of Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media. They discuss the people who protect us from the worst of humanity by sifting through and removing gruesome content from social media platforms—all for low pay, no health insurance, and at the risk of their mental health. Roberts explains how she gets workers who have signed nondisclosure agreements to talk to her anyway, and who social media sites are really beholden to (hint: It’s not you). On tabs, Aaron and Shannon will discuss some slightly more hopeful things.