On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser discuss reports that big tech companies are lobbying in favor of a national privacy law. They’ll talk about what their motivations are. (Hint: It’s not just altruism or civic duty.)
The hosts are also joined by Eugen Rochko, the founder of Mastodon, a social network that’s becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Twitter. Rochko likes to say that you can join Mastodon if you want social networking without the Nazis and white supremacists. We talk to him about exactly how it works, and the daunting obstacles that every social networking startup faces.
15:00 - Interview with Eugen Rochko
31:00 - Don’t Close My Tabs
Stories discussed on the show:
- Slate: Beware of Tech Companies Bearing Privacy Laws
- Slate: The Watchdogs That Didn’t Bark
- Esquire: Tired of Nazis in Your Twitter Mentions? Try Mastodon.
- Medium: Eugen Rochko: Twitter Is Not a Public Utility
- Ethan Zuckerman Blog: Mastodon Is Big in Japan: The Reason Why Is … Uncomfortable
Don’t Close My Tabs:
- NBC News: Secret Message Board Drives “Pizzagate”-Style Harassment Campaign of Small Businesses
- The Information: Waymo’s Big Ambitions Slowed by Tech Trouble
Podcast production by Max Jacobs
If Then plugs:
You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.