If Then

Are We on the Brink of an “Information World War”?

An interview with the lead author of a new report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on how rival powers are weaponizing social media.

Listen to If Then by clicking the arrow on the audio player below, or get the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play

On Wednesday’s show, hosts April Glaser and Will Oremus will talk about how Taylor Swift used facial recognition to surveil the crowd at a recent concert—and whether that’s smart, scary, or both.

Then they’ll welcome Renée DiResta, an expert on cybersecurity and online misinformation. DiResta is the lead author of a new report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on exactly how Russian operatives weaponized social media in the 2016 election, and why it may be just the beginning of a new era of global information warfare.


6:45 - Interview with Renée DiResta

26:09 - Don’t Close My Tabs


Stories discussed on the show:

• Slate: “Taylor Swift’s Security Used Facial Recognition Technology to Monitor Concert Crowds for Stalkers. Is That Allowed?

• New York Times: “Russian 2016 Influence Operation Targeted African-Americans on Social Media

• New York Times: “What We Now Know About Russian Disinformation

• Ribbon Farm: “The Digital Maginot Line

Don’t Close My Tabs:

Logic: My Stepdad’s Huge Dataset

The Pudding: Population Mountains

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 ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State UniversityNew 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.