If Then

How to Make Sense of WikiLeaks

Tech writer Andy Greenberg explains how WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has changed, especially compared with Chelsea Manning.

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In this episode, April Glaser is joined by guest host Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia and author of several books about social media and the internet, including a recent one on Facebook, Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.

First, they talk about the ongoing elections in India and how fake news and propaganda on Facebook and WhatsApp are wreaking havoc on an electoral process that’s otherwise celebrated for working quite well in the world’s largest democracy. Then, they discuss Uber’s recent IPO filing and the litany of ways the company’s reliance on a contractor workforce and business in only a handful of major cities could destabilize the ride-sharing company’s hopes of ever being profitable.


After that, author and Wired writer Andy Greenberg joins the show to talk about the recent indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the threats the case poses to press freedom, and how Assange’s ideology has been much more fluid than that of his alleged co-conspirator, Chelsea Manning. Greenberg is the author of This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers.

Don’t Close My Tabs:

Siva: Notre-Dame de Paris fire

April: “Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.

You can follow 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 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.