48 episodes

From hype cycles to fake news, it's hard to find what's real on social media. Yet we spend much of our lives getting our news and interacting with one another on networks that know an enormous amount about us, while we know virtually nothing about them. Breaking the feed pulls back the curtain and explores the origins of today's social media landscape and addresses some of the most pressing issues including privacy, abuse, misinformation, and other harms. Our hosts, Taryn Ward and Steven Jones, walk through these issues and move beyond the headlines. 

Breaking the Feed Bright

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

From hype cycles to fake news, it's hard to find what's real on social media. Yet we spend much of our lives getting our news and interacting with one another on networks that know an enormous amount about us, while we know virtually nothing about them. Breaking the feed pulls back the curtain and explores the origins of today's social media landscape and addresses some of the most pressing issues including privacy, abuse, misinformation, and other harms. Our hosts, Taryn Ward and Steven Jones, walk through these issues and move beyond the headlines. 

    Free Speech With Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin, Part 2

    Free Speech With Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin, Part 2

    We discuss the Tucker Carlson interview with Vladimir Putin and explore the implications for free expression and social media. The interview covered a range of topics, including Russia, Ukraine, narratives, and AI. We share our own impressions of the interview, consider the danger of edited narratives, and consider the target audience. The discussion also touches on the appeal of Tucker Carlson, the Canadian family that moved to Russia, and Elon Musk's interest in the interview, before discussing Alexei Navalny's wife's Twitter account suspension and potential solutions to the issues discussed.
    Key Takeaways:
    The Tucker Carlson interview with Vladimir Putin raises concerns about edited narratives and the danger of accepting information at face value.The interview highlighted the appeal of narratives and the importance of understanding different perspectives.The overlap between Tucker Carlson's audience and Putin's narrative is worth considering in terms of target demographics.The control exerted by powerful individuals and platforms on free expression and social media is a significant concern.

    • 40 min
    Free Speech With Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin, Part 1

    Free Speech With Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin, Part 1

    We continue to explore the role of social media in elections and discuss concerns surrounding Elon Musk. We look at some of controversial actions and claims made by Musk, and consider the power he wields in deciding how content is distributed, as a sort of introduction to Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin.
    Free speech, social media, and challenging those in power is discussed, along with the evolution of views on free speech over time. Finally, we introduce Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin and the surrounding controversy and conclude with a brief look at political shifts and free speech positioning.
    Key Takeaways:
    Elon Musk's control over social media platforms raises concerns about manipulation and the concentration of power.The importance of free speech lies in its ability to hold those in power accountable.Views on free speech have evolved over time, and it is important to critically analyse and understand these shifts.National security concerns can impact the boundaries of free speech and expression.Questioning and understanding political shifts is crucial in navigating the complexities of social media and free speech.

    • 20 min
    Elections and Social Media

    Elections and Social Media

    This episode explores the role of social media in US politics, the distinction between government and platform restrictions, the lack of clear rules and enforcement on social media platforms, the responsibility of social media companies, the influence of private citizens on social media platforms, the need for guardrails and regulation, and the importance of free speech and expression in the context of social media.
    Key Takeaways
    Social media platforms play a significant role in US politics, allowing candidates to engage with constituents and disseminate information.There is a distinction between government restrictions and platform restrictions on social media, and the US government has more relaxed rules for candidates and officeholders.The lack of clear rules and enforcement on social media platforms leads to inconsistent application of content policies.Social media companies need to take responsibility for the spread of false information and manipulation on their platforms.The influence of private citizens, such as Elon Musk and former President Trump, on social media platforms raises concerns about bias and manipulation.There is a need for guardrails and regulation to address the emerging dangers of social media and protect free speech and expression.The rapid development of social media technology has presented unforeseen consequences that require a reevaluation of principles and regulations.The next episode will focus on Tucker Carlson on X and his controversial interview with Vladimir Putin.

    • 23 min
    Campaign Finance, Part 2

    Campaign Finance, Part 2

    Social media has changed the way candidates campaign, especially in the United States. What does this have to do with free speech? Everything and nothing, depending on who you ask.
    We continue to consider the Citizens United case and what came after with a close look at the practical consequences of social media and campaign finance, especially in terms of PACs and Super PACs.
    There are no easy answers here, but finding a way to regulate with consideration for free speech concerns to protect democratic processes and democracy itself.
    Key Takeaways:
    Social media has had a significant impact on campaign finance, with PACs and Super PACs playing a crucial role in funding political campaigns.The influence of social media in political campaigns has changed the way candidates engage with voters and the strategies they employ.Regulating social media poses challenges, particularly in terms of coordinating with campaigns and ensuring fair and transparent practices.Protecting democracy requires finding a balance between free speech and regulation, with a focus on safeguarding democratic processes and promoting a more positive and civilized political landscape.

    • 20 min
    Campaign Finance, Part 1

    Campaign Finance, Part 1

    We explore the unique approach to campaign finance in the United States, focusing on the Citizens United case. This case, decided in 2010, changed the rules surrounding political spending and opened up new possibilities for campaign messaging. The impact of the case is far-reaching, particularly in the age of social media. The episode also delves into the competing theories on free speech and the implications for a functioning democracy and highlights the need for transparency and reasonable restrictions on campaign finance to ensure the integrity of the democratic process.
    Key Takeaways:
    The Citizens United case in 2010 changed the rules surrounding campaign finance in the United States opened up new possibilities for campaign messaging and advertising, particularly in the age of social media.There are competing theories on the justification for protecting free speech in the context of campaign finance, with some arguing for individual expression and others emphasizing the importance of a functioning democracy.Transparency and reasonable restrictions on campaign finance are necessary to maintain the integrity of the democratic process, but it's difficult to balance these restrictions against the need for free expression (and free speech).

    • 27 min
    Hate Speech, Part 3: Hypotheticals

    Hate Speech, Part 3: Hypotheticals

    This episode explores several hate speech cases in the US and Europe, highlighting the differences in how these cases are handled.
    The cases, which are treated as hypotheticals, include burning a cross with intent to intimidate, offensive social media posts, Westboro Baptist Church protests, distribution of homophobic leaflets in Sweden, and Holocaust denial in Germany. The courts in each country weigh the right to free speech against the protection of individuals and public order and the decisions vary based on the specific facts and the legal framework of each country.
    The conversation explores the topic of hate speech and its regulation in the United States and Europe. We look more closely at the protection of students on college campuses and the potential shift in the US position on hate speech.
    Key Takeaways
    The courts in the US and Europe balance the right to free speech with the protection of individuals and public order.Context and intent play a significant role in determining whether speech is protected or restricted.The US tends to have a higher threshold for restricting speech compared to some European countries.Germany has specific laws prohibiting Holocaust denial and hate speech related to Nazi ideology. The US Supreme Court is unlikely to restrict speech, especially in private communications.There is a debate about the existing level of protection given to hate speech in the US.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Top Podcasts In Technology

Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg
All-In Podcast, LLC
Lex Fridman Podcast
Lex Fridman
Search Engine
PJ Vogt, Audacy, Jigsaw
Hard Fork
The New York Times
TED Radio Hour
NPR