Our culture is shaped by technology, and the people building that technology determine how it’s changing our lives. But who are they? And how do they think about their responsibility to the rest of us? From mental health to algorithmic bias, entrepreneur Anil Dash talks to developers, designers, and culture experts to understand the ways tech is changing culture, and what it means for us. Produced by Glitch and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
Online Safety is a Human Rights Issue
In keeping with our season long discussion of trust on the internet, on this bonus episode of Function - we explore online safety.
Writer and activist Feminista Jones talks about the lasting effects of online harassment.
Then, Anil talks with Tarah Demant of Amnesty International about an Amnesty report that calls out the abuse and harassment women face on Twitter.
Finally Anil speaks with Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mighty Networks, about her platform and what it takes to build safer online communities.
Toxic Twitter - Amnesty International Report
Live from Texas Tribune Fest
The integrity of the internet is at stake -- what have we lost and how do we get it back?
At the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival, Anil spoke with web scholars and writers about reclaiming the internet through historical context, how we are tethered to social media and the inventive ways marginalized people have always reinvented the platforms available.
Anne Helen Petersen
Sarah T. Roberts
Stopping Fake News
Are social networks downplaying their complicity in the problem that is “fake news?”Anil talks to Fadi Quran of the people powered social advocacy group, Avaaz, about how tech is used to target groups of people and spread disinformation that affects our elections, relationships, and social justice movements. Together they discuss insidious nature of disinformation and misinformation, meet its victims, and go over solutions.
Listen closely for the steps that platforms can take right now to stem the tide of fake news and fake accounts.
How to Save the 2020 Election
What happens when social networks become social media, and tech starts making editorial decisions?
Anil talks with NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen about the priorities of tech companies and how their faux neutrality and feigned ignorance has taken a toll on our news cycles and elections. Together, they identify the problems that the press is facing, like attention hacking and misinformation, in order to focus on how the press and us as citizens can reclaim “the news” and what they care about.
What It Was Like To Work With Prince
Part 2 of Anil's discussion of Prince's complicated relationship with technology.
How do you go from fan to colleague to friend with an icon?
Prince’s manager, Phaedra Ellis Lamkins and Sam Jennings, one of Prince’s webmasters take us on a journey of growth and evolution of an artist realizing his worth and his power. As part of a team of trusted friends and confidants they helped “The Artist” realize tech dreams that would serve us all. We also learn that the vision of freedom we often associate with Prince isn’t what we thought.
Prince's Online Legacy
What does it mean to be on the receiving end of a Prince direct message?
This week on Function, Anil takes us through Prince’s complicated relationship with technology through his eyes and the eyes of super fans Jay Smooth, social commentator and former host of WBAI's Underground Railroad; and Andrea Swensson, host and writer at Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current, where she helms The Local Show, a weekly show dedicated to exploring the Minnesota music scene.
From being summoned to Paisley Park to being part of early crowdfunding and subscriber based models pioneered by Prince; we learn what it felt like to build a relationship with Prince online a decade before social media made artists accessible to fans.
As Prince's relationship with technology evolved, he worked hard to control his image often times butting heads with his fans and record labels.
***Check out Anil's guest episode with Switched on Pop where he talked more in-depth about the ways technology influenced Prince's music. ***