Hosted by Molly Wood, “Marketplace Tech” demystifies the digital economy. The daily radio show and podcast uncovers how tech influences our lives in unexpected ways and provides context for listeners who care about the impact of tech, business and the digital world. Transforming breaking news to breaking ideas, Marketplace Tech uncovers themes that transcend the hype in an industry that’s constantly changing. Reporting from Oakland, California host Molly Wood asks smart questions that connect the dots and provide insight on the impact of technology to help listeners understand the business behind the technology rewiring our lives.
President Biden called for an end to disinformation. Will the internet hear him?
We as a country are trying to figure out what is true. Or more accurately, whether we can agree on what is true. In his inaugural speech this week, President Joe Biden called for a return to truth and an end to the deliberate spread of misinformation. That happens on social media platforms; in fact, it’s built into their business models, and misinformation influencers abound. But that’s not the only vector. Molly speaks with Kevin Roose, who covers social media for The New York Times.
The failed Plaid-Visa merger is interesting fintech tea
The financial tech firm Plaid announced this week that it’s doubling its workforce in Europe. That is largely because its planned $5.3 billion merger with Visa fell apart earlier this month, after the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit. Plaid is a platform that lets you, a customer, link your bank account to a fintech app like Venmo or Robinhood. You log in using Plaid’s interface, but the bank itself is cut out of the loop. The banks hate that. Visa could have used Plaid to expand beyond payments and maybe be legitimized in the eyes of banks. Molly speaks with Lisa Ellis, who researches payments at the firm MoffettNathanson. She said the DOJ also worried Visa might be trying to kill the competition.
Are pro-Trump extremists’ messages more dangerous if they’re encrypted?
The app Parler is offline, and Facebook and Twitter are tamping down extremist speech on their platforms. More people are migrating to apps like Signal, which encrypts messages between parties, and Telegram, which can. That blunts the power of extremist messages, but it also makes it harder for law enforcement to see what they might be up to, reigniting a yearslong debate about encryption itself. Molly speaks with Alexandra Givens, the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology.
Taking down content is not censorship. It’s business.
On the show recently, we talked about tech companies and social media platforms regulating speech, banning President Donald Trump and other accounts, removing groups and topics and even booting Parler off of app stores and Amazon web hosting. And of course, there’s been a lot of backlash and claims of censorship and questions about whether speech on social media should be regulated by the government. All of that gets us to a topic that’s worth revisiting right now, which is the First Amendment. Molly speaks with Berin Szóka, the president of the nonprofit TechFreedom. He says, first of all, we’ve got to get our vocabulary right.
Social media has been radicalizing people for years
Back in March 2019, a gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and streamed the whole thing on YouTube. After that event we took a weeklong look at how social media radicalized people to violence, and how a troll becomes a terrorist. Now, nearly two years later and after a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, there still seems to be some surprise that online speech leads to offline consequences, so I wanted to revisit some of what I heard that week.
Will “cancel culture” come for us all?
Pro-Trump Republicans are furious that Twitter, Facebook and Amazon Web Services have taken President Donald Trump’s accounts and the app Parler offline. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, as well as other Republicans, called it “cancel culture.” Last March, Molly spoke with futurist Amy Webb, who predicted that cancel culture and the backlash to it would become an even bigger deal in the year ahead. She said that’s proving true in more ways than she expected.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Molly makes tech news fun, and that’s not always easy to do.
Marketplace Molly’s Politics
Get back in your lane Molly, more tech, no politics. At least it’s short.
Bias doesn’t have to be a bad thing
Imagine if Molly and other APM hosts were just more upfront about where they stand/see things, maybe there wouldn’t be as many frustrated listeners. This is why I have more respect for places like Pod Save America or Daily Wire.