15 episodes

Power User explores how technology and the internet are upending our lives and the world around us. Each week, tech journalist Taylor Lorenz explores everything from online fame to emerging platforms, viral phenomena to the creator economy, and much more. Tune in on Thursdays for the most influential stories that Silicon Valley often ignores.
From the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Power User with Taylor Lorenz Vox Media

    • Technology
    • 3.7 • 81 Ratings

Power User explores how technology and the internet are upending our lives and the world around us. Each week, tech journalist Taylor Lorenz explores everything from online fame to emerging platforms, viral phenomena to the creator economy, and much more. Tune in on Thursdays for the most influential stories that Silicon Valley often ignores.
From the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    Why do so many people think a top Stanford researcher is a CIA agent?

    Why do so many people think a top Stanford researcher is a CIA agent?

    An online smear campaign painted a top Stanford researcher as a censorship supervillain, whose goal was to silence free speech and delete 22 million tweets. Former Stanford Internet Observatory research manager Renée DiResta tells Taylor Lorenz what it's like to monitor disinformation about yourself -- and how rumors about her work that began on one conspiracy theorist's blog eventually spread into the halls of congress.
    Then, Taylor talks about her report on how Biden is struggling to garner the support of Gen Z influencers, the surgeon general’s campaign to put warning labels on social media, Logan Paul’s Donald Trump interview, and TikTok’s new AI-generated ads.
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    • 43 min
    Do you speak Brain Rot?

    Do you speak Brain Rot?

    Over the past few months, the term “brain rot” has gone from essentially meaning chronically online, to a fully fledged meme and ironic slang language. Adam Aleksic aka “the Etymology Nerd” and Harvard linguistics graduate joins Taylor to break down how the language of the internet is evolving. 

    Later, Taylor dives into stories from the week including big announcements from Apple’s WWDC, the shadowy right-wing backers behind a Mr Beast video, BeReals big sale, and a new word to describe AI generated garbage. 

    Full video of this episode will be available on Taylor's YouTube channel.


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    • 43 min
    Is it ever okay to film strangers in public? + Trump’s new TikTok + MrBeast hits #1

    Is it ever okay to film strangers in public? + Trump’s new TikTok + MrBeast hits #1

    The record-breaking Instagram account @world_record_egg has returned to publicly express its support for Palestine. Trump joins TikTok and immediately amasses millions of followers. Mr. Beast becomes the most subscribed to YouTube channel. Plus, Taylor Lorenz breaks down the 2022 deal TikTok offered the U.S. government, which included a “kill switch” to shut down the app.
    Later, Vox’s Rebecca Jennings joins Taylor to discuss crowdsourced surveillance and the ethics of filming strangers in public.
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    • 33 min
    Is a Tech Utopia a Dystopia for Everyone Else?

    Is a Tech Utopia a Dystopia for Everyone Else?

    Meet the powerful centimillionaire who dreams of a sovereign San Francisco where tech millionaires wear gray T-shirts to signal their allegiance and progressives are locked out. Balaji Srinivasan is one of the most infamous, yet lesser-known, figures in Silicon Valley. Journalist Gil Duran, who reports on tech fascism and billionaire extremism, joins Taylor to discuss Balaji’s ideas, background, and why you should take him seriously.
    Full video of this episode will be available on Taylor's YouTube channel


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    • 42 min
    'Zombie Facebook' takes over + ScarJo vs OpenAI

    'Zombie Facebook' takes over + ScarJo vs OpenAI

    Have you been on Facebook lately? It’s weird and overrun with bizarre, AI-generated, spammy clickbait. Jason Koebler, co-founder of 404 Media and host of The 404 Media Podcast joins Taylor Lorenz to discuss how this happened and who’s behind it all.
    Later, Taylor weighs in on Scarlett Johansson’s accusation that Open AI mimicked her voice, a new video game about influencers risking their lives for content, Belle Delphine’s bathwater, and a baby who’s hyped to go to the Four Seasons Orlando.

    Full video of this episode will be available on Taylor's YouTube channel


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 42 min
    Is the celebrity 'blockout' working? + TikTok creators sue the U.S.

    Is the celebrity 'blockout' working? + TikTok creators sue the U.S.

    This week, TikTok creators sue the US government over free speech, Bumble tells women to get busy, YouTube’s CEO wants creators to win Emmys, and Google’s new AI gives some bad advice.

    Later, Taylor Lorenz chats with Kate Lindsay, co-founder of the Embedded newsletter, about a new social media movement called “Blockout 2024.” The campaign encourages users to block celebrities who haven’t publicly condemned the attacks in Gaza. But is it working? 

    Full video of this episode will be available on Taylor's YouTube channel


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5
81 Ratings

81 Ratings

cosmiccreep ,

PLEASE change the logo

podcast is interesting enough but the logo is sooooo unfriendly to look at, the color scheme is a nightmare and nearly gives me a headache every time. someone needs to look up accessible color palette design.

Vahdyx ,

Too Bias

It has a range of intriguing perspectives, but it appears to be heavily biased. The arguments seem speculative at times and lack thoroughness, which is evident from the writing style. I gave it a fair chance, but it doesn't merit continued listening! Unfortunately this didn’t cut it for me.

KaylaCisco ,

Out of touch

I liked this podcast until the most recent episode when the girl says “the panic around social media apps and children’s health is absurd” ….. excuse me?????? Do you have children?????? If you don’t, then don’t comment on this. It’s extremely stressful for parents. The bullying that goes on on Snapchat is out of this world. The suicide rate is climbing at rapid pace. Social media is absolutely terrible for young people. Kids in 1st grade are wanting to be in social media. Think about the mistakes you could have made having access to put images and opinions and words out in to the world at that age?! Think about the vulgar creeps out there trying to get to these vulnerable children. Think about the time spent on screens rather than on a bike. Kids don’t even know how to verbally communicate with their friends anymore. As a parent of 3, I wish nothing more than for these apps to go away. Children can’t operate a vehicle until they are 16, can’t consume alcohol until 21, there is a reason for that!!!! Brain development! I am very disturbed that anyone without kids would voice such a strong opinion on this. You are completely out of touch with the parent community.

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