This episode shares a recorded talk from the 2021 Reimagine the Internet conference, a virtual conference co-hosted by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the soon-to-be-launched Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In six sessions over five days, there will be more than a dozen speakers whose work hints at what the internet could become over the next decade. Knight Institute Visiting Research Scholar Ethan Zuckerman will speak about digital public infrastructure and his work to build social media spaces that are self-governing and civically focused.
An Illustrated Field Guide to Social Media
Ethan Zuckerman and Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci published the ebook An Illustrated Field Guide to Social Media with original artwork by Fiammetta Ghedini.
he book is adapted from the Mapping Social Media” series of blog posts written by Ethan and Chand for the Knight Foundation, documenting the wide variety of ways social media is put together on the Internet.
19 The Sex Worker Web with Lola Hunt and Eliza Sorensen
Lola Hunt and Eliza Sorensen join the podcast to tell us about their crucial work to build an internet safe for sex workers. Through their company Assembly Four, Lola and Eliza maintain Switter, a Mastodon fork serving sex workers who were deplatformed from other sites, and Tryst, an advertising platform for sex work. In this special long-form episode, we talk about the fallout from America’s FOSTA/SESTA legislation, the global fight for sex worker protection, and what norms need to shift to have honest, open conversations about sex, consent, and abuse.
18 The Prehistory of Black Twitter with Charlton McIlwain
We’re incredibly excited to have Charlton McIlwain join us for an interview about the history of the Black Internet and his book “Black Software.” As a professor in NYU’s Media, Culture, and Communications department, Charlton has studied Black spaces on the internet from the dial-up days through Black Lives Matter. At a time when so much of online culture is indebted to Black culture, Charlton asks us to imagine what it might look like for the Internet to once again be Black.
17 GJ Bogaerts is Building Dutch Public Social Media
We’re thrilled to welcome GJ Bogaerts, head of new media at Dutch public broadcaster VBRO and director of the Public Spaces coalition, which is a partnership of public broadcasters, arts institutions and other public service institutions in the Netherlands. GJ tells us how he hopes a mix of government support and institutional independence will help ween Europeans off of private corporate platforms to create an internet that is safe and private for users, while safe from private interests.
16 Davi Ottenheimer, Inrupt
Davi Ottenheimer joins us to explain SOLID, a revolutionary data protocol created by inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners Lee. Davi is a VP of Trust and Digital Ethics at Inrupt, the company implementing SOLID as both a user-facing technology and for large-scale infrastructural systems in the UK and India. At its core, SOLID is a framework that gives users complete and exclusive ownership of their own data, and Davi tells us what this could mean for everything from health care to band practice. Davi is also a long-time blogger at his site Flying Penguin.
15 Platform Oversight Needs Accessible Data with Elizabeth Hansen-Shapiro
Elizabeth Hansen-Shapiro joins Ethan to talk about “New Approaches to Platform Data Research,” the report they just published together with the NetGain Partnership. Elizabeth and Ethan talk about a variety of issues facing journalists and researchers for studying social media companies, and what sort of solutions — both small-scale and radical — could help ensure a better-studied, more accountable social media ecosystem. Elizabeth is the co-founder of the National Trust for Local News.
14 Julia Angwin on The Markup’s Groundbreaking Data Journalism
Julia Angwin, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Markup, joins us to talk about her innovative method for investigating Facebook and holding it accountable — paying Facebook users to show her team what they’re seeing. This is a thrilling interview about what the future of data journalism looks like, and just how weird it is that investigative journalists are doing the work that regulators would do in any other industry.
13 A Non-Toxic Nextdoor with Front Porch Forum’s Michael Wood-Lewis
Michael Wood-Lewis joins us to talk about Vermont’s Front Porch Forum, the hyperlocal social network he and his wife founded 21 years ago, predating similar platforms offered by Nextdoor and Facebook. It ends up, as he tells us, that the secret to running a healthy online community of neighbors is healthy moderation and non-surveillant advertising.
New Approaches to Platform Data Research
In March, we published iDPI’s first piece of research, New Approaches to Platform Data Research. This was written by Elizabeth Hansen-Shapiro, Michael Sugarman, Fernando Bermejo, and Ethan Zuckerman. Download the full report here. The white paper was originally commissioned by the NetGain partnership as a post-mortem on the Social Science One initiative. Ultimately, the research… Continue reading New Approaches to Platform Data Research