The Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure

@ UMass Amherst

Reimagining the Internet

We're talking to some of the most exciting scholars, activists, journalists, and entrepreneurs in our field about what's wrong with social media and how to fix it.

Select an episode below to watch the interview. Be sure to subscribe to "Reimagine the Internet" on your favorite podcast app.

Kate Crawford, Atlas of AI

Scholar and artist Kate Crawford joins the podcast to talk about why we don’t just need to imagine how to fix the internet, but how we want to change society. Kate is a co-founder of the AI Now Institute at NYU and author of the Atlas of AI, coming April 2021 on Yale University Press. She walks us through the extractive nature of AI, talks about her collaborations with Vladan Joler (recently acquired by MoMA) and Trevor Paglan, and a fascinating history of classification. Visit the episode page for a transcript of the interview and links to work mentioned in the interview.

Kevin Roose, The New York Times

We welcome Kevin Roose to the podcast — tech reporter for The New York Times and thorn in the side of Facebook — to talk to us about how platforms' laser focus on growth resulted in building a misinformation ecosystems and algorithms that they don't really understand. Kevin and Ethan talk about what's really the healthiest social media platform of them all, and what Wall Street-style regulation might look like for major platforms. Visit the episode page for show notes and a full transcription of the interview.

Safiya Noble, UCLA Center for Critial Internet Inquiry

Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression and co-founder of the Center for Critical Internet Studies at UCLA, outlines her abolitionist framework for Big Tech. Recorded the day after Jacob Blake was shot by Kenosha, WI police in August, Noble joins us to talk about what it might look like to hold social media platforms accountable for the dangerous speech they help disseminate.

Evan Henshaw-Plath, Planetary.Social

Evan Henshaw-Plath (aka Rabble), founder of Planetary.Social and member of Twitter's founding team, joins the podcast to talk about decentralized social media, how context collapse makes content moderation on platforms like Facebook and Twitter impossible, and building a platform that's safe for people like furries while keeping away people like neo-Nazis. Vist our episode web page for links to Planetary.Social and a transcript of this interview.

Talia Stroud, Civic Signals

Talia Stroud from the University of Texas joins us to talk about her project Civic Signals, a project reimagining the Internet as a public space. She walks us through what’s wrong with the type of speech currently rewarded by Facebook and Twitter, and what it might look like to promote civic speech instead. Recorded August, 2020. Visit our episode web page for links to Civic Signals' website and newsletter, and Eli Pariser's TED Talk.

Welcome to Reimagining the Internet

Our host Ethan Zuckerman introduces iDPI's new podcast, talking about the need to create online spaces in the public interest instead of a corporate profit motive. Join us as we interview activists, scholars, journalists, and entrepreneurs reimagining the internet as we know it today.