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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales joins us for a thrilling chat about what we can learn from social media and what’s anti-social about a lot of social media today. Jimmy has recently launched the the social network WT.Social, designed to as a non-addictive, thoughtful online space, and has lots of thoughts about the type of communities that we might be able to start cultivating online.
Wendy Liu, author of the memoir Abolish Silicon Valley and former start-up founder, joins us to talk about the structural issues of our current tech industry under capitalism. Wendy walks us through a left perspective on Silicon Valley, including the push to organize labor and the toxic incentive structure that values profit and exploitation over public and social good. In addition to publishing her memoir last year, Wendy has been published in Logic Magazine, The Guardian, New Socialist, and Notes from Below.
Trebor Scholz, a scholar and activist at the forefront of the bustling platform cooperativism movement, joins us to talk about how coops can shape everything from ride share apps to data ownership, from local delivery services to music streaming. It’s a fascinating listen about the variety of ways coops can aid local communities, labor unions, and freelancers, empowering communities of workers to govern themselves and more equitably distribute revenue.
Amy Zhang from the Social Futures Lab at University of Washington joins the podcast to talk about the a next version of the internet where groups of users are empowered to govern themselves and help each other to deal online harassment. Amy tells us how she’s pushing HCI and Social Computing scholarship in exciting new directions, to ask what sorts of new practices might make up a post-mega-platform internet.
For this very special episode of Reimagining the Internet, Ethan is joined by Knight First Amendment Initiative research fellow Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci and producer Mike Sugarman to celebrate 12 days of reimagining the internet. We talk about our favorite stuff on the internet this year, and what we’re looking forward to in 2021. We share our holidy cheer talking about Zoom class fails, livestreaming concerts, and a speculative West African recipe war.