Tag - Social Media

Ep. 782: Fixing The Broken Social Media Problem

In 2021, the 4.2 billion users of social media worldwide were projected to spend a collective 3.7 trillion hours on such services. These platforms have transformed the way we consume information, interact with each other and even how societies are networked. Kamesh Shekar joins Bharath Reddy to discuss the issues it has created and possible solutions to them. Kamesh is a Senior Research Associate...

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Ep. 716: Australia’s “Anti-Trolling” Bill & Internet Anonymity

The Australian Government has published a draft Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill that aims to make social media platforms identify anonymous users in matters involving defamation. Prateek Waghre and Sapni GK join Rohan Seth to discuss its provisions, what it could mean for anonymity on the internet, and broader implications for India. Suggested Readings: Draft of the Social Media (Anti-Trolling)...

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Ep. 640: Outraging into the Machine

A recent analysis by NPR comparing engagement-per-post between mainstream and conservative media outlets described ‘outrage’ as a business model. Books like The Outrage Industry and Angrynomics have explored some of the following themes that we can draw on. Is outrage a genre? What are its attributes? What roles do supply-side and demand-side incentives play? Prateek Waghre joins...

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Ep. 630: Digital Communication Networks and their Harms

Over the years, a number of harms have been attributed to Social Media platforms/messaging apps. Despite their high adoption over the last decade, estimates suggest that approximately 50% of the world’s population do not use them yet. This implies that there is still significant headroom for adoption and therefore further amplification of the harms (and benefits) attributed. In this...

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Ep. 627: Making sense of feed algorithms

Much of our online activity is mediated by algorithms. Whether we are shopping online, binge-watching TV shows, or scrolling through social media, algorithms watch over us and feed us what we see. Algorithmic content curation has associated accountability and ethical challenges that have no easy answers. Mihir Mahajan joins Rohan Seth to talk about feed algorithms, how they work, and how...

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Ep. 621: How Social Media is Reshaping Politics

Over the last 10 years, the optimism surrounding social media platforms has given way to skepticism and concerns about their impact on democracy. In this episode, Nitansha Bansal and Prateek Waghre discuss some of the defining characteristics of social media and digital communication networks, and how they can affect strong or weak, liberal or authoritarian regimes. Further readings:...

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Ep. 601: Can You Unbundle Social Media?

Even as platforms struggle to balance their roles as both reluctant arbiters of truth and protectors of speech, the concentration of power in their hands concerns many scholars. Some proposals aim to strike a balance between competition and free speech by unbundling functions and features on social media platforms. Prateek Waghre and Atish Padhy join Rohan Seth to discuss these proposals and how...

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Ep. 596: Do Influence Operations Work?

The number of influence operations being discovered on social media platforms continues to rise sharply. As attention turns to the Indian subcontinent, Manoj Kewalramani and Prateek Waghre discuss how their effectiveness is measured and how platforms respond.
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How We Are Enslaved

Behavioral Addiction is ubiquitous, and most of us can't do without the dopamine rushes that come from social media, shopping, gambling, and even exercise. Adam Alter's book Irresistible explains the extent and the mechanics of our addictions.

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Empowerment and Fragility

Zeynep Tufecki’s book, Twitter and Tear Gas, is an insightful analysis of the impact of social media on protests and social movements in today’s radically networked societies.

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#DemocracyInEchoChambers

In his new book, Cass Sunstein argues that the perfect filtering that platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide is a serious challenge to democratic deliberation and free expression.

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