A show about the internet, hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. From @gimletmedia.
In 1996 Shulem Deen was a 22-year old Hasidic Jew living in a small, isolated community in New York. He bought a computer and innocently installed America Online from the included floppy disk, and had his first real conversation with someone outside his community. Sruthi Pinnamaneni tells the story of how the internet ruined his life and how it might save it.
When Higinio Ochoa got out of prison for hacking in September of 2014, one of the terms of his parole was that he is not allowed to use any internet connected device. We went to his home in Austin to find out how he got caught and what it's like - in 2015 - to go from living online to not having any internet access.
Yes Yes No returns, and the story of two people who created a company designed to ghostwrite people's emotionally difficult emails.
Marnie the Dog is one of the most famous dogs on Instagram. Two years ago, she was near death at an animal shelter in Conneticut, now she has 1.2 million followers and hangs out with human celebrities.This week, we investigate the formula for internet dog fame, and look at how having a famous dog will completely upend your life. [more inside]
In 2012, a woman named Lindsey Stone posted a picture she took as a joke to her Facebook page. A month later, she was under attack from all corners of the internet, out of a job, hounded by the press. The internet had targeted her for a public shaming. Jon Ronson, journalist and author of the new book "So You've Been Publicly Shamed", walks us through Lindsey's story and introduces us to the sometimes sketchy world of online reputation management. [more inside]
In 1997, John Silveira wrote a joke classified ad in a tiny publication called Backwoods Home Magazine asking if anyone wanted to travel back in time with him. A lot of people took him seriously. What do you do when everyone wants you to fix the worst mistakes they've ever made. [more inside]
For Jonathan Goldstein, YouTube offers endless nostalgia, but he always finds himself returning to the same subject - a precocious child actor from the early 70's named Mason Reese. And then a few months ago, new clips of Reese began popping up on YouTube. What's more, they appeared to be uploaded by Reese himself. Jonathan sets out to discover why - and why now, after 40 years.
Blair Myhand is a police officer in the sleepy, 40,000 person town of Apex, NC. One night, he received an unusually disturbing phone call where a person claimed to be holding a woman hostage after murdering several people. Myhand assembled his team, and went to the house, but what they ended up finding was much more bizarre.
A social media mistake for the record books, and a quiet saint of Wikipedia.
A woman starts dating again at 60 after her marriage falls apart. We follow her into a world of millionaire import/export moguls and fifteen-year old internet scammers.
The entire internet decides to look at one famous butt at the same time. One man has to ensure that the website hosting Kardashian butt pictures doesn't crash. The sheer terror and joy of solving that problem. [more inside]
There was a lot that Errol Morris never knew about his brilliant, distant older brother Noel. Decades after Noel's death, Errol read an internet comment that said his brother had invented email. So he launched an investigation to find out if it was true.
In the early 80's, way before the world wide web existed, the French government shipped a $200 terminal to every home with a phone line, and created a service that for decades ran alongside the internet. It was called The Minitel. Producer Carla Green speaks to reporter Jean-Marc Manach, who, in the early 90's, made a living posing as a woman in sex chat rooms on Minitel. [more inside]
Yik Yak is a an app that allows users to communicate anonymously with anyone within a 10-mile radius. At Colgate University in upstate New York, the anonymity brought out a particularly vicious strain of racism that shook the school.
Paul Ford likes to use the internet to solve his problems. He sets Google Calendar reminders for years, even decades, in the future. He buys domain names the way most people buy lattes at Starbucks. So when Paul realized that his anxiety was taking over his life, he did the only thing he knew how to do: he made a website.
This week we enter the mysterious, Byzantine underworld of domain sales, where people make money speculating on the website naming market. A few years ago, the owners of the popular journalism website longform.org blundered into this world when they innocently tried to procure longform.com. In this episode, we find out about their misadventures, and we hear from the Derek Jeter of URL purchases.
Depending on who you ask, Keith Calder is either a 35-year old film producer, or one of the players in a vast international conspiracy designed to conceal the greatest love story never told. [more inside]
In 1996 Jennifer Ringley started Jennicam.org, where she recorded and broadcast her entire life, 24/7. It made her famous. And then, one day, she disappeared from the internet entirely. What'd she figure out about the perils of living publicly before the rest of us did? Alex Goldman tracks her down.
Writer Chiara Atik has a hobby -- spying on the financial transactions of friends and strangers.. She thinks that Venmo, more than any other social media site, is the place you can actual, accidental truth online. This week we investigate that claim.
Twenty years ago, Ethan Zuckerman did something terrible on the internet. And he's still living with the consequences. [more inside]