From a New York Times investigative reporter, this “authoritative and devastating account of the impacts of social media” (New York Times Book Review) tracks the high-stakes inside story of how Big Tech’s breakneck race to drive engagement—and profits—at all costs fractured the world. The Chaos Machine is “an essential book for our times” (Ezra Klein). [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Homelessness Season 8, Ep 28
This week.... Facebook announces their company is now called "Meta." (MeFi). Congress is hammering out Biden's final spending plan. And Now: Once Again, Our Annual Look At What Happens When Local News And Halloween Collide. Main story: Homelessness (25 minutes), and how our institutions make a bad situation for a lot of people worse.
This week.... Idaho's Lieutenant Governor issued an executive order forbidding vaccine mandates, even though the Governor is opposed it. It turns out OAN, which has been covered by the show before, owes a lot of its existence to AT&T, the same AT&T that's Last Week's Tonight's abdicating business-daddy, which John Oliver cuts them no slack over. And Now: "Fox & Friends'" Brian Kilmeade Likes Christopher Columbus Way, Way Too Much. Main story (YouTube, 20 minutes) : Misinformation as it spreads through immigrant diaspora communities, for although more than 90% of Facebook monthly users are outside the U.S. and Canada, only 13% of hours the company has spent on monitoring information is focused outside the U.S. LWT made some memeable pass-around videos to try to spread the word about not spreading misinformation on the internet, available at bettermorningmessages.com. [more inside]
"The Great Hack," relives the 2016 presidential election by following the personal journeys of key players in the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal. David Carroll, a media professor who spends the film doggedly trying to retrieve his personal data from Cambridge Analytica. British journalist, Carole Cadwalladr, who exposes how Cambridge Analytica harvested data from more than 50 million Facebook users to create targeted ads for the Trump 2016 campaign. And Brittany Kaiser, the former director of business development at Cambridge Analytica, turned whistleblower
Everyone hates grammar and ethics cops. Until they need one.
God Friended Me: Season 1 Discussion Season 1, Ep 0
An atheist's life is turned upside down when he is "friended" by God on Facebook. [more inside]
This episode aired on July 29:
- More Stupid Watergate, "Something with the potential gravity of Watergate, if the entire White House was on bath salts and Nixon was a raccoon with his head stuck in a jar of peanut butter." Revealed is that Cohen secretly taped interactions between him and Trump, and some of one of the tapes was leaked, relating them planning to keep a story about Trump's affair with Playboy Bunny Karen McDougal secret. Also, Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of the meeting with Russian representatives in Trump Tower. And, Mueller is looking into whether Trump's tweets constitute obstruction of justice.
- Facebook loses $119 billion dollars of value, 19% of its total valuation, overnight. That's more than the value of the entire global cheese market: Facebook's stock dropped by the concept of cheese. It's because of piracy issues, which they've apologized for via an ubiquitous ad. LWT provides one of their trademark more honest versions.
- Main story: Workplace sexual harassment. In the wake of a number of prominent male executives being brought down, it's looking like something may finally be done about it... except that the current situation shares a lot of things in common with the 90s, at which time everything was supposed to change, and then, didn't. The issue became national news with the testimony of Anita Hill before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The last act was a great interview with Anita Hill herself.
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: March 21, 2018 Season 3, Ep 4
After Andrea is attacked by a stranger in Mexico City, she just wants to figure out who the guy was. Investigating this question drops her right into the middle of one of Mexico's biggest conspiracies.
After landing a dream job at a powerful tech company called The Circle, a woman wrestles with whether the firm's 24/7/365 connectivity agenda represents a brave new world in which "Knowing is good, but knowing everything is better" or a horrifying breach of individual autonomy and privacy.
Everybody has that one Facebook friend who just won't stop posting their political opinions. This week, we talk to one of those Facebook friends, someone whose opinions got her into an enormous mess. [more inside]
Thomas Oscar is an Australian teenager who tried to make the most boring Facebook group possible - a group where members pretend to be corporate drones in a non-existant office.
How a tiny group of social engineers are making our online relationships kindler and gentler, whether we like it or not. [more inside]
A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.
Selfie: Un-Tag My Heart Season 1, Ep 2
Eliza attempts to teach Henry "facebookery", while trying to turn a booty call into a dating relationship. [more inside]