Episode 2.07: The Last Days of Reality (Part One)

 

Why is it so hard to tear ourselves away from Facebook’s feed? What is it feeding us that makes it so addictive?

The power of artificial intelligence combined with the eternal surveillance of the smartphone made a monster out of Zuck’s social network – but has it divided us more than it united us? How are people using this social network to spread fake news? How is fake news being weaponised to change the way we vote?  

All of these questions – and much more – are answered in our special two-part episode, “The Last Days of Reality”.

Part one tells the tale of how we ended up where we are – addicted to Facebook and in the thrall of shadowy firms like Cambridge Analytica. Here’s a taste:

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And because this isn’t fake news, here’s the links to the stories referenced in the episode:

Buzzfeed reports on Macedonian content farms
 
https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo

Facebook exploits ‘insecure’ to sell ads, Darren Davidson, The Australian 1 May 2017
 
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/digital/facebook-targets-insecure-young-people-to-sell-ads/news-story/a89949ad016eee7d7a61c3c30c909fa6
 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/paularmstrongtech/2017/05/01/facebook-is-helping-brands-target-teens-who-feel-worthless/

Facebook’s formula for winning with AI
 
https://www.fastcompany.com/3060570/facebooks-formula-for-winning-at-ai

Experiment shows how to talk women into lower maths scores
 
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/314/5798/435
 
May 2017 Observer exposé on links between Cambridge Analytica and Brexit
 
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

Cambridge Analytica becomes Emerdata

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/02/cambridge_analytica_shutdown/

Jimmy Wales founds WikiTRIBUNE

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/jimmy-wales-wikitribune

And, finally, a link to WikiTRIBUNE

https://www.wikitribune.com/

We’re a finalist in the Australian Podcast Awards!

Earlier today we learned that The Next Billion Seconds is one of six finalists for Best Technology & Science Podcast in the Australian Podcast Awards!

We can not tell you how chuffed both host Mark Pesce (that’s me) and producer Alex Mitchell feel about this. It’s been a labour of love – and it’s wonderful to feel a bit of that love coming back.

More details as they develop. Until then, enjoy listening to one of the leading podcasts in Australia…