Jeff Jarvis talks about famous hashtags that have gone viral and brought attention to protest movements (#BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo). Many people believe that hashtag activism, as it is commonly known, is an ineffective means of protest. Others
see twitter movements as a way to bring attention to new, previously unheard voices.
Both Jeff and Noam talk about Facebook algorithms, and how the Facebook system is designed to show users posts that will elicit a positive reaction. Here
is an explainer about how the algorithm works, and how publishers and brands use it to connect with their audience.
Noam Cohen talks about Dylann Roof, the South Carolina white supremacist who was convicted for perpetrating the Charleston church shooting in 2015 which killed 9 people. In his confession and manifesto, Roof claimed that google searches helped
shape his beliefs, specifically his search for ‘black and white crime’.
Political ads on social media have been a subject of heated debate. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the company’s decision to not police the misinformation in political advertising, claiming the social media giant is a champion of free speech. He claimed these ads provide an important voice for politicians and banning them would favour those voices that have already been amplified by other media. Meanwhile, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of twitter, has taken the opposite approach, saying his company will no longer run political ads. You can read about the different approaches here
Noam and Jeff argue about the morality behind Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ privacy law. The European Court of Justice ruled that a person has the right to be removed from internet searches under some circumstances. It forces Google and other search engines to delete links to websites and news articles that include personal information considered no longer relevant or not in the public interest. You can read about the intricacies of this complicated and highly contested ruling here