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jseliger2 / Creative Commons

Writer and essayist Lauren Oyler, joins Colin to talk about Fake Accounts, her new novel on internet culture. They'll also talk about literary fiction, cultural criticism, ghostwriting, and her staunch defense of semicolons, among other things.

Lauren Oyler will be at the Mark Twain House & Museum, Tuesday, March 23, 7-8 pm. The event is free. You can register at marktwainhouse.org

Ben Novak / Revive and Restore

The U.S. is about to surpass 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. That said, new cases are declining, hospitalizations and deaths are trending down, and vaccination rates are picking up, though inequities remain. We talk vaccines, variants, messaging, and more.

Also this hour: A new study finds that House members who hold extreme views receive far more airtime on cable and broadcast news than their moderate counterparts. Changes in the media have incentivized elected officials such as Marjorie Taylor Greene to build a national brand at the expense of legislating for their local constituents.

Last, welcome to Elizabeth Ann, a baby black-footed ferret cloned from Willa, who died more than 30 years ago.

Jason Howie / Wikimedia Commons

Before extremists stormed the US Capitol, groups had been organizing and inciting violence on our most common social media apps. 

This hour, how much of a role did social media play in that riot? Extremists had a home on the web long before the existence of Parler, an alternative social media network.

Well, less than two weeks into 2021 and the surprises just keep coming. Among the more pleasant ones so far: The popular app TikTok seems to have been taken over by sea shanties. Yes, sea shanties -- those catchy, sometimes bawdy songs of the sea. Just a few measures into one of these ditties and you can almost picture a ragtag group of sailors hoisting the jib in time with the rhythmic pounding of the shanty.

A Muslim civil rights group has asked the Connecticut Department of Correction to terminate the employment of an officer who allegedly posted Islamophobic content on social media.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, posted a video Sunday outlining its demand that the DOC terminate Officer Anthony Marlak.

Richard Drew / Associated Press

Connecticut’s own William Tong is one of 48 state attorneys general suing Facebook over its alleged anti-competitive practices. What’s the harm of Facebook’s practices? And what are the chances this lawsuit will succeed? To answer those questions, we invited Bloomberg News journalist Sarah Frier to join us on All Thing Considered. She covers social media companies extensively, and she’s written a book called No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram.

Courtesy: TikTok

The social media app TikTok may be better known by Generation Z, but Shannon Doherty’s parenting hacks have gone viral.    

Pxhere

In a world where falsehoods sometimes come directly from our elected officials, how do we spot “disinformation" when we see it? 

This hour, what’s the science behind uncovering “fake news?”

The Truth About Lies

Nov 10, 2020
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Right-Wing Extremism

Oct 15, 2020
Anthony Crider / Creative Commons

The pandemic, coupled with Black Lives Matter protests, and incendiary rhetoric from President Trump, has riled up anti-government militias across the US, most evident in the recent foiled plot by militia groups in Michigan, to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Are Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple "emperors of the online economy" that stifle competition and hurt consumers? Not surprisingly, the tech giants' chief executives told Congress: absolutely not. The concern that too much power is concentrated in too few companies is unfounded, they said Wednesday.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

As the world waits for an end to Covid-19, billions of people find themselves betwixt and between two realities: The pre-pandemic reality we knew, and the post-pandemic reality that is yet to come. As author and Professor of Theology Shelly Rambo wrote in the wake of hurricane Katrina, "Life as it once was cannot be retrieved,... life ahead cannot be envisioned."

Unclimatechange / Creative Commons

The Atlantic writer McKay Coppins says President Trump's reelection team is waging a massive disinformation campaign that uses the same tactics of information warfare used by autocrats like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and by Russian President Vladimir Putin in our 2016 election.

Dying For A Photo

Sep 12, 2019
Sam Hawley / CreativeCommons.org

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos.

A phone with social media apps
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A state lawmaker says a 9-year-old Connecticut girl was recently a target of child exploitation after downloading a popular social media app.

Flowcharts of algorithms
Somepics/Wvbailey/Sakurambo / Wikimedia Commons

They are the force behind big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Often hidden or misunderstood, these chunks of computer code drive pretty much everything we do online.

This hour: algorithms. They permeate throughout our lives, from credit scores to GPS driving directions. But how do algorithms work?

We talk about algorithms, machine learning, and the ethics of computer-problem solving.

Dying For A Photo

Jun 26, 2019
Sam Hawley / Creative Commons

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos. 

The Truth About Lies

May 29, 2019
Mike Roberts / Flickr Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Torrington Police / Facebook

A 29-year-old man is continuing to evade police in Torrington despite a promise made via social media.

Lets Eat Grandma!

May 1, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Flickr Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a book on grammar would be #5 on Amazon's best-seller list? (Should that be "whom" would have thought? Should I write out the number five? Should it be "bestseller?" Ugh. I can't remember if the exclamation goes inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence I just asked myself.)

Simon Doggett / Creative Commons

Today's theme is about truth.

Roger Cohen asks us to look inward at our complicity -- the media included -- when he laments our obsession to follow seductive, yet empty leaders down a primrose path. Truth no longer seems to have meaning in our social-media-driven democracy. Before assuming that Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists are to blame for our current condition, ask yourself whether leaders like our President Trump are the antithesis of our values or a reflection of them.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tackled public shaming with perhaps the one person who has had the worst case of public shaming in recent memory, Monica Lewinsky. The interview focused on how Lewinsky survived the shaming, and she said if social media was around in the mid-90s, it could have been worse.

Pascal Walschots / Creative Commons

We're outraged that wealthy parents illegally paid to get their kids into elite colleges they would otherwise not qualify to enter. Despite evidence to the contrary, we still want to believe that America is a meritocracy. It's not. And believing that it is might be bad for you.

This week, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp suffered major worldwide outages, and Twitter previewed some possible new changes. And people took to (what else?) social media to (what else?) complain.

And: The Ringer asks the age-old question, if a TV show falls in the woods, and no one talks about it, can it be certified fresh? Or something like that.

And finally: Captain Marvel is the 21st feature film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the ninth movie in the MCU's Phase Three. It is, chronologically, a sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and a prequel to 2008's Iron Man. I didn't follow much of that, but I get this part: After 11 years and all those previous movies, it's the first one with a female lead.

The Truth About Lies

Mar 7, 2019
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Lets Eat Grandma!

Feb 11, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a book on grammar would be #5 on Amazon's best-seller list? (Should that be "whom" would have thought? Should I write out the number five? Should it be "bestseller?" Ugh. I can't remember if the exclamation goes inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence I just asked myself.)

Speaking Up About Miscarriages

Jan 14, 2019
The Sleep Judge / Creative Commons

Many women who become pregnant miscarry without knowing it. Yet miscarriage is not something we, as a society, often talk about. Why?

This hour, we take an in-depth look and we also hear from you. Have you or a loved one ever miscarried? Where did you turn for support? 

Speaking Up About Miscarriages

Dec 6, 2018
The Sleep Judge / Creative Commons

Many women who become pregnant miscarry without knowing it. Yet miscarriage is not something we, as a society, often talk about. Why?

This hour, we take an in-depth look and we also hear from you. Have you or a loved one ever miscarried? Where did you turn for support? 

Facebook's leaders gave certain big tech companies access to users' data — and the company refused such access to competitors, including the video app Vine, which the social media giant targeted right after it was launched by Twitter.

Instagram Co-Founders To Step Down

Sep 25, 2018

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram, have announced their plan to leave the company that produces the popular photo-sharing application.

"We're planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again," Systrom said in a statement on the company's website. "Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that's what we plan to do."

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