internet

99% Invisible: Octothorpe

Aug 4, 2015
Flickr/Ognian Mladenov

If you use technology to follow conversations and trends on social media -- on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr—you know to look for the hashtag. In our current digital age, the hashtag identifies movements, events, happenings, brands—topics of all kinds. The hashtag sign didn’t always have this meaning, though. It’s had a few different lives. The KALW podcast 99% Invisible tracked the history of this sign in their episode “Octothorpe”.

  The Internet just became freer in India thanks to a young woman who decided to do something about it instead of just complaining.

Section 66A of the IT Act was declared unconstitutional.

Liz Pfeffer

These days, our technology is getting smarter. We don’t just talk on the phone anymore, we talk to them. Siri is already a household name and our homes are getting smarter, too. There are thermostats that you can control from your cell phone. And smoke detectors that will text you if there’s a fire. San Franciscan Tom Coates has taken this technology one step further. He’s designed his home to track its vitals and tweet them out to the world, all triggered by a network of wi-fi enabled sensors.

Whether it's making donations and signing petitions online, or using social media to highlight political causes, cyber-activism has never been easier. With a few clicks, we can make our voices heard around the globe. But who's listening, and is anything actually changing? Does cyber-activism mobilize real-world action on the ground, or does it reduce political engagement to simple mouse-clicking and ultimately threaten the subversive nature of change?

Whether it's making donations and signing petitions online, or using social media to highlight political causes, cyber-activism has never been easier. With a few clicks, we can make our voices heard around the globe. But who's listening, and is anything actually changing? Does cyber-activism mobilize real-world action on the ground, or does it reduce political engagement to simple mouse-clicking and ultimately threaten the subversive nature of change?

Under CC license from Flickr user Beatrice Murch

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, where Geary Boulevard meets Park Presidio, there stands a bright, white, defunct Christian Science church. There are big white columns out front, with pink steps leading up to iron double doors.

But, what goes on inside this church is not quite what you’d expect.

  On the December 30th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll have a conversation about digital hate speech. Women are overwhelmingly the targets of cyber harassment. Some have even been chased out of their homes by the barrage of threats against their lives and families, while others have quit communicating online altogether. Is online harassment a civil rights issue? When is harassment illegal? And how should social media corporations and our legal system respond to threats online? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

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On the November 20th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll have a conversation with former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Just hours after the President reaffirmed his support for net neutrality, the Washington Post reported that the Obama’s appointed FCC Chair Tom Wheeler told business executives that he prefers a “more nuanced solution.” Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the cable and telecom industry. What do you want to know about the politics of the FCC? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

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On the November 19th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll speak with Shane Harris, author of @War: The Rise of the Military Internet Complex. He writes that protecting cyberspace has become the US government’s top national security priority. Waging war in cyberspace is becoming a private affair. So what does the “military-Internet complex” mean for our personal freedoms and future? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

 

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 On the November 17th edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the United States’ Internet infrastructure. It ranks 29th in speed worldwide and we pay 38 times what the Japanese pay. Why is the Internet in the US so slow? What is the cost of creating a fast Internet infrastructure, and what benefits would it provide? Join the conversation on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you

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On the October 9th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll have a conversation about digital hate speech. Women are overwhelmingly the targets of cyber harassment. Some have even been chased out of their homes by the barrage of threats against their lives and families, while others have quit communicating online altogether. Is online harassment a civil rights issue? When is harassment illegal? And how should social media corporations and our legal system respond to threats online? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

On the October 1st, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll rebroadcast a conversation with makers of Hollow, an interactive documentary that examines the future of rural America through the eyes and voices of those living in McDowell County, West Virginia.  Viewers can scroll through and click on photos, videos, and timelines to experience an in-depth portrait of this area and its people. What’s the power of technology to enhance news and storytelling? Join us on the next Your Call with me, Rose Aguilar and you.

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On the September 4th edition of  Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with Astra Taylor author of “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age.” The book argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects real-world economic and cultural hierarchies. What would a democratic Internet look like? And how should we get there? Join the conversation on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

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Astra Taylor, documentary filmmaker, writer, and musician


Fasting from social media

Mar 19, 2014

From our partners at Youth Radio.

 Note: Will Durst is a comedian and you may find some of his material offensive, or worse, not funny. His views do not necessarily reflect those of KALW.

Hey guys,

Will Durst with a few choice word about President Obama plugging the Affordable Care Act on Zach Galifianakis's internet comedy show. Not late night, not basic cable, an internet show. Looks like the Chief Executive is working his way down the marketing food chain. Won't be long before he's wearing a giant syringe costume twirling a sign on Pennsylvania Ave.

  

  

  

Cases of rape in Steubenville and Maryville were re-opened after online activist group Anonymous brought media attention and exposure to perpetrators. So what is the power of online dissent? And what if the laws themselves are unjust? Many online vigilantes are lashing out in response to increasing state and corporate surveillance. What tactics are acceptable? And how are governments responding to civil disobedience online? Join the conversation on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

  

On today's Your Call, we revisit a conversation with longtime media reform advocate Robert McChesney about his new book Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. We'll also discuss the economics of journalism, media reform, and coverage of the revelations by former NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden.  On the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.  Friday at 10am & 5pm.

On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the highly secretive, multi-national trade agreement between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations. WikiLeaks has released a chapter focusing on patents, the medical establishment, and a whole section devoted to copyright and trademark issues. Why does Trans Pacific Partnership agreement matter? And how is it going to impact you? Join the conversation and call in with your question with Matt Martin and you.

Guests:

Vinod Aggarwal, professor of political science at UC Berkeley

  

On today's Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll have a conversation with longtime media reform advocate Robert McChesney about his new book Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. We'll also discuss the economics of journalism, media reform, and coverage of the revelations by former NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden. Where did you see the best reporting this week? Tune in on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

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Teaching young people to be smart about social media

Apr 9, 2013

Once upon a time, the anonymous Internet predator was every parent's nightmare. Now they worry about enemies closer to home: the bully who doesn’t leave his taunts in the hallways or the college admissions officer using Facebook as a character reference. 

 

 

 

On today's Your Call we’ll rebroadcast a conversation we had with Jason Benlevi, author of “Too Much Magic: Pulling the Plug on the Cult of Tech; Secrets they won’t tell you about your digital life.”  Benlevi writes “those who are in the business of providing the technology and services will serve their own agenda (money and power) before they will serve yours.”  Do you have concerns about who controls your digital technology?  Is concentrated control over technology affecting our democracy?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.

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Today on Your Call: What is Amazon’s agenda?

Jun 25, 2012

On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about how the largest internet retailer is transforming business. Amazon’s model of deep discounts has allowed it to become the dominant book retailer. What allows the company to offer so many discounts? Are you an Amazon shopper? Join us at 10am PST or post a comment here. We’ll also talk about how Amazon has used its political power to avoid sales taxes and other regulations. Where is Amazon headed next?  It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

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