#1261 Profitable Extremism (How Social Media Propagates Hate)

Air Date: 4–2-2019

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Today we take a look at the so-called "Algorithms of Oppression." Not that they're made to be that way on purpose but that it is a natural outcome of a profit-based system that incentivizes people to post the most click-baity content while the system learns the viewer's weaknesses to ruthlessly feed them whatever will keep them engaged.

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Ch. 1: Social Media Propagates Hate - Brian Lehrer - Air Date 3-21-19

YouTube will keep playing until you stop it, and it pushes extremes regardless of ideology. It is ruthlessly optimized to keep humans engaged, and YouTube can't possibly police their own content.

Ch. 2: Algorithms of Oppression with Dr. Safiya Noble - Delete Your Account - Air Date 4-11-18

Dylan Roof was radicalized through Google - searching one thing gives you further items down the rabbit hole - not the opposing viewpoint. What's worse, is big tech has no accountability for their actions.

Ch. 3: The Algorithm with Adam Conover - Point of Inquiry - Air Date 1-10-19

We are all falling for the YouTube slot machine of instant gratification

Ch. 4: Fighting White Supremacy on Social Media - Brian Lehrer - Air Date 3-19-19

Are tech companies trying to crack down on hate speech? Those articles are super profitable for social media, and it creates a sensation, so they're not incentivized to change.

Ch. 5: Yuval Noah Harari on Hacking Humanity - Ideas from CBC Radio - Air Date 9-5-18

Yuval Harari joins to discuss the human animal and our irrelevance in the digital age. At least when we were being exploited we were still needed.

Ch. 6: Is the Press Finally Learning How to Cover White Supremacy? - On the Media - Air Date 3-22-19

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google are still light years away from developing an enforceable code of ethics for dealing with hate groups but Bob and Joan Donovan discuss why she believes that stymieing the spread of hate online is possible.


Ch. 10: The litmus test of putting dark faces in high places - Ty from South Carolina

Ch. 11: Prioritizing which candidates we research first - Ariel from Seattle

Ch. 12: Preferences for the presidential election - Laura from Alameda, CA


Ch. 13: Final comments just backing away slowly.


Facebook is finally banning white supremacy that goes by other names (TechCrunch)

Google’s algorithms are keeping us in a political bubble, study finds (MarketWatch)

Echo chambers are dangerous –  we must try to break free of our online bubbles (The Guardian, 2017)

Curated by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman 

MUSIC (Blue Dot Sessions):

  • Opening Theme: Loving Acoustic Instrumental by John Douglas Orr 
  • Inessential - Bayou Birds
  • Heather - Migration
  • Gondola Blue - Towboat
  • Astrisx - Bodytonic
  • Solemn Application - Wax Museum
  • Voicemail Music: Low Key Lost Feeling Electro by Alex Stinnent
  • Closing Music: Upbeat Laid Back Indie Rock by Alex Stinnent


Produced by Jay! Tomlinson

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Showing 1 reaction

  • Laura Smith
    commented 2019-04-21 19:53:01 -0400
    Really liked Ty’s voicemail!
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