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The Techdirt Podcast, hosted by Michael Masnick.

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Recent Episodes of Techdirt


A Primer On Child Online Safety Legislation

A Primer On Child Online Safety Legislation

There's a broad legislative push for rules that would (supposedly) protect kids online. But as we've written about at length, while the concern for teen mental health might be genuine, the legislative response is highly problematic and based on a misdiagnosis of the underlying problems. This week, we're joined by UNC's Alice Marwick, one of a group of academics who recently released a primer on child safety legislation, to discuss the many different issues at play and the problems with various regulatory proposals. Child Online Safety Legislation (COSL) - A Primer: https://citap.pubpub.org/pub/cosl/release/5

Episode 11 June 2024 49m and 28s


The Importance Of Section 230 For Online Communities

The Importance Of Section 230 For Online Communities

At the latest committee hearing about its repeal bill, Congress finally deigned to bring in one witness who spoke in defense of Section 230. Engine Executive Director Kate Tummarello got a little bit of time to explain how Section 230 isn't about protecting big tech, it's about protecting the hosts and users of all kinds of extremely important and valuable online communities. But that little bit of time was far from enough, so this week Kate joins us on the podcast to say some more things that Congress really, really needs to listen to.

Episode 4 June 2024 47m and 51s


Ctrl-Alt-Speech: Deepfake It Till You Make It (Teaser)

Ctrl-Alt-Speech: Deepfake It Till You Make It (Teaser)

Check out Ctrl-Alt-Speech, Mike Masnick's brand new podcast with Ben Whitelaw, creator of the Everything in Moderation newsletter. In this teaser excerpt from last week's episode, Mike and Ben discuss a fascinating story about how political deepfakes are being used in the Indian election - but not in the way you might expect. Listen to the whole episode covering all the week's biggest news in online speech - and get ready for this week's episode, releasing tomorrow - by visiting ctrlaltspeech.com or subscribing to Ctrl-Alt-Speech on your podcast platform of choice! Apple Podcasts: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ctrl…ch...

Episode 30 May 2024 13m and 36s


Platform Moderation Or Individual Control?

Platform Moderation Or Individual Control?

As decentralized social media experiments continue, we're getting more and more opportunities to really understand the impact of decentralized systems and how they are received by users. Amy Zhang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington, has been studying and thinking about these issues a lot, and this week she joins us on the podcast to discuss a recent paper and, in general, how users are faring in the world of decentralized social media and content moderation. Research paper, "Do Users Want Platform Moderation or Individual Control?" - https://arxiv.org/pdf/2301.02208

Episode 21 May 2024 46m and 29s


Generative AI Is Doomed

Generative AI Is Doomed

There's no shortage of prognostication about the future of generative AI, including plenty of predictions that it won't actually be around forever for various reasons. A lot of these takes are a little too speculative or just not very interesting, but one that stands out comes from law professor and returning podcast guest Eric Goldman, who joins us this week to discuss his recent lecture and subsequent paper arguing that the regulatory environment won't allow generative AI to survive. 2024 Nies Lecture on Intellectual Property: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3tzZ_nH-AI Research paper, "Generative AI Is Doomed": https...

Episode 14 May 2024 48m and 40s


The Challenges Facing NCMEC's CyberTipline

The Challenges Facing NCMEC's CyberTipline

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's CyberTipline is a central component of the fight against child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, but there have been a lot of questions about how well it truly works. A recent report from the Stanford Internet Observatory, which we've published two recent posts about, provides an extremely useful window into the system. This week, we're joined by two of the report's authors, Shelby Grossman and Riana Pfefferkorn, to dig into the content of the report and the light it sheds on the challenges faced by the CyberTipline. Stanford Report: https://purl.stanford.edu...

Episode 7 May 2024 50m and 1s


Talking TikTok

Talking TikTok

We've got one more cross-post episode for you today, then next week we're back with a brand new discussion. Recently, Mike joined the Daily Beast's The New Abnormal podcast with host Andy Levy for a conversation about the big news from last week: Biden signing a bill that will ban TikTok in the US if owner ByteDance doesn't divest from it. The full episode of The New Abnormal covers other topics as well, or you can listen to Mike's segment isolated here on this week's episode. The New Abnormal episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/trumps-campaign-shifts-strategy-for-its-part-time-candidate/id1508202790?i=1000653645212

Episode 30 April 2024 19m and 8s


Ctrl-Alt-Speech: Combating Sextortion (Teaser)

Ctrl-Alt-Speech: Combating Sextortion (Teaser)

Check out Ctrl-Alt-Speech, Mike Masnick's brand new podcast with Ben Whitelaw, creator of the Everything in Moderation newsletter. In this teaser excerpt from last week's episode, Mike and Ben discuss the startling epidemic of "sextortion" scammers targeting teens online. Listen to the whole episode covering all the week's biggest news in online speech - and get ready for this week's episode, releasing Friday - by visiting ctrlaltspeech.com or subscribing to Ctrl-Alt-Speech on your podcast platform of choice! Apple Podcasts: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ctrl…ch/id1734530193 Overcast: overcast.fm/itunes1734530193 Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/1N3tvLxUTCR7oTdUgUCQvc Am...

Episode 24 April 2024 14m and 19s


Copyright Conundrum

Copyright Conundrum

This week, we've got another cross-post episode for you. Mike recently appeared on the Sidebar podcast from Courthouse News as part of an episode taking an in-depth look at why copyright is actually the biggest free speech restriction in the US and the various questions, implications, and problems that arise from this. You can listen to the whole thing here on this week's episode.

Episode 24 April 2024 34m and 27s


Ctrl-Alt-Speech: Facebook's New AI Content Policy (Teaser)

Ctrl-Alt-Speech: Facebook's New AI Content Policy (Teaser)

Check out Ctrl-Alt-Speech, Mike Masnick's brand new podcast with Ben Whitelaw, creator of the Everything in Moderation newsletter. In this teaser excerpt from last week's episode, Ben and guest host Alice Hunsberger discuss Meta/Facebook's new policy for labeling AI-generated content. Listen to the whole episode covering all the week's biggest news in online speech - and get ready for this week's episode, releasing tomorrow - by visiting ctrlaltspeech.com or subscribing to Ctrl-Alt-Speech on your podcast platform of choice! Apple Podcasts: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ctrl…ch/id1734530193 Overcast: overcast.fm/itunes1734530193 Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/1N3tv...

Episode 18 April 2024 9m and 58s

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