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WIRED Politics Lab

WIRED Politics Lab

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Politics has never been stranger – or more online. Each week on WIRED Politics Lab, our reporters guide you through the exciting, challenging and sometimes entertaining vortex of internet extremism, conspiracies, and disinformation. Expect in-depth analysis and conversations based on facts and research. Plus, we’ll give you information you can actually use to lift the fog of disinformation we find ourselves in today.
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After President Joe Biden’s disastrous debate, speculations that Vice President Kamala Harris may fill the void are everywhere. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, how the far right is already pushing racist and misogynistic conspiracies that question Harris’ ability to be president. Plus, why RFK Jr. is looking to capitalize on the moment.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. David Gilbert is @DaithaiGilbert. Vittoria Elliot is @telliotter. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.Mentioned this week:The Far Right Is Already Demonizing Kamala Harris by David Gilbert This Is the Moment RFK Jr. Has Been Waiting For  by Vittoria ElliotUnwelcome at the Debate, RFK Jr.’s Star Shines on TikTok Live by Makena KellyConspiracy Theorists Aren’t Even Bothering With Biden’s Debate Performance by David Gilbert
Today on WIRED Politics Lab, the first part of a series from Marketplace that explains how the New Deal changed American society.
Today on  WIRED Politics Lab, Pod Save America co-hosts Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor join the show to discuss what the Biden administration has to say about Disinformation. Plus, how to wade through the social media muck and stay informed through this election. Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. Jon Favreau is @jonfavs. Tommy Vietor is @TVietor08. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.Mentioned this week:Google’s and Microsoft’s AI Chatbots Refuse to Say Who Won the 2020 US Election by David Gilbert Extremist Militias Are Coordinating in More Than 100 Facebook Groups by Tess Owen The Biden admin has no firm plan to call out domestic disinformation in the 2024 election By Dan De Luce and Ken Dilanian, NBCHow the Right Won the Internet and How the Left is Fighting Back Journalist Sasha Issenberg on Offline with Jon FavreauDemocracy or Else By Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Jon Lovett
Jake Lang was arrested for his involvement in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. From prison, he has organized an armed militia that now has thousands of members nationwide.Today on WIRED Politics Lab, reporter David Gilbert explains how this new militia came to be and its possible parallels to 2020. Plus, a look into the recent resurgence of far right extremism.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. David Gilbert is @DaithaiGilbert. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.Mentioned this week:A January 6 Rioter Is Leading an Armed National Militia From Prison by David GilbertExtremist Militias Are Coordinating in More Than 100 Facebook Groups by Tess Owen
Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we're digging into AI chatbots. In a bizarre turn of events, two AI chatbots are running for elected office for the first time—ever. VIC is campaigning for mayor in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and AI Steve is running for Parliament in the UK. Reporter Vittoria Elliot interviewed both of the bots and the people behind them. She explains their motivations, and if any of this is even legal. Meanwhile, reporter David Gilbert talks about how Google and Microsofts’ AI chatbots are refusing to confirm who won the 2020 election.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. Vittoria Elliot is @telliotter. David Gilbert is @DaithaiGilbert. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.Mentioned this week:An AI Bot Is (Sort of) Running for Mayor in Wyoming by Vittoria ElliotGoogle’s and Microsoft’s AI Chatbots Refuse to Say Who Won the 2020 US Election by David GilbertThere’s an AI Candidate Running for Parliament in the UK by Vittoria Elliot.
David Remnick talks with Katie Drummond, the global editorial director of Wired magazine, about the TikTok ban that just passed with bipartisan support in Washington. The app will be removed from distribution in U.S. app stores unless ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, sells it to an approved buyer. TikTok is suing to block that law. Is this a battle among tech giants for dominance, or a real issue of national security? Drummond sees the ban as a corporate crusade by Silicon Valley to suppress a foreign competitor with a superior product. The claim that TikTok is a national-security threat she finds “a vast overreach that is rooted in hypotheticals and that is rooted in hypocrisy, and in … a fundamental refusal to look across the broad spectrum of social media platforms, and treat all of them from a regulatory point of view with the same level of care and precision.”
In the largest global election year yet, generative AI is already being used to trick and manipulate voters around the world. Will this growing trend have real impact? Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we talk about a new online project that will be tracking the use of AI in elections around the world. Plus, Nilesh Christopher dives into the lucrative industry of deepfakes, and how politicians are using them to bombard Indian voters.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. Vittoria Elliot is @telliotter. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.Mentioned this week:AI Global Elections Project “Indian Voters Are Being Bombarded With Millions of Deepfakes. Political Candidates Approve,” by Nilesh Christopher“A Far-Right Indian News Site Posts Racist Conspiracies. US Tech Companies Keep Platforming It” by Vittoria Elliot and David Gilbert
Twitter is officially dead. Last week, twitter.com became x.com, marking the final step in a rebranding effort that the company’s owner, Elon Musk, announced last year. The change marks a shift for the now bird-less app under Musk’s reign, which has welcomed Nazis and white supremacists back onto the platform, dissolved its Trust and Safety council, and become a cesspool of disinformation and conspiracy. Meanwhile, people seem to still long for authentic connection—like with the Dublin to New York portal that connects the cities through a live video stream. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we trace Twitter's demise, and delve into what the rise of the portal could mean for the evolution of how we talk to each other and consume politics online.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. David Gilbert is @DaithaiGilbert. Makena Kelly is @kellymakena. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
Hasan Piker is one of the biggest political streamers on Twitch. With more than two million followers and streams that average eight hours a day, Hasan has become increasingly popular as more people are turning to the platform for news and political analysis. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we talked to Hasan about his impact and what this shift could mean for the upcoming election.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. Makena Kelly is @kellymakena. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
Campus protests over the war in Gaza have been going on for months at American universities. Now that they're at an all-time high, protests been getting a lot more attention— and tons of disinformation and conspiracies are spreading. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we talk about some of that disinformation and what student journalists on the ground are doing to report the facts. Plus, we look at how foreign actors are exploiting the dissent.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. David Gilbert is @DaithaiGilbert. Makena Kelly is @kellymakena.  Vittoria Elliot is @telliotter.  Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
Far-right militia, extremist groups are using Facebook to organize ahead of the US presidential election. After laying low for several years after the Capitol riot on January 6, militia extremists have been quietly reorganizing, ramping up recruitment and rhetoric on Facebook—with apparently little concern that Meta will enforce its own ban against them, according to new research by the Tech Transparency Project shared exclusively with Wired. These groups, which are set up locally, encourage members to engage in combat training and recruitment.Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we discuss Facebook’s culpability, and what this means as we head into November.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. David Gilbert is @DaithaiGilbert. Tess Owen is @misstessowen.  Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
This might be the end of TikTok. President Joe Biden signed a bill this week which allows the US government to ban the platform if TikTok doesn't divest from it's China-based owner, ByteDance, within a year.Today on the show, we’re going to talk about what happens to TikTok now and how this new law affects the politicians and influencers who use TikTok.Leah Feiger is @LeahFeiger. Tori Elliott is @Telliotter.  Makena Kelly is @kellymakena. Write to us at politicslab@WIRED.com. Be sure to subscribe to WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here.
In the year since Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially launched his presidential campaign, his extreme conspiracies and very online outreach tactics have added up to a pretty effective independent bid. Today on Wired Politics Lab, we look into how RFK Jr. continues to build a following. We talk about his recent VP pick, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan, his media outreach, and the staff behind it all. And, of course, how his push for ballot access in the US might make him a spoiler candidate in the 2024 election.You can find more from Makena Kelly on RFK Jr. here, and from Anna Merlan here. Be sure to subscribe to WIRED Politics Lab here.
Election deniers are mobilizing their supporters and rolling out new tech to disrupt the November election. These groups are already organizing on hyperlocal levels, and learning to monitor polling places, target election officials, and challenge voter rolls. And though their work was once fringe, it's become mainstreamed in the Republican Party. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we focus on what these groups are doing, and what this means for voters and the election workers already facing threats and harassment.Be sure to subscribe to the WIRED Politics Lab newsletter here
Politics has never been stranger – or more online. Each week on WIRED Politics Lab, our reporters guide you through the exciting, challenging and sometimes entertaining vortex of internet extremism, conspiracies, and disinformation. Expect in-depth analysis and conversations based on facts and research. Plus, we’ll give you information you can actually use to lift the fog of disinformation we find ourselves in today.
Politics has never been stranger – or more online. Each week on WIRED Politics Lab, our reporters guide you through the exciting, challenging and sometimes entertaining vortex of internet extremism, conspiracies, and disinformation. Expect in-depth analysis and conversations based on facts and research. Plus, we’ll give you information you can actually use to lift the fog of disinformation we find ourselves in today.You can subscribe to the Wired Politics newsletter here.
Misinformation lives everywhere. False accounts of events, doctored photos, and purposely misleading news stories are quickly shared and passed around on social media, usually by well-meaning people who don’t know they’re sharing incorrect information. It's a big problem in the best of times, but the stakes become much higher during a heated crisis like the current Israel-Hamas war. As the violence in and around Gaza has continued to escalate, people are turning to places like X (aka Twitter) for the latest news on the conflict. But they've been met with a flood of bad info—old videos, fake photos, and inaccurate reports—that researchers say is unprecedented.This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED reporter David Gilbert about how misinformation and disinformation spreads across social media, and how recent changes made by X before the Israel-Hamas war have made the problem even worse. We also talk about how the proliferation of generative artificial intelligence tools is making fake photos and videos look more believable.Show Notes:Read David and Vittoria Elliot’s WIRED story about how disinformation is getting worse on X. Read David on the role misinformation played in coverage of the recent Gaza hospital explosion. Also read David’s story about how posts by X owner Elon Musk are seemingly making the platform’s misinformation problems worse.Recommendations:David recommends the book A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney. Mike recommends Bono’s memoir Surrender. Lauren would like you to send her workout playlists. (She prefers Spotify.)David Gilbert can be found on social media @daithaigilbert. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
Gideon Lichfield and Lauren Goode talk to the Chief Intelligence Officer of Estonia, Luukas Ilves, about the country’s completely online government. In Estonia, citizens can access any government service, including voting, online. What would it take to create that kind of digital infrastructure in the United States?
Gideon Lichfield and Lauren Goode talk to Michael Casey, Chief Content Officer of the cryptocurrency news site, CoinDesk. Almost a year after a CoinDesk report kicked off a series of events that led to the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, is there anyone who still believes in crypto? 
Gideon Lichfield and Lauren Goode talk to journalist Taylor Lorenz about her new book Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, And Power on the Internet. They talk about the rise of the modern influencer and how all of us have to make our peace with our online lives.
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Comments (9)

Cougsfan34

wow, literally 3 minutes into this podcast and rather then be an informative podcast it's just liberals bitching because ONE platform changed hands. #cringeworthy #waytotakeanL

Jun 11th
Reply

YESH

The interviewer was in an attack mode throughout. Blaming her personal problems on a company that is a product of the demand, and putting the CEO on the spot. Not cool.

May 10th
Reply

text

text

Apr 18th
Reply

Rudy Miranda

Rudyaofficial

Apr 14th
Reply

Thomas Lanzetta

a

Sep 14th
Reply

Thomas Lanzetta

**,

Sep 14th
Reply

Thomas Lanzetta

**,

Sep 14th
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Jacqueline Lee Bellem

why do people have kids that can't stand to raise them... I just can't listen

Sep 11th
Reply

Christopher Fetter

why would I want a (NON) Doctor/Computer coder to tell me about a virus. not listening.

Aug 17th
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