The first segment in this episode is a conversation with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat representing Illinois’ 9th district. Representative Schakowsky serves as Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has called the tech CEOs to testify in recent months and introduced proposed legislation.
The second segment is a discussion on the threat of Big Tech and disinformation to social movements that took place recently at NetRootsNation, conference for progressive organizers. It is hosted by Melissa Ryan, a Tech Policy Press masthead member and author of the Ctrl Alt-Right Delete, a newsletter that covers extremism that has grown to more than 15,000 weekly readers. Melissa uses her expertise to help people, policymakers and institutions combat online extremism and toxicity as the CEO of her firm, CARD Strategies. At NetRoots Nation, Melissa organized a panel of activists to discuss how platform power and disinformation affected their communities in 2020, and how they plan to fight it in 2021 and beyond. They include Bridget Todd, who drives feminist cultural & political change at UltraViolet; Brennan Suen, a senior strategist at Media Matters, which tracks right wing disinformation; and Michael Khoo, the Co-chair of the Climate Disinformation Coalition at Friends of the Earth and CO-CEO of Upshift strategies.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.