This episode focuses on issues of identity, extremism, and violence, and the role that technology plays in societies in conflict.
First up, we speak to Hakeem Jefferson, a political scientist at Stanford University. Jefferson describes the underlying grievance driving the right in the United States- white supremacy- and how it combined with demagoguery, disinformation, and the ability to organize at scale on social media to produce the violent assault on the Capitol on January 6th. (A transcript of this discussion is available here.)
Then, we speak to Fadi Quran, campaigns director at Avaaz, a social movement that empowers people to take action on issues from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. He describes the role of social media in the recent flare up of violence between Israel and Palestine, and what social media platforms and governments should do to protect democracy.
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.