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WIRED Politics Lab

Technology Podcasts

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes
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The Trump Shooting, Conspiracies, and Calls for War

7/17/2024
Right after former president Donald Trump was shot at his campaign rally in Pennsylvania, conspiracy theories exploded online. Today on WIRED Politics Lab, we discuss the subsequent calls for violence and civil war, and the way that militias are recruiting off of the incident. Plus, we report from the Republican National Convention on the reaction to Trump’s vice presidential nominee, Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio. 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. Mentioned this week: Militias Are Recruiting Off of the Trump Shooting by Tess Owen Far-Right Extremists Call for Violence and War After Trump Shooting by David Gilbert Trump Shooting Conspiracies Are Coming From Every Direction by David Gilbert Elon Musk Among Tech Heavyweights to Rally Behind J.D. Vance VP Pick by Makena Kelly Influencers Are Racing to Profit From the Trump Shooting by Makena Kelly

Duration:00:28:31

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The Kamala Harris Conspiracies Are Here

7/11/2024
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 Elliot Unwelcome at the Debate, RFK Jr.’s Star Shines on TikTok Live by Makena Kelly Conspiracy Theorists Aren’t Even Bothering With Biden’s Debate Performance by David Gilbert

Duration:00:32:08

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From Marketplace: Breaking New Ground

7/4/2024
Today on WIRED Politics Lab, the first part of a series from Marketplace that explains how the New Deal changed American society.

Duration:00:26:25

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Pod Save America Comes to WIRED

6/27/2024
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, NBC How the Right Won the Internet and How the Left is Fighting Back Journalist Sasha Issenberg on Offline with Jon Favreau Democracy or Else By Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Jon Lovett

Duration:00:28:15

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Far Right Militias Are Back

6/20/2024
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 Gilbert Extremist Militias Are Coordinating in More Than 100 Facebook Groups by Tess Owen

Duration:00:24:06

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AI Chatbots Are Running for Office Now

6/13/2024
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 Elliot Google’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.

Duration:00:31:07

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From The New Yorker Radio Hour: The TikTok Ban Is “Rooted in Hypocrisy” with Katie Drummond

6/6/2024
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.”

Duration:00:21:42

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It's the AI Election Year

5/30/2024
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

Duration:00:35:16

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Twitter Is Dead, Long Live the Portal

5/23/2024
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.

Duration:00:31:46

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Hasan Piker Won't Tell You to Vote for Joe Biden

5/16/2024
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.

Duration:00:38:30

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The Conspiracy of Campus Protests

5/9/2024
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.

Duration:00:32:46

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How Far-Right, Extremist Militias Organize On Facebook

5/2/2024
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.

Duration:00:30:36

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The TikTok Ultimatum Is Here

4/25/2024
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.

Duration:00:34:33

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RFK Jr.’s Very Online, Conspiracy-Filled Campaign

4/18/2024
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.

Duration:00:29:27

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How Election Deniers Are Weaponizing Tech To Disrupt November

4/11/2024
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

Duration:00:30:16

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WIRED Politics Lab Trailer

4/4/2024
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.

Duration:00:01:24

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New Podcast: WIRED Politics Lab

3/20/2024
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.

Duration:00:00:38

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Farewell HANF, Hello Gadget Lab

10/25/2023
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.

Duration:00:46:05

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How to Be Extremely Online and Influence People

10/4/2023
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.

Duration:00:36:50

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Introducing: Critics at Large - The Myth Making of Elon Musk

9/29/2023
Elon Musk’s presence in our lives is inescapable: his cars roam our streets, his satellites orbit our skies, and his purchase of X—formerly known as Twitter—has reshaped the social-media landscape. The staff writers Vinson Cunningham, Naomi Fry, and Alexandra Schwartz discuss a recent biography of Musk, by Walter Isaacson, tracing the familiar archetype of the genius tech founder from the nineteenth-century robber baron to “Batman” ’s Bruce Wayne. The critics examine how, in recent years, the idea of the unimpeachable Silicon Valley founder has lost its sheen. Narratives such as the 2022 series “WeCrashed” tell the story of startup founders who make lofty promises, only to watch their empires crumble when those promises are shown to be empty. “It dovetails for me with the disillusionment of millennials,” Fry says, pointing to the dark mood that the 2007-08 financial crisis and the 2016 election brought to the country. “There’s no longer this blind belief that the tech founder is a genius who should be wholly admired with no reservations.” New episodes drop every Thursday. Follow Critics at Large wherever you get your podcasts: https://link.chtbl.com/tnycriticsatlarge_feeddrop

Duration:00:13:29