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Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood

Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood

Podcast Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood
Podcast Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood

Marketplace Tech with Molly Wood


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  • How Texas’ social media law could affect online speech
    A Texas law banning social media companies from applying certain content moderation policies was recently upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2021 law prohibits platforms from banning or restricting content based on the “viewpoints” of users. Now, tech companies will have to appeal to the Supreme Court if they want to avoid legal risk in the state. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams spoke about this case on the show back in May, when the Supreme Court put the implementation of the law on hold while the case ran its course. Issie Lapowsky, chief correspondent at Protocol, helped Adams back then and joins her again for an update. She says tech companies are in a tough spot.
  • Puerto Rico’s power grid fails again. What innovations could help?
    When Hurricane Fiona recently hit Puerto Rico, the storm brought wind, water and major flooding to the island. Local authorities are still assessing the damage, but so far we know that some people died, others lost their homes and just about everyone lost electricity. Unfortunately, we’ve been here before. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, billions of federal dollars went to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Julio López Varona, co-chief of campaigns at the advocacy group Center for Popular Democracy, about whether that technology investment did anything.
  • How memes became a problematic influence on American politics
    The word “meme” might bring to mind a viral picture of a weird-looking cat with silly text, a tweet or video showing up everywhere online. But some political memes can be downright dangerous, according to a new book — “Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America.” Its authors argue that memes have inspired cultural battles over the last decade both on- and offline. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams spoke with Emily Dreyfuss, a senior editor at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center and one of the book’s co-authors, about how far-right or extremist groups use memes as weaponized tools in their attempts to influence American politics.
  • After Roe, what happens when the rules for online speech are different in each state?
    Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade back in June, many states have been working on new laws related to digital privacy and access — or restricting what kind of information can be shared online. This trend highlights the increasing disparity between states in terms of what’s legal online and what might be in the future. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Matt Perault, director of the Center on Technology Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a consultant on technology policy issues. He wrote an essay for Wired on what might happen when the rules for what you can say and do online are different from state to state. Perault says this kind of digital fragmentation is a relatively new concept in the U.S., but some people already know what it’s like.
  • Big Tech battles antitrust cases at home and abroad
    A European Union court had bad news for Google last week, upholding an earlier ruling against the web search giant. It accused the company of engaging in anti-competitive behavior. That ruling also upholds much of the record fine the EU imposed on the company, equivalent to more than $4 billion. And in California, Amazon was hit with yet another lawsuit last week focused on the company’s price-setting power. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams recently spoke with Matt Stoller, director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, about how the Google case in Europe might affect things here in the U.S.

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