The Ensh*ttification of Everything

Why does every social media platform seem to get worse over time? This week’s On the Media explores an expansive theory on how we lost a better version of the internet, and the systems that insulate Big Digital from competition. Plus, some solutions for fixing the world wide web.

[01:00] Host Brooke Gladstone interviews Cory Doctorow, journalist, activist, and the author of Red Team Blues, on his theory surrounding the slow, steady descent of the internet. 

[15:59] Brooke asks Cory if the troubles that plague some corners of the internet are specific to Big Digital, rather than the economy at large—and how our legal systems enabled it all. Doctorow explains how the antitrust practices of the early 1900s went awry, and what exactly he means by “twiddling.” 

[31:29] Cory and Brooke discuss possible solutions to save the world wide web.  Among them: better enforcement of privacy laws, interoperability, and the ever elusive "right-to-exit." Plus, hear about the one industry that so far has been mostly immune to the forces of "enshittification." 

This episode originally aired on our September 1, 2023 program, How Big Tech Went to Sh*t.

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This Peabody Award-winning podcast bills itself as pulling back the curtain on the fractured, increasingly digital news business to examine “how the sausage is made.” Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield discuss media coverage of the big stories of the week.

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