The Cambridge Analytica revelations are not proof of some internet voodoo magic, they have merely demonstrated, perhaps for the first time, how online advertising actually works. Except that, according to UK consultant, Matt Muir, we don’t even really know if it works.
Many corporate journalists who claimed to have learned hard lessons from the WMD debacle in Iraq are the same journalists who are currently regurgitating the UK government propaganda line in relation to the alleged Russian poisoning even before a speck of evidential dust has settled. Daniel Margrain provides some much-needed clarity around about current ‘free press’.
The UN findings confirmed that Assange’s detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. But Phillip Hammond thinks the UN detention report ‘frankly ridiculous’. Daniel Margrain unpicks the real drivers of this cat and mouse saga.
When talking about the internet, we like to assume it is a powerful utility that enhances democracy. But instead of improving our understanding and informing our political choices, social networks and social media actually narrows the debate and closes down free speech. Electorates across the world are being manipulated by tech monopolies that are collating our data and using it to appeal to our prejudices. In short, digital is killing democracy. We went to the Netherlands to meet André Krouwel, a political scientist who thinks differently about the power and influence of social media.
Universal Basic Income (UBI) is one of those ideas that has divided public opinion into two opposing camps: Those who think it would result in disaster, as humans cannot be trusted. The other camp feels that a UBI would be liberating, allowing people to concentrate on the important things in life, not just earning a living. Rutger Bregman is a writer, widely acclaimed for his book, Utopia for Realists. In it, he champions Universal Basic Income and a 15 hour work week. So, we went to the Netherlands to ask him if the time for these ideas has arrived.