TWiT 747: Every Click is a Vote

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!


1:04:04 - “If the CEO of a company that has a news product is willing to stand there and not correct a record because it’s politically expedient to do so - why would I trust his news product?” Lisa Schmeiser - you absolutely rock!

“You have a company that is trying to sell a product with a premium subscription, and you have a company that has also shown very publicly and on the record that they are fine with letting lies slide if it’s politically expedient for them.”

Wow - there is no possible way to justify or explain that in terms that are positive for Apple without engaging in reality distortion bordering on utter fiction.

This is exactly the kind of criticism and investigation that I want to see of any and all tech companies. Absolutely kick-a**!!!


On the flip side, I think it’s a little disappointing that the solution presented on the panel to manipulative media practices is entirely on the consumer to improve their media literacy–coming from a bunch of people for whom media literacy is second nature, given their professions. In order to function as both a voter and a free market economic actor, I’m expected to be literate in technology, media, economics, history, health, fitness, environment, science, politics, and international relations (at the very least). For some people that might be a fine occupation, but most people simply don’t have the available cycles to get there, and yet functioning society requires them to weigh votes and economic activity as though they are functionally literate in all those areas, and more.

There has to be a balance between encouraging basic literacy in media (and technology, and health, etc.) to develop an informed consumer/voter, and encouraging sensible regulation. And I’m not suggesting anything extreme, just stuff on the order of “You can’t say your snake oil cures the common cold until it’s sufficiently proven to do so.” The struggle, of course, is that I don’t think it’s apparent enough yet to what extent media manipulation has been weaponized, as @Leo said so cogently, so it’s hard for many people to see the urgency. But it’s there, and we should find ways to deal with it systemically.


There are some guests who’s perspective is really wrong on this whole thing, where all forms of regulation are a terrible idea, government being involved is a bad idea, media has always lied etc. These are simply not the case. Yes media has some kind of narratives to push, and yes you have to look to multiple sources but I trust what BBC news tells me, which incidentally is a government funded new agency.

There should be a responsibility placed on news organizations BY governments to treat things as Iain described it; if you can’t print supporting evidence for your “fact” then get that out of here.

On a different note, I didn’t quite appreciate the comment conflating JRE podcast to gun rights, climate deniers etc. It was said in the context of Youtube presenting this and I don’t think even the YouTube algo does that.

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2:01:30 talking about free Windows 10 upgrade loophole. Good howto on The Tech Guy episode 1607


Does the sale of .ORG affect .ORG.UK? I guess not since .ORG.UK is most likely owned by Nominet

I’m not a consumer of BBC news so I’m curious why you trust them.

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Over here there are such standards in advertising, at least in traditional media, Google and Facebook seem to think they are above the law, as usual.

You cannot be derogatory about a competitor, you cannot lie about the capabilities of your product. Telcos often get drawn up before the advertising standards bodies as they often try to bend the truth about average line speeds, for example.

You can say it is your best product ever, you can say it has won a test, but you can’t say who it beat. For example, if you are Head & Shoulders, you can’t say it is better than Garnier Herbal Essence.

Political advertising is much stricter and there is generally a very low limit on how much a politician/party can spend on advertising during the campaigning period (2 months prior to the voting date, I think). Each party is given the same amount of screen time on the public channels (TV and radio subsidised by the television license). In local elections, for example, there is generally no TV campaign, it is placards on lamposts, flyers through the letter box and adverts in the local papers, along with door-to-door and stands in the town centre or market place.


They’ve never proven themselves to be untrustworthy. Their delivery of the news is not inflammatory, they are not beholden to share holders, the organization (BBC) has many different avenues for income so the news isn’t run for profit (I don’t know that as fact but you can tell) and they have some of the most respected journalists in the world. Having said that you have to realize they are a branch of the UK, so consider the source, but their job is to act as an oversight.

To me CNN is no different than Fox. The difference in the tone between bbc and them is night and day.


I frankly do understand why Apple didn’t come out and say the factory opened in 2013. Apple is trying to appeal to Mr. Trump and have him feel Apple is a great American Company. If Tim Apple aka Tim Cook had corrected the President it could sway Mr. President to thinking they aren’t on board with his plan. Any tarif relief then comes back under question. Politics you gotta love it.

I listen to BBC America, NPR News, Fox News and CNN…

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One of these thing is not like the others.


I couldn’t agree more. Making media literacy a personal responsibility issue (to the exclusion of sensible regulation) reminds me of the Buddhist fable of the barefoot princess who wanted to cover the world in leather so she wouldn’t injure her feet. After some consideration, one of her advisors said, "“Your highness, maybe it would be more effective if we simply made you a pair of shoes.”

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LOL!! Exactly - my calculus is thus:

BBC gives me an outside opinion, NPR gives me a more focus on people and slight government slant, Fox gives me the view from the right and CNN
gives me the view from the left - I take these data points and come up with my own conclusions

Used to be you could just pull up Harry Reasoner and Howard K Smith and they would just report the facts, no spin, no agenda! Alas, those days are gone so I have to gather stuff from all points of the compass :blush:

Bomb Cyclone

Atmospheric river

I wanted to throw in my support for Alex and his practice of giving absurd answers to his kids superfluous questions. I do the same thing as a way to coach critical thinking. I find it hilarious, my kids are annoyed.


Haha I do something similar with a friend of mine who claims she doesn’t need to look anything up because she says I’m her dictionary & encyclopedia. That really irks me, so when she asks me what a word means, I define it using words I know she won’t know. So she says what’s that mean, and I say, “See? Now you have 2 words to look up instead of just 1!” Evil, I know. :smiling_imp:


And they elect the same kinds of useless idiots that we do here!!! LOL