Jun 14

Echo chambers and doom cycles — Ali Breland (6/14/22)

A conversation about why the term "echo chambers" doesn't match political reality. Then, a tour of the slow-motion decay rotting through American politics.

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SH!TPOST is a podcast from researcher and reporter Jared Holt at the intersection of politics, technology and internet culture. New episodes release bi-weekly. Supporters can read newsletters between episodes at shtpost.substack.com
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Ali Breland is a reporter at Mother Jones who covers online disinformation. He joins the podcast this week to talk about two of his recent essays that confront the flaws and shortcomings of conversations around disinformation, extremism, violence and other harms. Ali discusses why terms like “echo chamber” don’t adequately capture the dynamic social media platforms play in shaping political ideology. Then we talk about the infinite cycle of doom that Americans face in public life. This episode isn’t a feel-good one but we hope you’ll agree that conversations like these are important to have—and especially so when they are unpleasant.

Follow Ali on Twitter: @alibreland

Read Ali’s recent writing at Mother Jones:

Ali’s favorite things online: hyper-niche meme accounts and Musical artist Bo Daddy Harris

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Theme music via DJ Danarchy: https://hearthis.at/danarchy/