Episode 6: The Plague of Lie Machines with Oxford professor Philip N. Howard

Published: May 01 2020

Artificially intelligent “bot” accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies.

This is the plague that Oxford professor Philip Howard takes on in his new book: Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives. With massive amounts of social media and public polling data, and in depth interviews with political consultants, bot writers, and journalists, Philip N. Howard offers ways to take these “lie machines” apart.

Dr. Howard gets into how these lie machines are literally causing Covid deaths throughout our society through misinformation...and how they helped to put the authoritarians, currently mishandling the pandemic, in power in the first place...

But it's not all doom and gloom: he has amazing treatments and cures prescribed for this plague--from big policy demands to personal behavior recommendations to rid us of this disinformation infection.

As part of the creative contribution I ask of my guest experts, he does an amazing dramatic rendition of the titles of some unlikely and weird videos that come up when you search for Covid news under today's algorithm. Benedict Cumberbatch, William Shatner, look out! Dr. Howard is overtaking you.

https://liemachines.org/

https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/philip-howard/

Host and Editor: L.M. Bogad: www.lmbogad.com

Music: Jason Montero https://m.soundcloud.com/jamoja, and by my other friend named Jay

Sound effects clips from soundbible.com

clip art from nicepng.com