IRL - Online Life Is Real Life
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Our online life is real life. We walk, talk, work, LOL and even love on the Internet – but we don’t always treat it like real life. Host Manoush Zomorodi explores this disconnect with stories from the wilds of the Web and gets to the bottom of online issues that affect us all. Whether it’s privacy breaches, closed platforms, hacking, fake news, or cyberbullying, we the people have the power to change the course of the Internet, keeping it ethical, safe, weird, and wonderful for everyone. IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla, maker of Firefox and always fighting for you.
||CleanWhat if Women Built the Internet?||All the things we love on the internet — from websites that give us information to services that connect us — are made stronger when their creators come with different points of view. With this in mind, we asked ourselves and our guests: "What woul||3/4/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDecentralize It||Some people believe that decentralization is the inevitable future of the web. They believe that internet users will start to demand more privacy and authenticity of information online and that they’ll look to decentralized platforms to get those thin||2/18/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Surveillance Economy||In her new book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Harvard Business School’s Shoshana Zuboff argues that tech companies — like Google and Facebook — collect so much personal data for profit, that they’re changing the fundamentals of our econom||2/4/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Human Costs of Content Moderation||What, if anything, should be banned from online media? And who should review violent and explicit content, in order to decide if it’s okay for the public? Thousands of people around the world are working long, difficult hours as content moderators in||1/21/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTL;DR||TL;DR: We have access to more things to read than ever before. Too much, in fact. Our reading habits have shifted. We skim a lot. We look for full stories baked into headlines. Our eyes bounce around from one article to the next, and we try and fail to||1/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Password is the Worst||Look, we agree with you: passwords are the worst. But you know what else is the worst? Someone hacking your account, or big security breaches that expose your email, your credit card information, your government-issued identification number, and more. W||12/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanChecking Out Online Shopping||When you shop, your data may be the most valuable thing for sale. This isn’t just true online — your data follows you into brick and mortar stores now as well. Manoush Zomorodi explores the hidden costs of shopping, online and off. Meet Meta Brown,||11/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIntroducing Season 4 of IRL - Online Life is Real Life||Can ‘ethical tech’ be a thing? We think so. Season 4 of Mozilla’s IRL podcast will explore all the ways tech can have a more positive influence on people, communities, and societies at large. And, we’re delighted to welcome our new host Manoush||11/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhat to Expect When You're Electing||The 2016 U.S. presidential election blew up our ideas about influence campaigns in the age of screens. Two years later, Veronica Belmont and Baratunde Thurston examine how the internet is changing our minds, our votes, and our democracies – all over t||10/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanKids These Days||Today’s teens are the first humans who have spent their entire lives online. Join Veronica Belmont and Manoush Zomorodi as they explore what kids are facing on the interwebs, how they’re using social media for good, how they’re handling cyberbully||9/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBullying and Bonding Online||It’s a problem when tribalism divides us, online or in real life. Join Veronica Belmont and Franchesca Ramsey as they meet the people working to make the web — and world — friendlier places. Jhamel Robinson discusses how he used social media to or||8/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVirtual Connections||:'-) Ever wonder why emoticons exist? They popped up in the 1980s to make online connections feel a little less digital and a little more personal :D. In this episode of IRL, host Veronica Belmont and special guest Peter Rojas explore how the Internet i||8/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPaid Attention||There’s a new currency in town (and no, we’re not talking about Bitcoin). We’re talking about attention. In this episode of IRL, Veronica Belmont and special guest Jane Lytvynenko explore all the ways your attention has become worth money on socia||7/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPress Play||One of the most successful recruitment tools the U.S. Army ever made was…a video game? Sometimes without even knowing it, gaming elements in technology — often designed for addiction — are incentivizing you to think certain ways and do certain th||7/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Grand Bargain||We’re told from a young age to “accept the things we cannot change.” But should this be the case online as well? We click “Accept” every day, but often don’t know what we’re giving away. Is it a fair trade, and should we demand a better ba||7/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIntroducing Season 3 of IRL: Because Online Life is Real Life||In Season 3 of IRL, we're exploring the bargains we make online every day, and how we might approach striking better deals with the powers that be. You'll find out what happened when the U.S. Army got into the video game business, what it's like to be a||6/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCtrl+Alt+Facts||From campaign bots to conspiracy videos, it’s harder than ever to discover the truth online. In conversation with The New York Times’ Sheera Frenkel, Data For Democracy Policy Lead and Mozilla Fellow Renee DiResta, and DisInfoMedia founder Jestin Co||4/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSocial Bubble Bath||We’ve long heard that the ways the web is tailored for each user—how we search, what we’re shown, who we read and follow— reinforces walls between us. Veronica Belmont investigates how social media can create and can break our filter bubbles. Me||3/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAlgorisky||From Google search to Facebook news, algorithms shape our online experience. But like us, algorithms are flawed. Programmers write cultural biases into code, whether they realize it or not. Author Luke Dormehl explores the impact of algorithms, on and o||3/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCloak of Invisibility||On the Internet no one knows you’re a dog, as the old joke goes. But does anonymity truly exist on the web anymore? And when it’s taken from us, what else do we lose? So Sad Today talks about the value of anonymity for women and self-care. Jonathan||2/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFace Value||From Snapchat filters to Google’s art selfies, biometric technology plays a growing role in our everyday lives. What do we actually give up when we upload our face to these apps? Steven Talley shares his experience as the victim of mistaken identity.||2/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDigital Overload||What does it mean to grow up online? Veronica Belmont investigates how the www is changing us: our personalities, our bodies, and our brains. A college student shares his experience at rehab for Internet addiction. Bestselling author Nir Eyal breaks dow||1/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBot or Not||Most website visitors aren’t human. They’re bots. And these automated accounts are having serious, real-world impact; from the 2016 election to the FCC’s recent, controversial net neutrality vote. Veronica Belmont investigates the rise of social m||1/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNet Neutrality Emergency||The battle for the open Internet isn’t over. In the days leading up to the FCC’s net neutrality vote, we investigate what’s next in the fight. We Rate Dogs’ Matt Nelson talks about trolling Ajit Pai with a pay-per-pupper plan. Verizon protesters||12/10/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanStatus Update||In this bonus episode, we check in on some of Season One’s stories and see how they’ve evolved. Activist Amanda Werner talks about their turn as the Monopoly Man at the Equifax hearings, and how to create visibility for victims of identity theft. In||11/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFree Speech, Limited?||In our final episode of season 1, we break from our usual format to host a big conversation. Recent events like the Charlottesville, VA rally have revealed the Internet’s role in helping spread IRL threats and violence. Leaders in the tech world have||9/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAll Access Pass||What is life like without fast Internet, and how does life change once a person has it? Should Internet access be a right, rather than a luxury? Veronica Belmont explores these questions as she talks to people about joining the digital economy. Inspirin||9/3/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanI Spy With My Digital Eye||We react against the idea of surveillance, but it turns out that we’ve invited it into our homes through devices like digital assistants, connected toys, and baby monitors. Are you comfortable with the idea that someone might be watching you or listen||8/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Care and Feeding of Your Troll||Trolls. You'll find them in every corner of the Internet. During this episode, explore the landscape of trolling online, its impact on individuals, and its impact on the Web. Some people are fighting back in new and tasty ways. Baked goods included.||8/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHack Jobs||Have you been hacked, or been the victim of malware or ransomware? Humans make the internet vibrant, but we're also the weakest link — we're predictable and often easily fooled. This episode of IRL focuses on our internet insecurity. Meet the unsung h||7/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Neutral Zone: The Future of Net Neutrality||The Internet (at least in the US) is at a crossroads as the FCC is considering rolling back the net neutrality regulations it adopted in 2015. If net neutrality is abolished, the Internet could shift from an essential service that all consumers can acc||7/9/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAll Your Data Are Belong To Us||You’ve heard the expression, “When something is free, you’re the product.” And, while you may think it’s no big deal to give away your personal data in exchange for free online services, how can you know that what you get for what you give is||6/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIntroducing IRL: Because Online Life is Real Life||Our online life is real life. We walk, talk, work, LOL and even love on the Internet – but we don’t always treat it like real life. Host Veronica Belmont explores this disconnect with stories from the wilds of the Web – and gets to the bottom of o||6/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Like the idea but feels like propaganda
Even as someone who agrees with most of what is being said in the two episodes I listened to (net neutrality and all access pass) I felt uncomfortable and disappointed with how the messages were being delivered. For example I do think the skits that start the shows are kind of neat, but also set up the episodes to have heroes and villains, which forces a specific narrative from the get go.
Many of the conversations feel scripted, patronizing, and sound more like propaganda than a genuine exploration of the biggest issues and ideas affecting today's internet user (i.e. everyone).
The episodes seem to start with certain assumptions and conclusions that the audience is expected to agree with and then work to reinforce those beliefs, the attempts at challenging them are quickly presented and dismissed. It is reminiscent of Fox News' old fair and balanced segments, which were generally anything but fair and balanced.
It is also unclear what age group and knowledge level is expected from the audience. About half the time I feel like the discussion is curated for middle schoolers, the other half for adults. But I wonder if Mozilla is underestimating their audience.
However I see a lot of potential for growth, and the concept is a good one. If I was working to improve this show I would be looking to emulate professional journalism, maybe brush up on philosophy to construct better more nuanced arguments, and try to maintain the enthusiasm that is present.
I am a retired political scientist. I live in Washington, D.C. I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast. Information on electoral politics has gone a long, long way since I left the undergraduate classroom in 2002. This bundle of online journalism is FANTASTIC. Today’s generation of students, regrettably, is more likely to consume podcasts like this, because THEY DON’T HAVE TO READ. The podcast enables them to passively consume information WITHOUT having to put forth much effort. Let’s call this “passive information consumption,” which does not involve very much effort. The empirical questions are (1) how closely have the listeners listen?; and (2) what have the listeners learned? Does this medium more effectively facilitate learning than more traditional active reading? This is an empirical question for media savvy learning theorists, which I am not. While I like this podcast-based approach, learning involves WORK and putting forth effort, e.g., close listening and note taking. It’s analogous to listening to a more traditional lecture. The positive is that you can replay the podcast to check your recollection. The world is changing; I like the new model of information dissemination.
Useful and needed
Keep it up. This is a necessity these days.