Is the internet a net negative?

The Internet is a jumble of contradictions. Scrolling through your feed helps you relax…but it’s bad for your mental health. Maybe you’ve found a community online…something many others have found through hateful ideologies and cults.

All of this begs the question: is the net a net negative? Do the cons outweigh the pros?

All of this week’s podcasts help us try to answer that question. For fun, you’ll hear about the “Rick Roll” from Rick himself (any idea what we’re talking about? We’ll explain). Plus the story of how TikTok helped a woman manage her eating disorder during the pandemic. And on the darker side of things…we’ll explore how Facebook’s algorithms can lead people down the rabbit hole to cults, and how violent misogynists are being radicalized online.

Which side will win: good or bad? Or will we choose to celebrate and criticize all of a sudden? Find…

Podcasts featured this week:

(Courtesy of Podcasts)

ICYMI: “Rachelle and Madison are joined by Buzzfeed’s Scaachi Koul to discuss…the cesspool that is YouTube fandom, how well Bo Burnham articulates the issues of constant internet consumption, and the ability to disconnect.”

endless thread: “Did the Rick Roll originate from a piece of code on the 4Chan bulletin board, or a prank phoned to a local sportscast in Michigan? And why does the Rick Roll have such stamina? Is it codified in the song’s DNA We explore the origin of the meme, the story of the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” and its impact on both netizens during COVID-19 and the performer himself.”

boys like me: “Alek [Minassian] frequented incel sites for years, hiding in forums that celebrated or even encouraged the type of attack he was about to commit. What attracts young men to this toxic world? [Host] Ellen [Chloe Bateman] connects with a prominent incel that takes him down the rabbit hole.”

Reply to all: Producer Anna Foley explores how a TikTok account has helped her and many others manage eating disorders during the pandemic, at a time when eating disorders have dramatically increased.

99% invisible: “Geocities was an online collection of metropolises, each with their own neighborhoods built around common interests. The metaphor of the city allowed a whole new group of users to understand the World Wide Web for the first time. heyday it was the third most popular destination on the internet, but it quickly fell into disuse as the web became more commercial and professional.Before it was shut down, a few digital archivists salvaged as much data as possible before all those early Internet experiments can be deleted.

Maintenance phase: “Special guest Mike Rothschild tells [hosts Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon] how the road to wellness can be an on-ramp to a conspiracy theory.”

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