A website called "Is Anybody Down" has popped up to fill the niche that was left when the revenge porn site "Is Anyone Up" shut down in April of this year. Like its predecessor, the site allows users to submit naked photos of other people and include links to the naked person's social networking page. But according to attorney Marc Randazza, this website's business model is slightly different from Is Anyone Up, and is of questionable legality. Bob talks to Randazza and Is Anybody Down's founder Craig Brittain.
With one term down and one more to go, we take a look at how well the first Obama administration did on some of the issues OTM cares about most: surveillance, transparency, whistleblowers, and press access. Brooke and Bob speak with The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, the Sunlight Foundation's Lisa Rosenberg, and ABC's White House correspondent Jake Tapper about Obama's first four years, and what they expect in the next four.
Bob talks to Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, who studied the tone and scope of this year's election coverage. Jurkowitz says that the tone of this election season was extremely negative, both in mainstream and social media.
China is about to have an "election" of its own, with the assembly of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress happening this week. In addition to handing over power from one Paramount leader to the next, the Congress will oversee the appointment of the Standing Committee—the group of people who run China. Trying to figure out why they're chosen is often an exercise in the absurd for foreign journalists. Bob speaks with Time Magazine's Hannah Beech who describes what it's like to cover the party congress.
The Seattle Times Company has undertaken an experiment it says will show newspapers deserve more political ad dollars: buying and publishing political ads on its own pages. Readers have seen full-page ads in favor of the Republican candidate for governor, as well as ads in support of a referendum that would legalize gay marriage. Bob Garfield speaks with Eli Sanders of Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger, about why the ads have infuriated subscribers and the newspaper's staff, while leaving everyone else scratching their heads.
Last week's storm highlighted Twitter's role as a useful (and occasionally infuriating) source of information during an emergency. OTM producer PJ Vogt talks to Bob about how to find accurate information on the platform while mostly avoiding the chaff.
The 24-hour news cycle and social media provided consumers with up to the minute images and information about the toll of Sandy. Too bad some of those images and information were both woefully incorrect and deliberately misleading. Brooke and Bob talk to the New Jersey Record's John Brennan and Salon's Laura Miller about how disasters plunge us into a media mix of the real, the unreal, and the unknown.
Facebook is blocked in China –but that hasn’t prevented homegrown Facebook knock-off sites from sprouting. And even on China’s fake Facebooks, real conversations about politics and culture are occurring every day. Jeremy Goldkorn, who monitors Chinese media at his website, talks to Bob about life on China's fake Facebooks.
Tito Nieves - I Like It Like That
Europe has long taken a harder line towards global internet companies who make privacy incursions against their users and Facebook is no exception. In the last few months, a couple of high-profile cases have seen European privacy fears realized. We asked Marketplace reporter Christopher Werth to talk to a few of the people in Europe who’ve run up against Facebook recently to see if their experiences might tell us something about Facebook’s prospective practices in the US.
The Outside Joke - My Mom’s on Facebook
The Facebook "Like" button has ventured beyond the pages of Facebook. Now, not only can you tell your friends that you "Like" their comments, photos and status updates, you can also tell third-party site how much you "Like" a blog post or news article. Bob explores the meaning of a Facebook "Like."
Writer Rebecca MacKinnon has compared Facebook to a country, she calls it Facebookistan. Facebookistan has 1 billion people, and an economy that rivals many countries'. Brooke and Bob talk to Jillian York and Clay Shirky about the contours of Facebookistan, and how it affects life in the actual world we live in.
Don & Juan - What’s Your Name
This week, daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier—and world records—when he jumped in free fall from 24 miles above the earth’s surface. People around the world watched in awe, but some criticized the jump as a mere publicity stunt for its corporate sponsor, Red Bull Energy Drink. Bob talks with Esquire contributing editor Luke Dittrich about how Baumgartner's jump, publicity stunt or not, has valuable scientific implications beyond being a PR triumph.
If you read the local paper in Boston, Denver, or Sacramento, soon you’re likely to see endorsements for candidates cropping up on the editorial page. But if you get your news in Atlanta, Chicago, or Tuscaloosa, you probably won’t. In recent years, papers in these cities have gotten out of the endorsement business. Bob talks to Kevin Riley, editor of Georgia's largest newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, about his paper's decision to end editorial endorsements.
Voters in swing states are enduring a gauntlet of campaign advertising this election season. Reporter Seth Stevenson, who lives in New York City, decided to fly to one of those states (Ohio) and subjected himself to 45 hours of campaign advertising. It wasn't pleasant. Bob spoke with Stevenson, who wrote about the experiment for The New Republic.
In the 1930's, married couple Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter founded Campaigns, Inc., the world's first political consulting firm. In the ensuing 30 years, Campaigns Inc. pioneered tactics like the out-of-context quote, relentless pamphleteering, and what we now call opposition research, all techniques that are part of the modern campaign playbook. Bob talks to Jill Lepore, New Yorker contributor and author of The Story of America: Essays on Origins about Whitaker and Baxter's political legacy.
When John Ramsey came into his substantial inheritance, he was still a college student. But he didn't use the money to party - instead he became an angel investor in Liberty for All, a libertarian Super Pac. Bob spoke with Ramsey about putting up his own money to support down-ticket libertarian candidates.
Nate Silver is something of an authority on political forecasting. In 2008, his blog FiveThirtyEight correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential race in 49 out of 50 states. (In that same election, he was also right about all 35 senate races.) Bob sits down with Silver to talk about the 2012 election as well as his new book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't.
When the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked and protesters took to the street throughout the Islamic world, news reports trotted out a familiar narrative: "MUSLIM RAGE" and the clash of civilizations. Bob talks to Middle East scholar Marc Lynch, who says the media got it wrong and the real story is that protests were small, petered out quickly, and followed a radically different pattern from past anti-US agitation.
Felix - Bernard St.