One highlight of this four-day work week (subtracting the Tuesday I spent as a poll worker for the third time this year) doesn’t appear on this list below. I filed a draft of the longest piece I’ve written since college, also the first work I’ve done since then to be assigned in terms of pages instead of words or column inches.
7/6/2020: Fake pundits, Al Jazeera
I got asked late Monday night to speak briefly for one of AJ’s morning-news shows (Doha being seven hours ahead of Eastern time) about the Adam Rawnsley’s report for the Daily Beast about a squad of entirely fake pundits who first had their “work” published in various right-wing outlets (some of it trashing Qatar, which apparently got AJ’s interest) and then leveraged that validation to show up in more prestigious outlets.
7/8/2020: Section 230 in an Election Year: How Republicans and Democrats are Approaching Proposed Changes, Broadband Breakfast
I took part in a panel about proposals to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act–the law that basically lets social media, from the comments on this blog to Facebook, function free of litigious strangulation. That’s a fun topic to a policy nerd like me; what made it more fun was having the panel feature two of my favorite people in tech policy, lawyer Cathy Gellis and TechFreedom senior fellow Berin Szóka.
If you don’t have time to watch the video, Broadband Breakfast’s Emily McPhie wrote up our panel the next day.
My first pitch for an entertainment-password-sharing startup called Keyring came not from the CEO quoted in the post, but one of his colleagues–who happens to be the son of one of my long-ago Post co-workers. That refined bit of name-dropping got my attention, but I was also struck by how Keyring is trying to make itself not look like the enemy to streaming-media services.