Transcript: The Internet's Mid-Life Crisis | Dec 10, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "The Internet's midlife crisis? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says FIFTY YEARS AGO, A
MESSAGE SENT FROM ONE COMPUTER
TO ANOTHER BEGAN SOMETHING
CALLED ARPA-NET.
BUILDING ON THAT 20 YEARS LATER,
TIM BERNERS-LEE WROTE THE CODE
THAT HELPED LAUNCH THE INTERNET.
WHO, THEN, WOULD HAVE PREDICTED
WHAT IT'S BECOME TODAY?
OR WHERE IT'S ALL HEADED NEXT?
WITH US TO ANALYZE THE PAST AND
IMAGINE THE FUTURE:
ON THE LINE FROM BURBANK,
CALIFORNIA:
THERE'S CORY DOCTOROW, WRITER,
ACTIVIST, AND CO-EDITOR OF THE
GROUP BLOG, BOING BOING...

Cory is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short, receding brown hair. He's wearing glasses, a blue sweater and a blue tee.

Steve continues IN COURTENAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
ON VANCOUVER ISLAND, VIA SKYPE:
JACOB MALTHOUSE, CO-FOUNDER OF
THE .eco DOMAIN AND ONE OF THE
PEOPLE BEHIND THE "Save DotOrg."
CAMPAIGN.

Jacob is in his forties, with shirt gray hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a blue shirt and a white undershirt.

Steve continues AND IN OUR STUDIO:
RAMONA PRINGLE, DIRECTOR OF THE
CREATIVE INNOVATION STUDIO AND
AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN THE
FACULTY OF COMMUNICATION AND
DESIGN AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY.

Ramona is in her thirties, with chin-length wavy auburn hair. She's wearing a pale pink blazer.

Steve continues IT IS GREAT TO HAVE YOU THREE ON
TVO TONIGHT.
RAMONA, IT'S BEEN AGES.
GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK HERE.
CORY, GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
JACOB AS WELL OUT ON THE LEFT
COAST.
AS LONG AS CORY IS ON THE
PROGRAM, WHY DON'T WE HAVE SOME
FUN HERE OFF THE TOP.
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW YOUNG
THE INTERNET WAS BACK IN JANUARY
OF 1996 IN THIS VERY STUDIO,
AND, SHELDON, SHALL WE ROLL A
CLIP AND SEE IF ANYBODY
RECOGNIZES ANYBODY IN THIS CLIP?
FIRE AWAY.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "January 11, 1996. Bill Washburn."
In the clip, Bill speaks. He's in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair and glasses.

He says I THINK THE WEB REPRESENTS AN
EXPLOSION TRULY FROM THE GRASS
ROOTS THAT NONE OF US QUITE
ANTICIPATED HAPPENING SO
QUICKLY, THAT JUST EXPLODED FROM EVERYWHERE.

A very young Steve Paikin appears on screen and says THIS IS THE THING YOU HEAR
ABOUT, IS THAT THIS THING IS AN
ARC KICK, UNREGULATED.

The caption changes to "Cory Doctorow."

Cory, in his early twenties, with short brown hair and rounded glasses says
UNREGULATABLE.
UNREGULATABLE.
IT'S TECHNOLOGICALLY INFEASIBLE
TO DO SOMETHING AS BASIC AS
DETERMINING HOW MANY COMPUTERS
ARE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET.
IN A WAY LIKE THAT IT COMES
DIFFICULT TO CLOCK ACCESS FROM
OR TWO.

Steve says IT CAN'T CONTROL IT?

Cory says YEAH, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE
THAT SORT OF... IF THIS WERE A
MOVIE STARRING SYLVESTER
STALLONE, IT WOULD BE HOW THEY
THREW OFF THEIR OPPRESS SOURCE.
IT IS A ENVIRONMENT WHERE IT IS
DIFFICULT TO KEEP TRACK OF WHO
DOES WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW.

The clip ends.

Steve says THE FIRST PERSON WE
HEARD FROM IN THAT CLIP WAS BILL
WASHBURN, BUT THE FIRST LOOKED
LIKE WHAT CORY DOCTOROW MIGHT
HAVE LOOKED LIKE WHEN HE WAS 12
YEARS OLD.
CORY, HOW MUCH DO YOU AGREE WITH
YOUR FORMER SELF?

The caption changes to "Cory Doctorow. Boing boing."
Then, it changes again to "The promise."

Cory says YOU KNOW, I WOULD, IN THE SPIRIT OF THE
CREATIVE ARTS HERE, I WOULD GIVE
MY FORMER SELF A "YES AND" AND
THAT AND WOULD BE IN ADDITION TO
BEING THE MEANS BY WHICH PEOPLE
MOVED FOR LIBERATION, IT'S ALSO
THE MEANS BY WHICH THOSE
ORGANIZED AGAINST CREATED THE
COUNTER REVOLUTION, AND I'D LIKE
TO THINK THAT BACK THEN I WAS
COGNIZANT OF THAT TOO.
I MEAN, PEOPLE DON'T GET WORKED
UP ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE
INTERNET IF THEY THINK IT'S
GOING TO AUTOMATICALLY BE GREAT.
I THINK THAT THERE WERE MANY OF
US WHO WERE EXCITED ABOUT THE
POSSIBLE FUTURE BUT ALSO
TERRIFIED ABOUT HOW IT COULD GO
WRONG.

Steve says RIGHT.
PRESCIENT FOR 24 YEARS AGO, I
WOULD SAY.
RAMONA, HOW ABOUT SOME OF THE
ADJECTIVES WE HEARD,
UNREGULATABLE.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?

The caption changes to "Ramona Pringle. Ryerson University."

Ramona says CERTAINLY
WATCHING IT FEELS LIKE, MY, HOW
TIMES LEARN AND HOW HINDSIGHT IS
20-20.
THOSE EARLY DAYS AND EVERYBODY
SCRAMBLING TO GET DOMAINS AS IF
IT WAS... YOU KNOW, AS IF IT WAS
ACTUAL REAL ESTATE AND THEY WERE
THE ONES HOPING TO GET RICH AND
NOT ALL OF THEM DID GET RICH IN
THE END, BUT JUST SORT OF
LOOKING BACK AT THIS NOW,
THERE'S THIS IDEA OF, YOU KNOW,
YOU TALK ABOUT THE YES AND AND
THE CREATIVE MIND, THE CREATIVES
MOVE INTO THE NEW NEIGHBORHOOD,
THE DERELICT NEIGHBORHOOD, AND
EVERYBODY FOLLOWS WHO WANTS TO
MAKE A BUCK AND I THINK THAT'S
WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH THE
INTERNET, THAT THERE WAS THAT
SORT OF HOPEFUL... THAT HOPEFUL
UTOPIAN VISION OF WHAT IT COULD
BE, AND OF COURSE ONCE SOMETHING
BECOMES HOT, ONCE IT'S BEEN MADE
A SPACE THAT EVERYONE ELSE WANTS
TO CLAMOUR TO, THOSE WHO WANT TO
CASH ON IT WILL AND THE REST
FOLLOWS, AS WE'VE SEEN.

Steve says JACOB, IN WHICH
CASE, HOW NAIVE DO YOU THINK THE
CREATORS OF THE INTERNET WERE
BACK IN THE DAY?

The caption changes to "Jacob Malthouse. Savedotorg.org"

Jacob says WELL, IT'S
A GREAT QUESTION.
FOR ME, I THINK A LOT OF THIS
HAS SORT OF ALMOST RELIGIOUS
UNDERTONES.
WHEN YOU HEAR PEOPLE THE
TALKING, THE PASSION WITH WHICH
THEY'RE TALKING, IT'S A NEW
MOVEMENT, THAT THERE'S ANARCHY,
THAT THERE'S OPPORTUNITY,
THERE'S FREEDOM FOR EVERYBODY,
AND NOW, I THINK WHAT YOU'RE
SEEING IS THAT THERE'S BEEN SO
MUCH MONEY JUST DUMPED INTO THE
SYSTEM, IT'S BECOME LIKE AN
ACCELERANT.
YOU KNOW, THE THING THAT COMES
TO MIND FOR ME IS LIKE THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH AND WHEN THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH JUST BECAME KIND
OF LIKE FAT ELVIS AND THE WHOLE
THING STARTED TO LOSE TOUCH WITH
ITS ROOTS AND NOW WE HAVE
ESSENTIALLY A PROTESTANT
MOVEMENT SAYING WE NEED TO
RETURN BACK TO THESE PRINCIPLES
ON WHICH THE INTERNET WAS
FOUNDED AND WHAT IT WAS KIND OF
MEANT TO BE BECAUSE WHAT WE SEE
RIGHT NOW BEARS NO REAL RELATION
TO THOSE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES,
AND THAT'S A DANGER FOR THE
INTERNET GOING FORWARD, BECAUSE
IT NEEDS THOSE PRINCIPLES TO WORK WELL.

Steve says I SHOULD ASK CORY
THEN: DO YOU THINK THERE
ACTUALLY WAS A TIME WHEN THE
INTERNET RESEMBLED THE KIND OF
NAIVE AND CHARMING ASPIRATIONS
THAT THE, YOU KNOW, ORIGINAL
USERS HAD IN MIND?

The caption changes to "Cory Doctorow, @doctorow."

Cory says YEAH, I
THINK THAT WAS ACTUALLY THE
SITUATION THAT OBTAINED UNTIL
PRETTY RECENTLY AND THAT THERE'S
STILL LOTS OF POCKETS OF IT.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE
TRANSFORMATION OF THE WEB
ESPECIALLY BUT THE INTERNET MORE
BROADLY FROM A PLACE WITH LOW
BARRIERS TO ENTRY AND LOTS OF
LITTLE NICHES WHERE PEOPLE COULD
JUST POP UP AND TRY THEIR THING
AND IT WAS ALL ROUGH HEWN AND
VERY HOME SPUN AND CHARMING TO
GIANT WEB SITES FILLED WITH
SCREEN SHOTS FROM THE OTHER
FOUR, I DON'T THINK IT WAS AN
ACCIDENT.
I THINK WE UNDERTOOK A BUNCH OF
POLICIES, WHOSE DE FACTO OUTCOME
WAS TO ENCOURAGE MARKET
CONCENTRATION, AND NOT JUST IN
THE INTERNET.
YOU KNOW, I'M SITTING HERE
WEARING GLASSES.
MY GLASSES ALONG WITH YOUR
GLASSES AND BASICALLY EVERY
OTHER PAIR OF GLASSES YOU'VE
SEEN IN THE LAST FEW YEARS ARE
MADE BY COMPANIES CALLED ONE
COMPANY CALLED LUXOTTICA WHICH
BOUGHT THEM WITH PRIVATE EQUITY
MONEY AND THE LARGEST EYE WEAR
INSURER AND LARGEST EYE LENS
MANUFACTURER.
PRO WRESTLING IS DOWN FROM 30
LEAGUES TO ONE LEAGUE.
AUTOMOTIVE IS DOWN FROM DOZENS
OF COMPANIES TO THREE.
I MEAN, THIS IS THE TREND AROUND
ALL INDUSTRIES, AND I THINK THAT
IT'S... ALTHOUGH TECH HAS HAD A
ROLE IN THAT, I THINK IT'S A
FORM OF TECH EXCEPTIONALISM TO
SAY THAT THE WAY WE GOT TO THIS
CONCENTRATED KIND OF PLUTOCRATIC
MOMENT WAS BECAUSE OF THE WEB
AND THE WEB ISN'T A CASUALTY OF
OUR PLUTOCRATIC MOMENT.

Steve says RAMONA, DO YOU WANT
TO RESPOND?

Ramona says BORING
RESPONSE BUT I WOULD BE IN
AGREEMENT HERE.

Steve says SCREAMING AGREEMENT.

Ramona says SCREAMING AGREEMENT.
MY INTEREST IN TECH, IN THE
DIGITAL WORLD, VERY MUCH CAME
FROM A PLACE OF POSSIBILITY AND
UTOPIA AND THIS BELIEF THAT
FUNDAMENTALLY AS HUMANS WE
WANT... THAT WE'RE VERY CREATIVE
AND WE WANT TO BE PART OF A
COLLECTIVE AND THAT THE WEB WAS
THIS SPACE THAT ENABLED ALL OF
THOSE THINGS, AND TO THIS DAY
STILL, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN LEARN
HOW TO FIX THE CABINET, YOU CAN
LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR IKEA
FURNITURE INTO ANYTHING OTHER
THAN WHAT IT WAS CREATED TO BE,
YOU CAN LEARN TO DECORATE FROM
COOKIES TO YOUR HOME, THERE'S SO
MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN AND
BE CREATIVE AND TO GATHER.
SO THOSE INITIAL PROMISES ARE
STILL THERE.
BUT THERE IS THIS... THERE ARE
THESE GATES, YOU KNOW, THESE
SORT OF GATED COMMUNITIES OF THE
BIG TECH COMPANIES THAT HAVE
ARISEN AND MAKE A LOT OF MONEY
IN THE PROCESS, AND I THINK
THAT'S WHERE A LOT OF THE
CONCERN HAS ARISEN.

Steve says WELL, I WONDER
WHETHER... I WONDER HOW MANY
PEOPLE OUT THERE THOUGHT THAT
MAYBE OVERTHROWING OPPRESSIVE
GOVERNMENTS MIGHT ALSO BE ON THE
LIST OF POSSIBILITIES FOR THE
INTERNET.
AND TO THAT END, I WANT TO READ
SOMETHING HERE THAT JESSE HEMPLE
HAS WRITTEN IN "WIRED" MAGAZINE.
HERE IS WHAT SHE WROTE AND WE'LL
COME BACK AND CHAT.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "A Twitter revolution. The Arab spring." The quote reads "Meanwhile, militants have harnesses the same technology to organize attacks and recruit converts, catapulting the world into instability. Instead of new robust democracies, we have a global challenge with no obvious solution. The Arab Spring carried the promise that social media and the Internet were going to unleash a new wave of positive social change. But... liberty isn't the only end toward which these tools can be turned."
Quoted from Jessi Hempel, Wired. January 26, 2016.

Steve says CAN I GET YOU ON
THAT, JACOB?
HOW DISAPPOINTING FOR YOU THAT
THAT ASPECT, OF THE INTERNET'S
POSSIBILITIES, HAVE REALLY NOT
TRANSPIRED MAYBE AS MUCH AS MANY
PEOPLE HAD HOPED?

A map of British Columbia appears briefly on screen, showing the location of Courtenay.

The caption changes to "The milestones."

Jacob says YEAH.
I MEAN, LOOK, IF YOU'RE GROWING
UP IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND
SILICON VALLEY AND THERE'S RULE
OF LAW AND THERE'S A JUSTICE
SYSTEM AND THERE'S, YOU KNOW,
GENERALLY THINGS ARE WELL-RUN
AND THERE'S WATER AND SEWER AND
ALL THOSE GREAT THINGS, THEN WE
DON'T REALLY THINK... I THINK A
LOT OF THE PEOPLE THAT CREATED
THE INTERNET WEREN'T REALLY
THINKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT
THE INTERNET COULD DO IN PLACES
WHERE THERE ARE NONE OF THOSE
THINGS, RIGHT?
YOU KNOW, THE INTERNET IS A
TOOL.
YOU KNOW, YOU SAID THAT, AND I
THINK IT'S A REALLY GOOD POINT,
YOU KNOW.
A HAMMER CAN BE USED TO BUILD A
HOUSE OR IT CAN BE USED TO
BLUDGEON SOMEONE TO DEATH.
AND SO WHAT WE'RE SEEING HERE IS
THE TOOL BEING APPLIED IN
DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT WAYS BY
DIFFERENT PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE
THEIR OWN ENDS, WHETHER THAT'S
TERRORIST GROUPS OR, YOU KNOW,
TOTALITARIAN STATES OR, YOU
KNOW, PEOPLE DOING TREMENDOUS
GOOD IN THE WORLD.

Steve says CORY, HOW CLOSE TO
THOSE IDEALS AND ASPIRATIONS DO
YOU THINK THE INTERNET HAS
ENABLED PEOPLE TO BECOME?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Cory says WELL, I
THINK THAT WHAT THE INTERNET IS
REALLY GOOD FOR, BOTH FOR
COMMERCIAL ENTITIES AND FOR
POLITICAL MOVEMENTS, GOOD AND
BAD, IS FINDING PEOPLE, RIGHT?
THE REASON ADVERTISERS LIKE THE
INTERNET IS BECAUSE, IF YOU WANT
TO, LIKE, SELL A REFRIGERATOR,
THAT'S A REALLY HARD THING TO DO
BECAUSE THE MEDIAN PERSON BUYS
ONE OR FEWER REFRIGERATORS IN
THEIR LIFE.
SO ANYONE CAN HELP YOU TARGET
SOMEONE BUYING A REFRIGERATOR,
LIKE SEARCHING FOR KITCHEN
RENOS, THAT'S A GOD SEND FOR
YOU.
BY THE SAME TOKEN, IF YOU THINK
BLACK LIVES MATTER, IT'S A WAY
TO FIND OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE
LOOKING FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER.
AND IF YOU'RE A NAZI WHO WANTS
TO MARCH TO CHARLOTTESVILLE WITH
A TIKI TORCH, IT HELPS YOU FIND
THOSE.
WHILE THERE'S MILITANT MOVEMENTS
AND ANTISOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND
CONSPIRATORIAL MOVEMENTS
CONNECTING THROUGH THE INTERNET
IS WHY IS IT THAT SO MANY PEOPLE
FIND MILITANT, ANTISOCIAL,
CONSPIRATORIAL BELIEFS SO EASY
TO BELIEVE IN.
THAT TAKES ME BACK TO OLIGARCHY.
IF YOU SCRATCH AN ANTI-VAXXER,
YOU'LL FIND SOMEONE WHO KNOWS
ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE THE SACKLERS
IN ENGINEER... I THINK THE
RISING CONSPIRATORIAL BELIEF IS
THE INTERSECTION OF A RISE OF
ACTUAL CONSPIRACIES, RIGHT, RICH
PEOPLE GETTING TOGETHER TO
CONSPIRE TO SCREW THE REST OF US
OVER BY SOWING DOUBT ABOUT
CLIMATE OR COVERING UP THE
AVIATION PROBLEMS WITH THE
BOEING 737 AND WHATNOT AND THE
ABILITY OF THE INTERNET TO FIND
PEOPLE THE TERROR OF FINDING
PEOPLE... THAT PLANES DON'T FALL
OUT OF THE SKY BECAUSE THEY'RE
WELL REGULATED MAKES THEM
SERIOUS SET BELIEVE TO OTHER
CONSPIRATORIAL EXPLANATIONS
FOR OTHER THINGS.
IF THEY COULDN'T FIND ONE
ANOTHER, IT WOULD SLOW DOWN THE
CONTAGION.
BUT THE SUSCEPTIBILITY IS THE
OUTFLOW OF THE GENERAL
INSTITUTIONS WE CREATED FOR
TRUTHFUL BASES TO PROCEED
WHETHER IN MEDICINE OR AVIATION
OR ANY OTHER FIELD.

Steve says RAMONA, LET'S TALK
ABOUT THE SURVEILLANCE STATE,
HONG KONG, FOR EXAMPLE.
THIS IS IN SOME RESPECTS A CAME
OF WHACK-A-MOLE, RIGHT?
THE PROTESTERS TRY TO USE SOCIAL
MEDIA TO GAIN ADVANTAGE ON THEIR
OPPRESS SOURCE AND THEIR OPPRESS
SORES TRY TO USE THE
SURVEILLANCE STEP AGAINST THEM.
HOW IS THAT CAT AND MOUSE GAME
WORKING?

Ramona says BACK TO
YOUR QUESTION ABOUT USING THESE
TOOLS AS A MEANS OF REBELLION.
IT'S NOT JUST FREEDOM FIGHTERS
USING THIS.
GOVERNMENTS USE THEM.
THERE'S A REPORT THAT COMES
OUT... THERE'S A REPORT FROM AN
ORGANIZATION CALLED FREEDOM
HOUSE, A THINK-TANK IN THE U.S.,
AND THEY SAID THAT INTERNET
FREEDOMS HAVE DECLINED STEADILY
YEAR AFTER YEAR FOR THE PAST 8
YEARS.
THEY POINT THE FINGER AT CHINA.
THAT'S WHAT WE SEE RIGHT NOW IS
THIS COUNTRY WHERE THEY'RE
EXTREMELY DIGITALLY SAVVY
PROTESTERS WHERE A LOT OF WHAT
THEY'RE DOING IS ACTUALLY
ANALOGUE MEASURES OF NOT BEING
TRACED BECAUSE WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT THE INTERNET, THIS ISN'T
JUST WHAT YOU'RE SEARCHING FOR
AND THE PEOPLE YOU'RE TRYING TO
CONNECT TO, BUT THIS IS HOW
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED DOWN TO
YOUR TRANSIT CARD.
SO NOT USING... PAYING CASH TO
USE TRANSIT SO THAT THAT PIECE
OF THEIR BEHAVIOUR, THEIR
LOCATION IN THE CITY, IN THE
WORLD, AWAY FROM A SCREEN, IS
NOT BEING TRACED.
ALL OF THIS STEMMING FROM THE
FACT THAT IN CHINA THE
SURVEILLANCE STATE IS SO
COMPLETE.
THERE'S THE NOTION OF THE SOCIAL
CREDIT SCORE WHERE, WHETHER IT'S
WHAT YOU BUY, WHETHER IT'S, YOU
KNOW, DROPPING YOUR GUM WRAPPER
ON THE FLOOR OR MAYBE HELPING
SOMEONE WITH A LOST WALLET, YOUR
SCORE IS GOING UP OR DOWN,
THERE'S CASES OF HAVING AN
IMPACT ON WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE
CAN GET INTO COLLEGE, WHETHER
THEY'RE ALLOWED TO BUY AN
AIRPLANE TICKET.
SO YOU'VE GOT THIS LEVEL OF
DIGITAL SAVVY ON BOTH SIDES THAT
AS YOU SAY IT DOES BECOME A GAME
OF WHACK-A-MOLE AS BOTH SIDES
TRY TO OUTSMART THE OTHER.
NOW WHAT WE'RE SEEING, IT'S NOT
A MATTER OF EVEN USING DIGITAL
SAVVY OR USING DIGITAL TOOLS TO
OUTSMART THE OTHER SIDE.
SOMETIMES IT'S A MATTER OF
STRIPPING BACK AND UNDERSTANDING
BECAUSE THE DIGITAL WEB TOUCHES
US NOT JUST ON THIS WEB, THIS
SCREEN WE LOG INTO EITHER IN THE
PALM OF OUR HANDS OR ON A DESK
SOMEWHERE, BUT EVERYWHERE
THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, THAT
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED AND
NETWORKED AND CERTAINLY THIS
GLEAMING 5G FUTURE THAT WE'RE
PROMISED ONLY LEADS US FURTHER
DOWN THAT PATH.
BUT SOMETIMES NOW, YOU KNOW,
HERE WE ARE ON THE CUSP OF 2020,
THE BEST MEASURES PROTESTERS CAN
TAKE IS TO PULL BACK FROM THAT
WATCHFUL EYE.

Steve says BEFORE WE GET TO
THAT GLEAMING 5G FUTURE, I WANT
TO TALK A BIT ABOUT THE
TOXICITY, THE TOXIC STEW THAT SO
MANY OF US FIND OURSELVES IN ON
A DAILY BASIS.
I SUSPECT MANY WATCHING NOW WILL
HAVE HEARD OF CHARACTERS BY THE
NAME OF BORAT OR ALI G, THESE
ARE OUT OF A BRILLIANT MIND OF A
COMEDIAN CALLED SASHA BARON
COHEN.
I WAS GOING TO SAY 1.4 MILLION
PEOPLE HAVE GONE ONTO YouTube
AND FOUND THIS GUY MAKING A HALF
HOUR SPEECH WHERE HE'S NOT
MAKING JOKES AT ALL, HE'S BEING
DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT THE STATE OF
THINGS AND WHERE THE INTERNET
HAS TAKEN US.
LET'S PLAY A SNIPPET FROM THAT
SPEECH AND WE'LL COME BACK AND
CHAT.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD.

A clip plays on screen.
In the clip, Sacha Baron Cohen gives a speech. He's in his forties, clean-shaven, with curly dark hair.

He says CONSPIRACY THEORIES ONCE
CONFINED TO THE FRINGE ARE GOING
MAINSTREAM.
IT'S AS IF THE AGE OF REASON,
THE ERA OF ARGUMENT IS... AND
SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS IS
DISMISSED.
DEMOCRACY, WHICH DEPENDS ON
SHARED TRUTHS, IS IN RETREAT AND
OUGHT ACCURACY, WHICH DEPENDS ON
SHARED LIVES, IS ON THE MARCH.
ALL THIS HATE AND VIOLENCE IS
BEING FACILITATED BY A HANDFUL
OF INTERNET COMPANIES THAT
AMOUNT TO THE GREATEST
PROPAGANDA MACHINE IN HISTORY.
THIS CAN'T POSSIBLY BE WHAT THE
CREATORS OF THE INTERNET HAD IN
MIND.
I BELIEVE THAT IT'S TIME FOR A
FUNDAMENTAL RE-THINK OF SOCIAL
MEDIA AND HOW IT SPREADS HATE,
CONSPIRACIES, AND LIES.

The clip ends.

Steve says THAT IS PRETTY
INTENSE STUFF, AND LET'S GET
INTO THAT.
JACOB, ARE YOU WITH HIM OR
AGAINST HIM ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Jacob Malthouse, @JacobMalthouse."

Jacob says YEAH, I
THINK HE'S TOTALLY RIGHT.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S
HAPPENED KIND OF SLOWLY LIKE A
BOILING FROG IS THAT THE
INTERNET HAS BECOME PAY TO PLAY.
SO THESE BIG COMPANIES ARE STILL
ENTIRELY DEPENDENT ON
ADVERTISING FOR THEIR PRIMARY
REVENUE STREAM, AND THEY NEED TO
SHOW QUARTERLY RESULTS TO
INCREASE THAT REVENUE STREAM.
SO THERE'S CHURN.
THEY NEED THAT CHURN.
THEY ARE REALLY DEPENDENT ON A
SINGLE POINT OF REVENUE.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE ABOVE THE
FOLD ON GOOGLE, YOU KNOW, SIX
YEARS AGO, THERE WAS STILL
UNPAID SEARCH RESULTS ON IT.
BUT YOU GO ANY VALUABLE PLACE ON
THE INTERNET RIGHT NOW, IT'S ALL
PAY.
SO YOU EFFECTIVELY HAVE A
TWO-TIER INTERNET THAT'S BEEN
CREATED AND I THINK IT'S HUGELY
PROBLEMATIC FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE,
YOU KNOW, LESS MONEY TO PAY TO
GET THEIR VIEWS UP TO THE TOP OF
THE PECKING ORDER.

Steve says CORY, YOU CALLED IT
THE BIGGEST PROPAGANDA MACHINE
OF ALL TIME.
IS HE RIGHT?

Cory says WELL, I
THINK HE'S RIGHT IN DIAGNOSING
THAT THERE'S A PROBLEM.
YOU CAN SPOT THE PROBLEM FROM
ORBIT.
BUT I THINK WHEN YOU ACTUALLY
DIG INTO THE NUANCE OF WHAT HE
SAYS, THERE'S A LOT THAT'S
PRETTY TROUBLING IN THERE.
PART OF HIS REMEDY IS THAT YOU
COULD ASK THE ANTIDEFAMATION
LEAGUE TO TELL YOU WHAT IS AND
ISN'T HATE SPEECH.
HE SAYS HATE SPEECH ISN'T HARD
TO CLASSIFY.
THE ADL COULD TELL YOU WHAT IT
IS.
WELL, I'M A JEW AND I BELIEVE IN
THE BOYCOTT DIVEST AND SANCTIONS
MOVEMENT AND THE ADL CALLS THAT
HATE SPEECH.
SO THE IDEA THAT WE WOULD TAKE A
LEGITIMATE FORM OF POLITICAL
DISAGREEMENT, ONE THAT IN FACT
HAS A NUMBER OF PROPONENTS IN
ISRAEL, INCLUDING MAJOR
OPPOSITION PARTIES, AND SAY
THOSE WORDS MAY NO LONGER BE
UTTERED ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE
WE FOUND THE NGO THAT WE TRUST
TO BE THE ARBITER OF GOOD AND
BAD SPEECH I THINK IS NOT JUST
REDUCTIONIST, I THINK IT'S
ACTUALLY RIDICULOUS.
I THINK THAT WHAT HE'S TALKING
ABOUT FUNDAMENTALLY IS THE
CREATION OF KIND OF
STATE-REGULATED MONOPOLIES, THAT
THE WAY TO CURE FACEBOOK IS TO
MAKE FACEBOOK KIND OF THE
ETERNAL RULER OF OUR ONLINE
SOCIAL SPACES BUT THEN DEMAND
THAT IT KINDS OF SUFFERS ITSELF
TO BE DRAPED IN GOLDEN CHAINS,
LIMITING ITS CONDUCT, YOU KNOW,
INSISTING THAT IT BUY IN HUGE
BOILER ROOMS OF MODERATORS WHO
WOULD KNOW WHAT IS AND ISN'T
HATE SPEECH.
THE REASON THEY CAN'T ADDRESS
HARASSMENT ISN'T BECAUSE THOSE
WHO RUN THE COMPANY ARE NOT
SUITABLE TO DECIDE WHAT IS AND
ISN'T VIABLE FOR PEOPLE TO SAY
AND THINK FOR 2.5 BILLION PEOPLE
IN 150 COUNTRIES AROUND THE
WORLD, IT'S BECAUSE NO ONE IS,
RIGHT?
THERE ISN'T THE ONE GROUP OR THE
GROUP OF GROUPS OR THE COUNCIL
OF GROUPS THAT WE COULD CONVENE
THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THOSE
CALLS WELL.
THOSE ARE HARD FOR JUDGES TO
MAKE.
THEY'RE GOING TO BE VERY, VERY
HARD FOR CORPORATIONS TO MAKE.
I THINK IF WE WANT TO MAKE
FACEBOOK'S DUMB MISTAKES LESS
CONSEQUENTIAL, WE HAVE TO MAKE
FACEBOOK LESS CONSEQUENTIAL.
PEOPLE HAVE TO BE IN THE
DISCOURSE WITHOUT HAVING TO, YOU
KNOW, MAKE THEMSELVES SUBJECT TO
MARK ZUCKERBERG'S JURISDICTION
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, HE'S NOT
GOING TO GET IT RIGHT, NOR WILL
ANY OF HIS SUCCESSORS, NOR WILL
ANY OF HIS COMPETITORS.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says WELL, RAMONA, LET ME
TRY THIS.
SASHA BARON COHEN DOES GO ON TO
SAY THINGS LIKE, IF YOU TRY TO
GET AWAY IN THE QUOTE, UNQUOTE,
LEGACY PRESS OR, DARE I CALL IT,
LEGITIMATE PRESS OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT, IF YOU TRY TO GET
AWAY WITH SOMETHING SOME OF THE
STUFF WE SEE ON FACEBOOK, YOU'D
BE SUED, THERE WOULD BE A COURT
PROCESS... THERE'S A WHOLE
PROCESS FOR THAT.
ON FACEBOOK, IT'S A WILD WEST.
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT,
WHENEVER YOU WANT, AND DAMN THE
TORPEDOES.
AND OBVIOUSLY HE'D LIKE TO SEE
SOMETHING DONE ABOUT THAT.
WHERE ARE YOU ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Ramona Pringle, @RamonaPringle."

Ramona says YOU KNOW, I
THINK WE... HERE IT IS, WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT 30 YEARS, BEING
GENEROUS IN TERMS OF HOW LONG
THIS... THE INTERNET HAS BEEN
AROUND, YET WE TALK ABOUT IT AS
BEING NEW, AS IF IT'S, AS YOU
SAY, THE WILD WEST ALL THE TIME.
EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE
INTERFACE WITH IN OUR LIVES,
WHETHER IT'S THE FOOD THAT WE
EAT OR, YOU KNOW, KIDS'
PROGRAMMING ON TELEVISION, CARS
AND CAR SAFETY, EVERYTHING FACES
SOME KIND OF REGULATION, SOME
KIND OF EXTERNAL THIRD PARTY,
CHECKS AND BALANCES.
AND WHAT WE SEE WITH THESE
COMPANIES IS THAT THEY CAN, YOU
KNOW, SET THEIR OWN RULES.
THEY CAN SET THEIR OWN MEASURES.
A GREAT EXAMPLE IS WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT FAST FOOD ON A PLATFORM
LIKE, LET'S SAY, YouTube IN
KIDS' PROGRAMMING WHERE THEY MAY
SAY WE DON'T HAVE ANY ADS WITH
TVO OR PBS, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE
ADS FOR FAST FOOD WITH KIDS'
PROGRAMMING, YET YOU CAN HAVE AN
ENTIRE PROGRAMMED CHANNEL THAT
IS FROM A FAST FOOD COMPANY.
AND SO THERE'S A LOT OF CRACKS
THAT, YOU KNOW, THINGS CAN SLIP
THROUGH A LOT OF CRACKS AND THE
COMPANIES ARE THE ONLY ONES
HOLDING THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE.
NOW, GRANTED, IT'S VERY
CHALLENGING WHEN IT COMES TO
THINGS LIKE HATE SPEECH, HOW YOU
UPHOLD, YOU KNOW, WHAT THOSE
RULES ARE AND HOW THEY'RE UPHELD
AND WHO IS MAKING THE DECISIONS
AND WHO IS THE ARBITER OF WHAT'S
GOOD AND WHAT'S NOT GOOD.
FOR THESE COMPANIES, IT'S A
SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR THEM ONCE
THEY START DECIDING THAT FINE
LINE OF KIND OF GOOD, NOT GOOD,
ALLOWED, NOT ALLOWED.
IN THE BIGGER PICTURE THERE'S A
LOT OF ISSUES WE'RE DEALING WITH
NOW.
I THINK BECAUSE IT'S ALWAYS BEEN
SEEN AS, OH, YOU KNOW, THE
ARGUMENT HAS ALWAYS BEEN IT'S AN
IMPEDIMENT TO INNOVATION WHEN
THERE'S REGULATIONS, WHEN
THERE'S RULES.
INSTEAD OF THINKING ABOUT RULES
WHICH... YOU KNOW, NOBODY LIKES
RULES.
INSTEAD WE NEED TO BE THINKING
ABOUT WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR
COMMUNITIES, WHAT'S BEST FOR US,
WHAT'S BEST FOR HUMANS.
HOW DO WE KEEP EACH OTHER HAPPY,
HEALTHY, SAFE, WITHIN THE
CONTEXT OF THIS SPACE IN WHICH
WE SPEND A LOT OF OUR LIVES.

Steve says HEALTHY, HAPPY.
JACOB, ONE WONDERS WHETHER OR
NOT THE INTERNET NEEDS SOMETHING
LIKE, AND THIS WILL BE A
TERRIBLE EXAMPLE BUT I'LL THROW
IT OUT THERE FOR LACK OF A
BETTER IDEA, A KIND OF UNITED
NATIONS OF THE INTERNET, WHERE,
YOU KNOW, SOME MAJOR
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR FIGURING THIS
STUFF OUT.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jacob says YEAH, I
MEAN, THERE ARE A CONSTELLATION
OF ORGANIZATIONS THAT WORK ON
THIS STUFF.
ICANN WHERE I USED TO WORK AND A
BUNCH OF OTHERS THAT ARE
INVOLVED IN INTERNET GOVERNANCE.
I THINK WE DESPERATELY NEED
NON-PROFITS AND CITIZENS TO STEP
UP ON THOSE FORUMS.
GOING BACK TO WHAT CORY WAS
SAYING EARLIER, I THINK WE'VE
BEEN THROUGH THIS BEFORE.
THE LAST MAJOR HUMAN REVOLUTION
WAS THE ENERGY REVOLUTION, AND
IT CREATED OLIGARCHS LIKE
STANDARD OIL AND THE
ROCKEFELLERS AND THE CARNEGIES,
AND THESE PEOPLE HAD A
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF POWER AND A
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY IN A
VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AND
THEY WEREN'T NECESSARILY
INTENDING THINGS TO BE BAD, THEY
WERE DELIVERING LIGHT AND
GASOLINE AND RAIL ROADS.
BUT WHAT HAPPENED WAS THEY JUST
ACCUMULATED SO MUCH POWER SO
FAST THAT THE WHOLE SYSTEM GOT
OUT OF WACK.
AND THE RESPONSE WAS, PEOPLE
LIKE ROOSEVELT AND UNIONIZATION
AND REGULATION, LIKE THE EPA GOT
CREATED BECAUSE RIVERS STARTED
CATCHING ON FIRE AND PEOPLE
WERE, LIKE, WHAT THE HELL IS
GOING ON WITH RIVERS CATCHING ON
FIRE?
WE NEED AN EPA.
AND I FEEL LIKE THAT'S WHERE
WE'RE AT RIGHT NOW.
YOU KNOW, WE'RE AT A POINT WHERE
WE'RE LIKE, AS RAMONA SAID, THE
PUBLIC INTEREST HERE HAS TO PLAY
A ROLE IN HOW THESE COMPANIES
ARE OPERATING.
AND MAYBE IT'S NOT THE UNITED
NATIONS, BUT I THINK IT'S
MULTIPLE PLANKS OF ENGAGEMENT
CONSISTENTLY TO TRY AND FIGURE
OUT HOW TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.
WE NEED TO STEP UP AND SAVE THE
INTERNET.

Steve says WELL, CORY, I
SUSPECT RAMONA IS RIGHT INASMUCH
AS THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT
MAKING RULES OVER SOMETHING THAT
WE'VE JUST ENJOYED USING ANY WAY
WE WANT FOR THE LAST MANY
DECADES THAT KIND OF RUBS US THE
WRONG WAY.
BUT DO YOU THINK SOMETHING'S GOT
TO BE DONE?
I KNOW WE TALKED 24 YEARS AGO IN
THIS STUDIO ABOUT THIS THING
BEING UNREGULATABLE BUT IS IT
TIME FOR SOME KIND OF REGULATORY
AUTHORITY TO BRING ITS WISDOM TO
BEAR HERE?

Cory says I'M ACTUALLY
ALL FOR SOME REGULATORY
INTERVENTIONS HERE.
LIKE, YOU KNOW, I WOULD FULLY
SUPPORT RULES THAT REQUIRED
FACEBOOK AND THE OTHER BIG TECH
PLATFORMS TO ALLOW COMPETITORS,
WHETHER THEY BE NON-PROFIT, FULL
PROFIT, STATE, OR PRIVATE TO
INTEROPERATE WITH THEM SO THAT
USERS WOULDN'T BE STUCK IN A
WALLED GARDEN.
I'D ALSO LIKE TO SEE JUST THE
TRADITIONAL CONTOURS OF
ANTITRUST APPLIED.
WE TALK ABOUT FACEBOOK AND THE
OTHER COMPANIES AS THOUGH THEY
HAVE GROWN THROUGH NETWORK
EFFECTS OR FIRST MOVER
ADVANTAGES.
MOSTLY WHAT THEY DID IS BOUGHT
ALL THEIR COMPETITORS, WHICH WAS
SOMETHING THAT WAS ILLEGAL UNTIL
THE REAGAN AND THATCHER YEARS.
GOOGLE HAS ONLY MADE ONE AND A
HALF SUCCESSFUL PRODUCTS.
THEY MADE A GOOD SEARCH ENGINE
AND HOTMAIL CLONE.
EVERYTHING THEY BOUGHT IN HOUSE
LIKE SIDEWALK LABS HAS BEEN A FLOP.

Steve says SORRY, I WAS JUST
GOING TO SAY THE JURY'S STILL
OUT ON SIDEWALK LABS...

Cory says THEY HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING
YET.
ALL THEY'VE DONE IS LIE ABOUT
HOW BIG THEIR SURVEILLANCE IS GOING TO BE.

Steve says OH, MY GOD.
YOU'RE GOING TO GET US SUED HERE.
CORY, YOU DID USE AN EXPRESSION
IN A PIECE NOT TOO LONG AGO...
HAVE I GOT THIS RIGHT?
A ZUCKER VEGAN.
WHAT IS THAT?

Cory says I'M A ZUCKER VEGAN.
I DON'T USE FACEBOOK PRODUCTS,
FACEBOOK OR WHATSAPP OR
INSTAGRAM.
I BLOCK THEM ON MY COMPUTER AND
SO ON.
BUT IT'S A HARD THING TO DO.
YOU KNOW, THE PLACE WHERE
NETWORK EFFECTS ACTUALLY DO
MATTER IS WHEN THE PEOPLE THAT
YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH ARE
THERE, RIGHT?
IF YOU'RE AN ACTIVIST, IT'S VERY
HARD NOT TO BE ON FACEBOOK
BECAUSE MANY OF THE PEOPLE YOU
WANT TO COMMUNICATE ARE THERE
AND SO ON.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN YOU PUT
YOURSELF UNDER THE POWER OF AN
UNACCOUNTABLE, HIGH-HANDED
ENTITY LIKE FACEBOOK, YOU PUT
YOURSELF AT THEIR MERCY, RIGHT?
FACEBOOK GIVETH AND FACEBOOK
TAKETH AWAY.
IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, THE LAST
YEAR ESPECIALLY, THERE'S BEEN A
LOT OF FAR RIGHT FIGURES
CLUTCHING THEIR PEARLS ABOUT
ALEX JONES AND OTHER FAR RIGHT
FIGURES BEING KICKED OFF THE
PLATFORMS.
BUT FOR 10 YEARS BEFORE THAT,
THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM
THE PROGRESSIVE SIDE WORRIED
ABOUT TRANS ACTIVISTS GETTING
KICKED OFF AND SEX WORKERS
RIGHTS GETTING KICKED OFF AND SO
ON.
DE-PLATFORMING HAS BEEN GOING ON
FOR A LONG TIME AND THEY HAVE
ONLY JUST NOW GOT TO THE NAZIS.
BUT THEY'VE BEEN DOING IT TO
EVERYBODY ELSE FOR A VERY LONG
TIME INDEED.
WHEN YOU MAKE YOURSELF BEHOLDEN
TO THESE LARGE FIRMS THAT, YOU
KNOW, RATHER THAN HAVING A
SYSTEM OF JUSTICE, THEY HAVE
THESE SPRAWLING GARBAGE NOVELLAS
OF TERMS OF SERVICE THAT ARE
BACKED UP BY SECRET THREE-RING
BINDERS OF MODERATION CODES AND
ROOMS FULL OF MINIMUM WAGE
EMPLOYEES IN THE PACIFIC RIM,
YOU ARE TAKING YOURSELF OUT OF
THE PUBLIC REALM AND PUTTING
YOURSELVES IN THE HANDS OF A
DICTATOR OF BENEVOLENCE YOU
CAN'T RELY UPON.

Steve says RAMONA, DEFINE THIS
HOW YOU WILL, IS IT POSSIBLE TO
LEAD A NORMAL LIFE IF YOU WANT
TO BE A ZUCKER VEGAN.

Ramona says IT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
PEOPLE ARE DETERMINING WHERE
THEY WANT TO SPEND THEIR TIME
AND ATTENTION.
GRANTED I LEAN TOWARDS
REGULATION A LITTLE AS WELL.
QUITE OFTEN PEOPLE ARE TOLD, IF
YOU DON'T LIKE THIS, LEAVE THE
PLATFORM, AND THE PRESSURE GETS
PUT ON THE INDIVIDUAL.
AS INDIVIDUALS WE HAVE A LOT OF
POWER IN TERMS OF WHERE WE PUT
OUR EYEBALLS AND WHERE WE CLICK
AND WHERE WE PUT OUR ATTENTION.
THE BIGGER DECISIONS, THE BIGGER
FORCES THAT BE, THE DECISIONS
SHOULDN'T SIT ON INDIVIDUALS,
IT'S GOT TO SIT WITH THESE MAJOR
COMPANIES, THERE'S GOT TO BE
GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN ALL OF
THIS AS WELL.
IT IS REALLY CHALLENGING.
I DEAL WITH STUDENTS ON A DAILY
BASIS AND CREATIVE STARTUP'S
ON A DAILY BASIS.
WHEN THEY ARE TRYING TO GET OUT
INTO THE WORLD, THEY RELY ON THE
PLATFORMS BY WHICH THEY CAN
REACH AUDIENCES, COMMUNITIES,
EMPLOYERS.
OF COURSE, THE CHALLENGE WITH A
LOT OF THESE PLATFORMS AGAIN IS,
THEY'RE SO OPAQUE.
THERE'S SO LITTLE TRANSPARENCY
IN TERMS OF ALGORITHMS AND WHEN
THE ALGORITHM CHANGES AND WHY
AND WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS THAT
THEY MAY DEVELOP, YOU KNOW,
RABID, ROBUST, ENTHUSIASTIC
AUDIENCE, AND THEN NOT BE ABLE
TO REACH THEM WITHOUT PAYING
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
SO IT'S REALLY CHALLENGING AND
SO... I MEAN, WHAT IS A NORMAL
LIFE ANYWAYS?

Steve says I JUST READ THE
PIECE THAT YOU WROTE... I FORGOT
WHO YOU WROTE IT FOR... I READ
THE PIECE IN WHICH YOU
SUGGESTED, I GUESS IT WAS TO THE
CBC WEBSITE, THAT, YOU KNOW, WE
KEEP TREATING THE INTERNET AS IF
IT'S SOME KIND OF PETULANT
TEENAGER.
IT'S NOT QUITE MIDDLE AGED.
JACOB, THE INTERNET IS 30 YEARS
OLD.
IS IT TIME TO GROW UP AND MOVE
OUT OF THEIR PARENTS' BASEMENT
AND BE MORE MATURE ABOUT THINGS?

Jacob says I THINK
THERE'S A BIT OF A Quarter-LIFE
CRISIS GOING ON.
YOU CAN USE SO MANY ANALOGIES TO
TALK ABOUT THE INTERNET.
WE'VE GOTTEN TO THIS POINT WHERE
WE NEED TO EVALUATE WHAT IMPACT
IT IS HAVING ON SOCIETY.
IT'S NO LONGER A NOVELTY, BUT IT
IS DIRECTLY IMPACTING HOW WE
FUNCTION, AND SO GOVERNMENTS AND
CITIZENS NEED TO START PAYING
ATTENTION TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST
MUCH MORE DIRECTLY.
WE CANNOT JUST LEAVE IT TO
COMPANIES.
AS CORY SAID, THE CONCENTRATION
OF WEALTH HAS BEEN SO DRAMATIC.
I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT IN 8 WEEKS
PEOPLE RAISED A BILLION DOLLARS
TO BUY THE DOT-ORG.

Steve says HOLD YOUR SIGN UP?

Jacob holds up a sign that reads "Hashtag SaveDotOrg."

He says SAVE DOT-ORG.
ALMOST 15,000 PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED
UP.
THE STOCK BEING SOLD TO A
PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM THAT WE KNOW
NOTHING ABOUT.
AND THERE'S MILLIONS OF
NON-PROFITS WHO ARE, YOU KNOW,
USING DOT-ORG FOR 20 YEARS AND
COULDN'T MOVE OFF THAT PLATFORM,
THINK ABOUT 350.ORG.
RIGHT NOW WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO IS
GOING TO BE IN CHARGE OF THAT
DOMAIN.
FOR ME THIS IS LIKE JUST A
MASSIVE MOMENT WHERE I JUST FELT
LIKE, YOU KNOW, MARTIN LUTHER OR
SOMETHING.
I WANT TO GO NAIL SOMETHING TO A
DOOR AND BE LIKE WHAT THE HECK
IS GOING ON AT THE CHURCH, YOU
KNOW, THAT WE'RE DOING THIS KIND
OF STUFF.
ESPECIALLY NOW.

Cory says DON'T FORGET TVO.org.

Steve says GOD BLESS YOU.
IN THE INTERESTS OF FULL
DISCLOSURE, WE'RE A DOT-ORG
ORGANIZATION AS WELL.
I HAVE A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT.
DO YOU WANT TO TELL ME, CORY,
WHETHER JACOB IS ON TO SOMETHING
WITH THIS?

Cory says I THINK IT'S BEDROCK.
IT'S CRITICAL.
I THINK WE'RE AT A CROSSROADS
NOW WHERE THE INTERNET HAS
BECOME KIND OF THE NERVOUS
SYSTEM OF THE 21ST CENTURY, AND
OUR PROBLEM WITH REGULATING IT
IS THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE
PEOPLE WHO COME AT IT AND SAY,
WELL, HOW DO WE MAKE SURE IT'S
SAFE AS AN ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUM
AND OTHERS SAY HOW DO WE MAKE
SURE IT'S SAFE AS A PUBLIC
SQUARE.
WE HAVE TO MAKE IT SAFE FOR ALL
THE THINGS WE'RE DOING WITH IT.
IT'S WHERE WE FIND ROMANCE AND
EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT AND ALL
THE OTHER ELEMENTS OF OUR LIVES.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE SHOULDN'T
REGULATE IT.
IT MEANS WE SHOULD REGULATE WITH
GRAVITAS AND CARE AND NOT SAY,
WELL, SO LONG AS PEOPLE ARE
WATCHING TV THE WRONG WAY ON THE
INTERNET, OUR JOB IS DONE EVEN
IF THAT MAKES IT HARD TO DO,
SAY, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT.
WE HAVE TO DO ALL OF THE THINGS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Liane Kotler, @LianeKotler."

Steve says GRAVITAS AND CARE.
THAT IS A LOVELY PLACE TO LIVE
THIS.
THAT'S CORY DOCTOROW WHO JOINED
US FROM BURBANK CALIFORNIA
TONIGHT.
BOING BOING IS HIS SITE.
GO THERE AND CHECK THAT OUT.
JACOB MALTHOUSE JOINED US FROM
COURTENAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA,
THERE'S THE SIGN.

Jacob holds up the SaveDotOrg sign once more and says Do it!

Steve continues AND RAMONA PRINGLE JOINED US FROM RYERSON UNIVERSITY AND
WE'RE DELIGHTED TO SEE YOU AGAIN
HERE IN OUR STUDIO.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Ramona says THANK YOU.
NICE TO SEE YOU.

Steve says THANKS SO MUCH,
EVERYBODY.

Watch: The Internet's Mid-Life Crisis