Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Brookings Institution takes another stab at killing podcasting

Valerie Wirtschafter doesn’t want you to have free speech. She’s been producing report after report about the last bastion of free and independent speech in the world. Podcasting is too dangerous because people can say what they want to say. This woman, and Brookings, are insidious. Here she comes again.

Here’s a link to her report.

Below is her tweet thread on the topic.

This report represents the first systematic, overarching assessment of more than 36,000 shows from across the political spectrum

Drawing on thousands of external fact checks & a dictionary of key terms, the research evaluated that 1 out of every 20 episodes & 70% of all shows have shared at least one unsubstantiated or false claim, with some shows sharing far more than others.

Due to the extremely conservative nature of the research design, this is likely an undercount of unsubstantiated and false claims across the medium.

The report also includes detailed case studies of the 2020 Presidential Election, building on past research with @chrismeserole

And the COVID-19 pandemic, where claims tied to alternative treatments and prevention were far more common than all other types of claims and key moments seemed to drive the spread of unsubstantiated and false claims.

This research was conducted over nearly a two year period and inspired by a passing tweet conversation. I am happy to answer any and all questions about design, methodology and analysis.

Thank you to the @BrookingsInst for giving this research agenda a home. And thank you to @stuartathompson for adding so much to this research with his article today:

Also, for those interested in where the title comes from, it is a play on the first known coining of the term "podcast" — a Guardian article titled "Audible Revolution":

Originally tweeted by Valerie Wirtschafter (@vwirtschafter) on February 9, 2023.