210: A Disturbing B-12 Social Media Sex Cult Injection

Get your daily vitamins injected with this hour-long dive into sex cults and cult TV.

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[00:00:00] Brett: [00:00:00] Hi, I’m Brett Terpstra, and you’re listening to overtired with Christina Warren. That was a weird sequence I did that in.

[00:00:09] Christina: [00:00:09] That was, but, uh, I don’t, I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it. Um, Hey Brett, how are you?

[00:00:15]Brett: [00:00:15] I have a glass of ice tea, a cappuccino and candied ginger, which is like big slices of gin, ginger dried and covered in sugar. So good. I think, yeah, I’m good.

[00:00:30] Christina: [00:00:30] I like it. I like it. Um, I, I’m not a huge ginger person, but that sounds delicious actually.

[00:00:37] Brett: [00:00:37] It is, um, it, it has a nice burn to it, which is one of the better parts of ginger.

[00:00:43]Christina: [00:00:43] Very nice.

[00:00:45] Brett: [00:00:45] Have you, um, how’s your health doing?

[00:00:49]Christina: [00:00:49] Well, my health is pretty good. I am tired this week, although less than I was when we recorded last time. Uh, it is, uh, our normal record day, which is [00:01:00] Saturday. I’m sleepy. I’m going to take a nap again after we finished recording, but I was able to get through the 25 hours of being or 26 hours of being awake the entire time.

[00:01:12] This week. Yeah. But, uh, but I did it, uh, and so that’s super exciting.

[00:01:19]Brett: [00:01:19] I feel like we should record in the mornings more often. We, we both seem to do really well with morning. Energy levels are up. Coffee is fresh.

[00:01:31]Christina: [00:01:31] Yeah, I like it. I’m a fan, um, energy levels are up. Coffee is fresh and usually, yeah, cause right now it’s still the morning, but it’s afternoon for you. And, uh, it’s like the end of a week. So I’m just kind of, I’m in like a place,

[00:01:47] Brett: [00:01:47] Yeah. So w what’s your excuse for being tired this week?

[00:01:52] Christina: [00:01:52] Well, okay. I actually, I saw something on Twitter and it made me think, I bet this is an accurate [00:02:00] thing. That’s wrong with me. Uh, I haven’t been outside in so long and I think my vitamin D is probably low anyway, because Seattle, but it’s gotta be like nonexistent now. And I was like reading about how everyone has vitamin D deficiencies.

[00:02:13] And I was like, Oh shit, I should get on that because. That probably is one of the reasons why I’m so kind of lethargic and tired.

[00:02:22] Brett: [00:02:22] I’ve been taking vitamin D supplements with my bipolar and, and my ADHD. Uh, vitamin D deficiencies are really hard on me, uh, and vitamin E Omega threes, but I have a recommendation for you.

[00:02:41] Christina: [00:02:41] what’s that?

[00:02:41] Brett: [00:02:41] If you, um, if you start taking vitamin D get it in liquid form,

[00:02:47]Christina: [00:02:47] okay.

[00:02:48] Brett: [00:02:48] it’s more, more digestible. Uh, it it’s a lot, unless you get exactly the right, uh, formulation of the tablets or the capsules.

[00:03:00] [00:03:00] You, you, you can very easily just pass it right through your system without ever absorbing it. So if you get it in liquid form,

[00:03:06] Christina: [00:03:06] good in liquid form. Okay. That makes sense. Yeah. Um, okay, I’ll do that. Um, does that change how you get it? Like, do you have to go to a special, like, you don’t need a prescription or anything

[00:03:15] Brett: [00:03:15] Oh, no, no. You can order any supplement. A service will provide, well, I shouldn’t say any, but any, any, you can probably find it on Amazon is what I’m saying.

[00:03:27] Christina: [00:03:27] Yeah, no, that’s totally fine. That’s totally fine. Yeah. Um, I asked, because I know that you can, for instance, get stuff like, uh, like B12 supplements, like for under your, under your tongue. They’re not actually as good as it’d B12 shot, but to get it, B12 shot is a little more complicated and. Which sucks because to be told shot is so good, but I need to figure that out too.

[00:03:51] Like I need to find a place where I can just because I used to regularly get these B 12 shots. Um, yeah. And,

[00:03:58] Brett: [00:03:58] legally

[00:04:00] [00:03:59] Christina: [00:03:59] yeah, like I’d go to the doctor, like, and they’d give them to me. And they’re great. Uh, I, yeah. And, and so now I can do like, find a place that will do it. Cause a lot of times now they’re like, Oh, you know, take the pills when I’m like, they’re not as good.

[00:04:12] Just give me the damn shot and it’ll

[00:04:15] Brett: [00:04:15] put it in my veins.

[00:04:16] Christina: [00:04:16] Exactly. And it does, it does like do that, like once a quarter changes your life. I swear to God,

[00:04:21] Brett: [00:04:21] What does B12 do for you?

[00:04:24]Christina: [00:04:24] well, for me it, you know, fights the anemia, but also gives me energy and just makes me in general, like, Like makes things better. A lot of

[00:04:34] Brett: [00:04:34] So it’s valuable.

[00:04:37] Christina: [00:04:37] kind of, well, a lot of celebrities, what not like take them like before they go out on concerts and stuff. Like if they’re feeling run down or tired or whatever,

[00:04:45] Brett: [00:04:45] it’s the hippie version of speed.

[00:04:47]Christina: [00:04:47] I think so, but I do think that there’s like, I have an actual B12 deficiency, like when they’ve done my testing, which is why I’ve been able to like, get the shots, but like a way to kind of get around as you can get these B12 tablets, like you put under your [00:05:00] tongue and they help, but it’s the same sort of thing.

[00:05:02] I’m assuming it’s like the vitamin D thing where like, It just, it can pass through your system a lot easier. And so it’s just not quite the same thing. So getting a shot is better. So I assume that’s why I was asking about the vitamin D because liquid I’m sure does absorb better, uh, probably get vitamin D shots as well.

[00:05:18] I’m assuming, but, um, if I can get that in liquid form from Amazon, I’m all about it. And then I will set about trying to find a place in Seattle that will give me B12 shots.

[00:05:29] Brett: [00:05:29] Yeah, well, I mean, it stands to reason it’s true of any drug. If you ingest it through your, whether it’s your nose or your mouth, you’re going to lose a lot of the potency of the drug just through the digestion process and the way that it absorbs through the skin. But if you inject it right into the blood, Or subdermally, I assume the B12 is like a shot in your butt.

[00:05:56] Christina: [00:05:56] no, it was like in your arm.

[00:05:57] Brett: [00:05:57] Oh. But, but like in the [00:06:00] muscle, not in the

[00:06:01] Christina: [00:06:01] Yeah,

[00:06:01] Brett: [00:06:01] Yeah. And intramuscular shots. Yeah. Still, still more effective than digestion.

[00:06:07] Christina: [00:06:07] Totally. Yeah.

[00:06:09] Brett: [00:06:09] I felt much the same about many of the drugs that I shot and, and to myself, um, just, it’s just a waste to do it any other way. Um,

[00:06:19]Christina: [00:06:19] okay. But, but don’t people like often shoot those, like, but those that, that you needed to get like intravenously, like that’s why people put them in.

[00:06:26] Brett: [00:06:26] Yes I do.

[00:06:27] Christina: [00:06:27] that their fingers or toes or

[00:06:28] Brett: [00:06:28] Right. Ideally you hit a vein, but an intramuscular shot where it just is absorbing into the muscle directly is still better than swallowing or snorting.

[00:06:40] Christina: [00:06:40] Gotcha.

[00:06:41] Brett: [00:06:41] Smoking is pretty effective and in some cases, but you, if you’re really precious about the small, let’s say Graham, that you have a, you don’t want half of it going up in smoke.

[00:06:54] Christina: [00:06:54] Yeah, that’s what I thought. That’s what I thought that people didn’t smoke it because you lose out on that. Uh, like maybe you get a decent high, [00:07:00] but half of it goes up in smoke, as you said,

[00:07:02] Brett: [00:07:02] The big thing in Hollywood. That I read about in like rolling stone magazine, but had, I was well beyond my drug years before I could ever try it is to, uh, prep heroin. Like you are going to inject it. So like cook it. And then snored it through a straw. It’s not the liquid through a straw and have the, the liquid hits the, your, your nasal mem membranes.

[00:07:33] Yeah. And then you would avoid any track marks, but still get the full effect, I guess, just a free tip for all of them. For heroin addict listeners out there. Oh, we’re going to get, we’re going to get banned from something.

[00:07:47] Christina: [00:07:47] Yeah, I was going to say, I was like, that’s a, don’t do that.

[00:07:51] Brett: [00:07:51] Yeah, nobody don’t do heroin at all it through any hole in your body.

[00:07:57] Christina: [00:07:57] Right. But that, that just feels like, okay. [00:08:00] On the one hand. Alright, good job. Not having the track marks, but on the other hand, that, that sounds incredibly uncomfortable, I guess, like to snort liquid, like

[00:08:11] Brett: [00:08:11] it’s not it’s it’s like if you, if you’re, if you’re swimming, And you snore a hole like lung full of liquid. Yeah. It hurts a lot, especially with chlorine in it, but just snorting, a spoonful of liquid is actually like I do neti pots. You know what that is?

[00:08:29] Christina: [00:08:29] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s like your, you put your head back and you,

[00:08:33] Brett: [00:08:33] Yeah. It’s like a.

[00:08:34] Christina: [00:08:34] this stuff up your nose and it

[00:08:36] Brett: [00:08:36] Comes out the other side. Yeah. Which freaks some people out, but they’re actually very refreshing and I find them like your sinuses can handle moisture.

[00:08:46] Christina: [00:08:46] no. Yeah, no, those are actually supposed to be really good. I’ve done them before for bad sinus infections or whatever. Um, although the one thing I think about whenever I think of a neti pot is that episode of the office where Jim gets, um, Pam, the [00:09:00] teapot. And he has to basically buy off of Dwight, uh, because white was going to use it as a neti

[00:09:06] Brett: [00:09:06] Yup.

[00:09:07] Christina: [00:09:07] Yeah.

[00:09:07] Brett: [00:09:07] Yeah, there wasn’t a neti pot showed up in an episode of Cougar town that I was rewatching recently. Um, the, the hick dad finally, like the whole episode was about him. Trying to figure out how to use one. Here’s a tip that has nothing to do with heroin. You can buy squeezable, neti pots. That you can just use in the shower.

[00:09:32] You use stick it in one nostril, give it a squeeze. It squirts out the other side. And you’re done none of that. Like holding your head sideways over the sink for 20 minutes.

[00:09:41] Christina: [00:09:41] Oh, okay. So that I would totally be down with. Cause that is been, always been, my issue is just like, I don’t have like time to want to set up the whole, you know, get in front of the sink thing. So you can go up one side down the other. Okay.

[00:09:52] Brett: [00:09:52] Yeah. All right. I’m adding, I’ll put it, I’ll put a, an Amazon affiliate link to a squeezable neti pot [00:10:00] in the show notes. So when thousands of people go buy it, I’ll make, I’ll make like a dollar.

[00:10:08] Christina: [00:10:08] Yeah. Yeah. You’ll you’ll you’ll you’ll get do-good dozens of sense.

[00:10:12] Brett: [00:10:12] Yes. Um, speaking of, uh, two people signed up for crema off of my. My link. So now I just have to keep them hooked for four more months and I’ll get, I’ll get, I’ll get money for them. I’ll get money for luring people into crema.co.

[00:10:32] Christina: [00:10:32] In, in, in, into your, your, uh, your, again, your, your coffee MLM. I’m

[00:10:37] Brett: [00:10:37] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:10:38] Christina: [00:10:38] it’s not, but I’m going to keep calling it your coffee MLM.

[00:10:41] Brett: [00:10:41] Speaking of MLMs, I finally watched the vow

[00:10:46] Christina: [00:10:46] Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s perfect segue.

[00:10:49] Brett: [00:10:49] It was, yeah, I did it. I did, I did a segue. Um, I, uh, it was very disturbing, uh, in the way that, um, [00:11:00] highly intelligent sociopath’s using their charm for Eve evil is disturbing. it, yeah, that, that was quite the trip. Um,

[00:11:11] Christina: [00:11:11] one more episode that will be out this week that like closes everything out. But yes.

[00:11:15] Brett: [00:11:15] Oh, I had thought that it had just ended. Okay. That’s good. I thought it was going to leave a few things hanging, but that’s, that’s good. Um, it’s, it’s highly disturbing. Uh, and so there’s this point in the, in the series where they publish the article that most of us read about Nexium and about DAS. And, um, it, they, it didn’t touch at all on the psychology that gets people to a point where they would willingly have themselves branded with a man’s initials.

[00:11:57] And it, it [00:12:00] was nice that this series really took the time to kind of like go down that path. And help you understand, like what, how, how you get sucked in what makes you, how you become an active part of a cult. And there’s this line that he was like, nobody joins a cult. Like nobody joins a cult. They join a good thing that they think will make them happier and better.

[00:12:29] And then it becomes like then, well, it becomes the cult. Uh, they become part of a cult, but not intentionally.

[00:12:39] Christina: [00:12:39] Yeah, no, that was the whole thing. So I’ve got, I’m going to, I put a link in Skype for you. I’m going to have two links in there. People want to learn more a, I really think that people should watch the value if they haven’t already. It’s really fantastic. But the first link that I put in was that original New York times story.

[00:12:56] That has Sarah Edmondson’s brand in [00:13:00] it. And like for better, or for worse than what’s really interesting is you actually see this process in the documentary like that article, even though it didn’t go into that psychology, he is what ultimately got the, um, The department of justice and the attorney general in New York, interested in looking into this, like they were because other people had gone to the police before, for years and they didn’t care.

[00:13:23] And even at first, after they first go to the department of justice and the police, they don’t care either until the whole kind of wave of me too. Stuff started to put social pressure. On the department for them to finally say, okay, we have to actually investigate this. Uh, but the other thing is that there was a really good documentary.

[00:13:44] And I mentioned this, I believe when we talked about this before on the CBC, there’s a podcast series called, um, surviving Nexium. And this is what was really impressive about this documentary uncovering Nexium. This is what excuse me, escaping next. And that’s what it’s called. This, [00:14:00] um, was a really good series.

[00:14:01] Um, I didn’t think, um, Was really interesting to me because I didn’t think at first that I needed to watch this documentary because Sarah Edmondson was the subject of this CBC, uh, podcast series that, uh, a friend of hers from childhood made, like she literally ran into him. The summer that she left Nexium and, and he like ran into her on some Island and he was like, how are you?

[00:14:31] She’s like, well, I just left the cult that I’ve been in for 11 years. And he’s like, what? And, and she kind of goes into this whole thing and she’s literally coming out of it as she started talking with him. And in the New York times article, you know, came out wildly what’s happening, but I didn’t know.

[00:14:48] What we know in the trial, a lot of those things, and so are not the trial in the documentary. A lot of the stuff that had happened, um, that kind of led to that point. But I thought that because of [00:15:00] listening to that series, I was like, Oh, I know Sarah’s story. I know, you know, her perspective, it’s interesting that she’s in this documentary, but I don’t know if I really need to hear more from her, but yet I did.

[00:15:12] It turns out because as good as that. Podcast series was it didn’t go into the psychology the same way and because it’s audio and not video. And I think because Mark , who was the guy that actually kind of got Sarah and she was participating in this, this documentary series for HBO. Like many Colts. I don’t know what the obsession with Colts, this is, these people record everything like they’ve document everything, which ultimately is a problem when you’re going to be, you know, uh, indicted on criminal charges.

[00:15:50] When you have recordings of everything that you do. But like these people, you know, they recorded all their conversations. It’s like no one trusted one another. And [00:16:00] having all of that. As part of the, the HBO series, I thought really added to the whole thing, because not only could you hear people talking about the psychology yeah.

[00:16:10] As they’re out of this cult, but you have recordings of the stuff that was happening while they were in it. You know, which to me, I really do think helps me kind of understand where that psychology of how highly intelligent people are able to get. You know, like sucked into this thing and how highly intelligent people are able to manipulate others.

[00:16:33] Brett: [00:16:33] Well, and the people that were like most involved in doing the most recruiting were some of the people that you would least expect. To fall for this kind of thing. Uh, highly successful, highly intelligent, uh, good looking really like decent self esteem on, in most cases, uh, when they start and, you know, they went to this, um, uh, self-help seminar basically, and [00:17:00] were lured into a whole chain of it.

[00:17:04] Wasn’t an MLM. I mean, really. Uh, yeah, I think, I don’t know what the podcast got into, but a big part of understanding for me was hearing from the guy’s perspective, uh, their path into it, and like the groups that started off as just for the males and then what, and it was those that eventually morphed and became this female only division. Of Nexium, um, which, you know what I mean, memories of the disc operating system dos. So it is weird to me every time they say dos, which is Latin for dominance over submission, except not, that’s not the exact translation, but yeah, it is. Yeah. Anyway, like the male group morphs into this, the sex [00:18:00] cult part of.

[00:18:01] Of Nexium and, uh, seeing that kind of history of it and not just following the female’s path to that in into dos was it was helpful for me to understand how and why.

[00:18:16] Christina: [00:18:16] Yeah, no, that was helpful for me as well, because it was a different perspective. And the, the, the CBC podcast got into the mail thing a little bit. And now one also has a terrible name. It’s known as SOP. Um,

[00:18:28] Brett: [00:18:28] All right. So something society protection

[00:18:31] Christina: [00:18:31] Society of society protectors. Right? And so you’ve got these two acronyms that are for things that we know in completely different ways, which in some ways it’s actually helpful, right? Because if you hear someone talking about dos or SOP, you’re not thinking that you’re talking about weird culty shit. Um, but yeah, the society protectors they’ve talked about that, but they didn’t get into it. And like, so I didn’t under, I didn’t know, you know, the stuff like where you see Keith Ranieri, who’s now been convicted and is awaiting sentencing is in [00:19:00] jail. Um, where, you know, he was being so flat out manipulative and misogynistic and frankly kind of terrible and like total, like, uh, All the gross, toxic masculinity, uh, you know, to kind of traits all, all those talking points, frankly.

[00:19:18] Uh, it was, was his whole bag w w but he couches it in his he’s like, Oh no, I’m enlightened. And this is how men and women can talk more together. Like, you know, that didn’t become a, that wasn’t really obvious that that was kind of a part of this, at least from the podcast series. Um, I think there were a few advantages that the documentary had one, and this is no way a slight on the podcast guy, because the CBC guy to do a very good job, but you know, you have professional documentarians who are happened to be kind of embedded in recording this stuff.

[00:19:52] And they also had the advantage of. A lot more time, you know, to kind of do this over a [00:20:00] area, but also, you know, the men were, were actively like participants in this documentary series on HBO, whereas. The podcast was primarily Sarah’s story. And she was the main voice you heard. Although they did a very interesting job where they had people who’d worked under Sarah and called her like the worst boss they’d ever had and people who’ve been recruited by her interviewed as well.

[00:20:22] And, um, you know, they, they certainly didn’t in a lot of ways. I mean, and I think that she herself, she and her husband actually, that’s one of the things I really appreciate about the vow is that the people who were involved in this. Are grappling with their own culpability and the role that they played in recruiting people into this thing.

[00:20:40] And it’s not one of those things where, you know, you were, they are given a, a total pass, so to

[00:20:48] Brett: [00:20:48] Yeah, no, they’re,

[00:20:50] Christina: [00:20:50] w

[00:20:51] Brett: [00:20:51] they’re guilty. It’s very, uh, palpable in this storytelling. Uh, they’re constantly referring to, I can’t believe the part I [00:21:00] played in this.

[00:21:01] Christina: [00:21:01] yeah. Which, which to me is. It makes it like that much more humanizing? Uh, I think because obviously they’re victims and obviously they didn’t intend to, to do the things they did, but it is to me, I think helpful. Cause a lot of times when you hear these sorts of stories, that guilt aspect is under is like downplayed.

[00:21:22] And, um, and it’s not an, either the, the, the documentary or the, the podcast, but yeah, I appreciated kind of that, that men’s perspective thing, because that really did open up. That’s how you get to dos. That’s how you get to that. What was interesting too, especially if you like listen to both pieces together and I encourage you Brett, as well to listen to the podcast because it’s a good listen and most of the episodes are about 30 minutes long.

[00:21:44] Um, and so I encourage you to listen to it cause it’s really good is that, um, When you kind of take them together, you can kind of see what the grip was. Cause it was this MLM thing where ultimately you’re trying to recruit people. Into [00:22:00] taking these classes to become kind of, you know, become more and it was kind of a self help thing and you would get, you know, money and commissions based on that.

[00:22:07] And very few people made any money off of it. It is. It’s the real story about how that works. One of the few people who actually made very good money on it was Sarah Edmondson who was branded and who ultimately like it was her brand. And that image that went to the New York times and kind of helped, um, uh, along with it, Catherine oxen, Berg, who was trying to get her daughter out and who was pressuring people behind the scenes, you know, that, that was ultimately what was able to kind of, to get the attention for them to investigate the really terrible things that were happening.

[00:22:37] But what was interesting is that she admits. And I think completely accurately in the HBO thing that she says, you know, the reason that she was recruited into dos wasn’t because is Keith Ranieri her as a sex slave, but because he wanted her to recruit people. Like that’s what her role was. Like. He didn’t [00:23:00] see her, like, because he never tried anything sexually with her and maybe he would have made passes and she just was oblivious to it and didn’t pick up on it or whatnot, but like that wasn’t going to be her part of this.

[00:23:10] But the reason they wanted her was because she was so fucking good at recruiting people. And she was because she may made a ton of money. Like a ton of money off of bringing people into it, to the point that, you know, she opened her own center in Vancouver, which, you know, I think was, was, was profitable.

[00:23:27] And, uh, You know, she goes into more details on the podcast, but like she, she did well in the MLM component, which most people didn’t do, which is interesting because she was high up in the sense that that’s another good thing. But the, the documentary is that Sarah was high up and was kind of an insider insofar as she made the company money.

[00:23:50] But Mark was high up in the sense that he was like Keith’s one male friend and was actually part of the. [00:24:00] Closer to the inner circle of getting more into the psyche about how fucked up this place actually works. And it’s really interesting because it was a Marxist and his wife, Bonnie who left first and, you know, she saw what stuff was and she was like, I’m out of here and it took him longer to leave.

[00:24:23] And then that’s really what kind of kicked off after Sarah left. You know, then them getting together with, um, uh, Catherine Luxenberg to really all of them working together to take this down and was what I like about the documentary. I think I mentioned this when we talked about it last time is that I had no idea somebody who’s followed this case pretty closely, uh, wrote a lot of things about the trial.

[00:24:45] Uh, if I lived in New York, When the trial was happening, I have a feeling like if I had still been a journalist that I would have actually actively like argued for me to go to Albany, to, you know, sit [00:25:00] or I actually, I don’t even think the case was an Albany. I think it was in Brooklyn, I think is where they were doing the, um, the stuff that I would have like actively argued to like be on that beat and go to court every day.

[00:25:10] Uh, because I, I w I was so interested by it, but, but you know, that wasn’t reality. Um, but. As somebody who fought, but even what I’m saying, there was this, somebody who followed this, I feel like very, fairly closely. I had no idea the role that all these individuals played in act and being responsible for the police and the FBI and the government, like actually investigating this and taking this down because watching the series, it’s very, very clear, had they not done all the things that they did.

[00:25:43] The charges never would have been filed like ever like it, like it wouldn’t have happened because

[00:25:49] Brett: [00:25:49] Well, they ignored it for so long. They, they, it’s not that no one was reporting this. Like once, once Sarah got into really pursuing it, she found out that [00:26:00] like people had left the organization years ago.

[00:26:03] Christina: [00:26:03] Yup.

[00:26:04] Brett: [00:26:04] And had submitted reports to the attorney general to the da and had gotten no traction at all.

[00:26:12] Christina: [00:26:12] Exactly. That’s what I’m saying. They had no traction, not only that, but there were people who were sued out of existence. Like there were, um, and, and the podcast does actually go into this and interview some of the, those women,

[00:26:23] Brett: [00:26:23] 360 lawsuits in a 10 month period.

[00:26:27] Christina: [00:26:27] Yeah. Yeah. I mean this woman in Seattle, um, who I would love to interview some point who, you know, she opened up a center, she went bankrupt and her full time job became defending herself and she won, but she was having to go up against, uh, Claire Bronfman, who is, um, the air.

[00:26:46] She who’s been sentenced now to, I believe, six or seven years in jail, um, who. Was like the money behind us.

[00:26:54] Brett: [00:26:54] The Seagram’s Seagram’s Aras.

[00:26:56] Christina: [00:26:56] Yes. Seagram’s, Zara’s who I is estimated that she’s gave [00:27:00] them over $200 million, um, over a period of time. But, but, you know, she was funding all these lawsuits and this poor woman who, you know, is just a regular working class person, you know, had like a kind of, I think, kind of a, a health bookstore, something that, that, that would under her.

[00:27:15] Then she had a Nexium facility. She leaves. Um, and she was never part of dos. She was never part of any of that. She left for other reasons. And. She was sued. Yeah. She had like all those hundreds of lawsuits against her, uh, where and where the court I even said in some of their filings that they’d never seen, seen attorneys act so justly.

[00:27:36] And so like viciously and aggressively towards someone. And it became her life and she couldn’t afford a lawyer. Like she could not afford an attorney. And when she filed for bankruptcy, they held her bankruptcy out for years and went over every little thing and tried to prevent her, her bankruptcy proceeding from happening.

[00:27:55]I mean, it was it, you know, they, they did everything they could to ruin her life. And for many [00:28:00] people and it, into some extent, frankly, it probably did to some extent, but she ultimately prevailed out of sheer, just tenacity, like representing herself, going against very high powered lawyers, um, which just, again, shows that the people that were sucked into this thing were not dumb people.

[00:28:17] A dumb person is not going to be able to defend themselves in court and win. Uh, against people like that.

[00:28:24] Brett: [00:28:24] The thing with these, like they’re called slap suits. Like the person suing doesn’t actually expect to win. They expect what happened to happen. They expect to create, to go after someone who can’t afford to defend themselves and silence them. By making them go bankrupt by tying them up in court by basically, uh, it’s like the Philippines lesser of legal proceedings, except with far board dire consequences for the person being sued.

[00:28:55] Christina: [00:28:55] what was that a doubt, but, but usually people won’t go all the way through and follow through because as you said, exactly the point [00:29:00] is, is to tie people up. And it’s interesting because you very rarely do see somebody automatically prevail. I mean, usually what happens. I mean, I, I would argue that the Gawker lawsuit, uh, which, uh, you know, uh, Peter teal was secretly financing. Was largely a slap suit, what wound up happening because of how far when, and because of the jurisdiction, they were able to argue it in. And a bunch of other things was that, you know, Gawker lost and then the, the judgment was not stayed. Uh, and, and, um, Because there are almost zero companies who could, uh, survive $130 million judgment, um, you know, but he had to be sold, you know, when bankrupt and, and, and whatnot.

[00:29:44] And, and, and then, you know, things were sold off, but that was, that was a slap suit. And it was one of many, I mean, that, the thing is, is, and there’s a great documentary. On the Gawker thing called nobody speaks that doesn’t just cover the Gawker trial, but also covers some other anti first amendment, [00:30:00] uh, things that have happened.

[00:30:01] There’s, there’s a case for the Las Vegas sun and some other stuff, but what was less covered with the Gawker thing was that that the, the, the whole Kogan lawsuit was the big thing. And that’s ultimately what took down the company, but, um, Teal was also behind a ton of other lawsuits that had zero merit, like zero.

[00:30:21] Like there was like Charles C. Johnson who, you know, is like that, that right wing troll who, um, like he’s been permanently banned up from Facebook and Twitter and a bunch of other platforms. And, and he’s like, doc people, he’s just like a truly terrible person. He, uh, sued for libel because, um, Someone who ironically now works at the New York times, a very good reporter posted it was posted, but there was a rumor that, uh, when he was in college, um, at Claremont McKenna, he shit on the floor, uh, and, uh, like in, in [00:31:00] the bathroom or something and was like caught.

[00:31:02] And, and that was like a, a known, like, kind of story about him. And he sued over that being published and there was. Like zero, anything where that could be considered libelous. Like it wasn’t presented as fact it was presented as this is a boomer that we’re hearing. He’s a public figure, you know, like it’s, it’s, it’s a pretty cut and dry thing, but when Univision bought.

[00:31:27] The company formerly known as Gawker media group sands, the Gawker archives, uh, and was going through the, the sale to finalize everything. There were a number of, of posts, including the, the Charles C. Johnson post. There was also one from, uh, an insane and yeah, main guy. Who’s also very litigious. So I’m being careful to deliver, leave what I’m saying, but he has claimed he’s claimed that he invented email.

[00:31:55]Do you, are you familiar with

[00:31:56] Brett: [00:31:56] No, no.

[00:31:58] Christina: [00:31:58] All right. So there’s this guy who is a computer [00:32:00] scientist, uh, and, uh, he used to be married to Fran Drescher. He tried to run against Elizabeth Warren for Senate, uh, he’s from India and then immigrated to the United States. And when he was like 11 or 12 in the seventies, he created some, um, sort of, kind of like intranet experience for.

[00:32:21] Some dentists, New Jersey. And as part of that, he had some sort of electronic mail system that was part of his interoffice kind of set up that he created for them. And he filed patents on that and claims, uh, that he invented email in 1979. Now all prior art proves that email existed long before that and electronic mail and that sort of thing existed long before that.

[00:32:46] And certainly. The system that he created, especially as such a young person was very impressive, but that was not the emission of email, but he was able to get this with Sonian to write and feature him as the creator [00:33:00] of email, people looked into it and they were like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. This is not, this is not actually great, you know, ARPANET and a bunch of other things.

[00:33:06] There’s a lot of things that predate this. Gawker wrote a story about how not even Gawker besides Gizmodo wrote a story about how this was inaccurate, kind of delving into his accusations, a text or the publication did as well. And he sued using Charles harder. Who’s also one of the Donald Trump’s attorneys, uh, funded by Peter teal, um, sued, uh, the pub sued Gizmodo.

[00:33:32]Over, um, the accurate claims that he did not invent email and, and tie this up in court for years. Uh, he also tied it up in court for, for years and years against, um, Techstars and techtard is against these, these slap suits and his, his, you know, his, for anti slap legislation for this very reason as TechTarget almost went bankrupt from this, um, as well.

[00:33:54] And when. The Univision deal closed. We like, I remember cause we [00:34:00] were in long union meetings and stuff over this. One of the things that happened is they just said a lot of the lawsuits. And so as part of that, they removed. About six posts from across the sites. And we were as journalists, very, very upset that these very valid stories that were in no way questionable in terms of their journalistic integrity.

[00:34:18] Like it, wasn’t a thing where you can look, you look at the whole Hogan take and you can say tape, and you can say, you know, that might’ve crossed the line in some cases. And that had been removed years previous and, and, you know, the video had any way it’s like, okay, that that’s taken down or whatnot.

[00:34:31] These were things that were in no way. Controversial, uh, like, like these are very direct things and the post went down, um, our way, uh, to kind of get around it because the union was, was very upset about taking stories down was, was to then write, reporting about the fact that the stories had to come down, embedding the original stories into that reporting as references

[00:34:57] Brett: [00:34:57] it’s like that, that Donald [00:35:00] Trump jr. Ad campaign or ad that came out where he’s like, and I’m not, I’m gonna take the high road and I’m not going to talk about Hunter Biden’s cocaine problem.

[00:35:08] Christina: [00:35:08] Exactly. Yeah, no, that’s exactly it exactly. It’s like, well, I’m not going to mention, you know, I could mention all of these things, but I’m not. Yeah, no. So we had to kind of do the, the, the re reporting on, on, um, that stuff. Uh, but, uh, the texter case was even worse because, you know, they’re like an independent place and, you know, but you just see the impact of these slap suits.

[00:35:26] So, uh, but yeah, to go back to the Nexium thing. Yeah. Like, um, the D the attorney general and, and, um, you know, uh, the police and people had already been called in to look into this and they were basically like, no, we don’t care. And, and I think that what the documentary is shows is that. It really took it an intense amount of work for people behind the scenes to put pressure on all the powers that be, I think that being featured in [00:36:00] the New York times was key, uh, ultimately that way, and the only reason that they were able to investigate it, but that was something that even in like when the charges were filed, like the New York times reporting was cited significantly.

[00:36:13] Even if that wasn’t the main reason like that at least could be a call out that says, okay, this has been reported in a major news publication. And it’s not as if other news publications hadn’t published at the Albany times, union had published a lot of stuff, but the Albany times union is not the New York times.

[00:36:28] And I also feel like even though it didn’t come up publicly, like the fact that Catherine oxen, Berg, who I wasn’t familiar with, but she was an actress who was on dynasty in the eighties. And. Her mother is first cousins to print it’s Prince. Charles is first cousin. And I believe that her grandmother is also some yeah.

[00:36:52] Part of royalty I’m in another Royal family in Europe. And so she, you know,

[00:36:57] Brett: [00:36:57] A literal dynasty.

[00:36:59] Christina: [00:36:59] Yeah, [00:37:00] exactly. So she, you know, so like her mother is like, literally in line, she’s like however many thousands of people down, but she’s like, you know, part of the Royal family and, um, you know, has like lineage or whatever.

[00:37:13] And, um, that’s not irrelevant as it turns out. Right? Like that’s one of those things where, especially when you’re talking about competing with people who have tons and tons and tons of money, nearly limitless resources, That’s the sort of thing you need. And, but it made me question like, I’m so glad that we, that obviously all this happened, that, that all these people who were part of it, who feel so guilty did actually do the work to hold people to account.

[00:37:41] But it makes me question and it’s kind of scary to think about. It’s like, okay, what about all those times? And what about all those cases where you don’t have people who have those resources who have the ability to be tenacious, who don’t. Have the social cues of the headwinds happening around Harvey Weinstein and bill [00:38:00] Cosby and Matt Lauer and all the other things to force prosecutors to take things more seriously.

[00:38:07] Like what, what about all of those cases? Because you know that there are so many of them that we just never know about and those that don’t have, you know, Academy award nominated documentary filmmakers embedded with them as they’re going through that process. Like. You know, there have to be so many of those stories that we never hear about.

[00:38:27] Never see, and that’s kind of, it’s kind of depressing, but it makes me that much more grateful that the bow happened. And I’m sorry, that was like a 25 minute Christina rant on the bow.

[00:38:39] Brett: [00:38:39] Hey, you were timing it too. So let’s say that you go to HBO and you do a deep dive on the vow and Nexium. You’re going to want a palate cleanser afterwards to check this out. I am fucking segwaying like a pro today. You’re gonna want a palate cleanser after that. And you know, what’s really good Ted lasso [00:39:00] over on Apple TV.

[00:39:01] Plus,

[00:39:02] Christina: [00:39:02] Yes, it is.

[00:39:03] Brett: [00:39:03] did I nail that? Did I? I think I just nailed that.

[00:39:06] Christina: [00:39:06] You nailed it. You

[00:39:06] Brett: [00:39:06] Oh my God.

[00:39:08] Christina: [00:39:08] Ted lasso is so good.

[00:39:09] Brett: [00:39:09] Yeah, it is. And it’s so wholesome. And usually for me, super good and wholesome aren’t in the same sentence. I like things raunchy. It it’s it’s, it’s like Ned Flanders with a little bit less religion to it.

[00:39:29] Christina: [00:39:29] Yeah. I was going to say, I don’t even think that Flinders is accurate. Cause Ned Flanders is kind of annoying.

[00:39:34]Brett: [00:39:34] Well, so if it weren’t for, uh, what’s the main character actors name.

[00:39:41]Christina: [00:39:41] Uh, Jason

[00:39:42] Brett: [00:39:42] Yeah. If it weren’t for Jason Sudeikis character often being, or almost always being right. His, his colloquial. How do you duty? Uh, counter personality would be annoying, but he always, there’s always a little Ned Flanders doesn’t have [00:40:00] depth as a character.

[00:40:01] Um,

[00:40:02] Christina: [00:40:02] it definitely, it doesn’t have depth and Ned Flanders. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s it. I think it’s the depth

[00:40:07] Brett: [00:40:07] and Ted lasso does it’s, it’s, it’s glossed over by the howdy duty thing, but. He he is, uh, he’s a, uh, the caring and intelligent person who is willing to throw himself. Okay. For anyone who doesn’t, hasn’t already seen this. It’s, it’s an American football coach who gets drafted, hired to coach, uh,

[00:40:34] Christina: [00:40:34] A British football

[00:40:35] Brett: [00:40:35] British football team, meaning soccer for, you know, Americans.

[00:40:39] Um, and he’s completely out of water, but he’s the guy kind of guy who would take that job because it’s a challenge that, and he wasn’t sure what was going on in his marriage and wanted to get it right. Aye. Aye. Aye. I digress. Um, he, he, he’s the kind of the guy who just says, yeah, that sounds like a challenge.

[00:40:56] Let’s do it has no idea how to play soccer. [00:41:00] Has doesn’t understand the world, doesn’t understand the teams. It doesn’t understand the most basic concepts of it. And he dives in as a coach and it’s kind of his, his journey and it’s goddamned delightful.

[00:41:15] Christina: [00:41:15] it is delightful. Um, it, I feel like it’s filled the void that the loss of the good place

[00:41:21]Brett: [00:41:21] Yeah. I could see that.

[00:41:23] Christina: [00:41:23] Um, cause they’re very different shows. And I would say that Ted lasso is, is even more wholesome, but like the good place was especially, you know, it came out in 2016 and it was just like this show that was nice and you just kind of needed.

[00:41:37] And, and I feel like that’s the role that Ted lasso plays now it’s just, it’s wholesome is exactly right. Like it’s the thing that everything else is horrible except head lasso.

[00:41:47] Brett: [00:41:47] never has there been a year that’s so needed something like Ted lasso and. To be fair. Most places, most networks could not [00:42:00] have predicted 2020 and done the production in time for the lockdown on a show that would so well fit the needs of a nation at that time.

[00:42:14] Christina: [00:42:14] No, I agreed. Agreed. So like hats off to all of them for doing it. Here’s the ironic thing I have to say. Ted lasso has already been renewed for a second season. A lot of people have been writing great things about it, and it was interesting. You can look back at some of the early reviews of the pilot. And people liked it.

[00:42:29] Okay. But it didn’t get super great reviews. And then by like middle of the series, like the first season, Uh, you know, the reviews started to be like, Hey, this is really, really good, because one of the interesting things Apple’s doing as opposed to so Netflix and Hulu who’s takes this approach for the same part as well.

[00:42:46] They released episodes weekly rather than dumping them all at once. So you can binge watch. Um, and I actually, I like that approach. I think that there are are ways you can kind of do both to maybe make more frequent drops so that people can binge watch [00:43:00] it more. But I actually do enjoy the process of being able to discover a show.

[00:43:04] Um, over time, if I’m able to catch it when it first drops, as opposed to every single episode becoming available, because that then creates this weird pressure for me, it’s like, Oh, I’ve got to, got to get through this right away.

[00:43:17] Brett: [00:43:17] It’s a very different experience though. There, there are shows that I would not like if I could not binge.

[00:43:25] Christina: [00:43:25] I I’m in agreement with you. And I’m not saying that, like I dislike that the binge aspect, and I’m glad I’ve binged Ted last. So what I am saying though, is that I do appreciate for certain things, the ability for it to unfold. Um, and I do, like they say, Hey, we’re going to, we’ve got this many episodes and they will be released weekly and, and, you know, um, They will all be out.

[00:43:48] I feel like what Hulu does sometimes I feel like is maybe the best kind of compromise. It was just to be like, okay, we’ll release a couple of episodes a week. Um, I, I think that that’s a good compromise, but I do like having [00:44:00] that, um, um, kind of, uh, different cadence, but, um, the reviews. As the series got on and got better and better.

[00:44:08] And everybody was like, you’ve got to watch this. You’ve got to watch this. But what’s interesting is that the show is really wholesome and it’s a hit. And it’s kind of sad to me in some ways that it’s an Apple TV, not because I have anything against Apple TV plus, and I’m actually glad that it’s already been renewed.

[00:44:22] And maybe that wouldn’t be the case if we’d gone with something else. But the show was based on a character that stake has created for NBC sports. And it’s produced by Warner brothers. And so one of brothers now has their own thing, HBO, max, and this would have been a great HBO max show, not an HBO show, but an HBO max show, meaning something that would have, you know, lived on, on a.

[00:44:44] If the title is terrible, but would have not been on the premium HBO network, but would have been an original series for HBO max, but it also would have been a great original series for peacock, which is NBC Universal’s, um, new streaming thing. And, um, it’s where, [00:45:00] you know, parks and rec

[00:45:01] Brett: [00:45:01] Amber Ruffin show.

[00:45:02] Christina: [00:45:02] Yeah. And, uh, You know, and, and peacocks actually, I think really good in terms of the new streaming offerings, because it has a lot of really good catalog stuff. The commercials are reasonable and, um, they are going to have some original series as well. And so it’s sort of a weird thing and that it was green-lit before those services launched.

[00:45:25] So Apple got it. But. Everybody who was involved in it, like had contracts with these other companies. So that’s, that’s my inside baseball

[00:45:33] Brett: [00:45:33] Good for Apple.

[00:45:34] Christina: [00:45:34] I agree. They need it. I actually really liked the morning show.

[00:45:37] Brett: [00:45:37] Yeah, me too. All of it. Yeah. I loved it.

[00:45:41] Christina: [00:45:41] Yeah. Uh, the episode, um, that shows the, the, the girl, when she goes into the hotel room with him was one of the most real representations of that

[00:45:54] Brett: [00:45:54] Of the whole. Me too. Yeah. The origin of me too. Yes.

[00:45:59] Christina: [00:45:59] frankly [00:46:00] of date rape that I’ve ever seen on television, I’ve never seen like a portrayal that captured it, that accurately, uh, ever, and, uh, really, really, really good. Um, we have a sponsor read don’t we?

[00:46:16] Brett: [00:46:16] We do. And, and you, you, you mentioned HBO, max and I was going to pull off because there’s another show on HBO max that I want to talk about and I was going to pull off yet another perfect segue. But we do have to do it. Uh, our sponsor read not, we have to what? Well, we do contractually have to do the sponsoree, but also I’m excited about it.

[00:46:38] So

[00:46:39] Christina: [00:46:39] it’s a good sponsor read and this can fit in. Cause if you’re in a country, for instance, that doesn’t let you have access to HBO, max or peacock or us Netflix. This could be an option

[00:46:51] Brett: [00:46:51] Yes, express VPN is definitely an option. Um, the focus of this week’s read is, uh, [00:47:00] about, uh, your data and your privacy. So it goes like this. Have you ever wondered why internet access is so much cheaper these days? Like 30 to 40 bucks a month? That’s because internet service providers like Comcast or at, and T aren’t just making money off subscription fees.

[00:47:16] They’re also making money from spying on your internet activity and selling your history and data to big tech companies, which I could also segue into the social dilemma documentary I want to talk about. But again, again, we are contractually obligated to finish this. And I feel good about it. I, I’m not trying, this is, this is a good thing.

[00:47:38] They’re supporting the show. Um, anyway, uh, what’s the, what’s the best way to make sure that 100% of your data is encrypted and that your internet provider can’t get ahold of it. You guessed it. Express VPN expressly creates a secure tunnel between all of your devices and the internet so that everything you do online, it’s encrypted it.

[00:48:00] [00:47:59] Reroutes your connection through a secure server. This blocks your internet provider from seeing everything that you do online, all they can see is that you’re connected to an express VPN server, but nothing beyond that. And it’s not just for your phone or computer express, VPN works on all of your devices, including tablets, smart TVs, and even your entire router so that your, your whole family can stay protected.

[00:48:22] And I can’t stress this enough. We’ve repeated this, uh, It’s week after week, but express VPN is super simple to use. It’s literally just one click and you’re connected. There’s no settings, no dials. It just connects. And you’re in your job protected. So your data is your business. Protect it and express vpn.com/overtired.

[00:48:45] And when you visit express vpn.com/overtired, you get three extra months of express VPN protection for free. That’s E X, P R E S S V P n.com/overtired to learn more. Thanks to [00:49:00] express VPN.

[00:49:01]Christina: [00:49:01] Yes. Thank you very much. Um, yeah, I wanna, I want to talk about, um, the, uh, the other, uh, the documentary that you mentioned, and then after that, I want to talk about in be real quickly,

[00:49:13] Brett: [00:49:13] Yup. W w we’ll try to fit all of this in totally.

[00:49:17] Christina: [00:49:17] you onto. And, uh, I, cause I saw it. I

[00:49:19] Brett: [00:49:19] Jesus Christ. It practically deserves its own show, but

[00:49:22] Christina: [00:49:22] Honestly, honestly, we should, we should mention it and then we probably should make it its own like top segment. Next time we talk because

[00:49:29] Brett: [00:49:29] feel like it’s the kind of thing we can, we can offer a short, glowing review of, and then the people that would actually be wowed by it can go check out the GitHub link, but we’ll see, because we have a discord chat where people can give us feedback now. And.

[00:49:44] Christina: [00:49:44] I’m now part

[00:49:45] Brett: [00:49:45] Absolutely Christina joined the discord while we were talking, she got her presentation and watch, are you in the discord right now?

[00:49:56] Christina: [00:49:56] I’ve already been named, which is fantastic.

[00:49:58] Brett: [00:49:58] Watch this. If I type [00:50:00] bang Taylor dent, exclamation point Taylor, it’ll flip a coin to tell us whether we should talk about Taylor Swift. I can also type. A number and then the word topic, and it’ll pick three random topics. And in this case, it says, we should talk about Taylor Swift music and software, but we’re going to ignore that and talk about the social dilemma, which was a documentary about, uh, social media.

[00:50:28] And it was highly disturbing to me, which is weird because I already knew social media. It was bad,

[00:50:35] Christina: [00:50:35] I know, I know. And. It’s real bad. I was going to say, and I feel like there’s, I don’t know, certainly not like the Nexium people. I didn’t get anybody in a cult. Uh, I didn’t get anybody branded, but, you know, I spent the early part, my career writing about and advocating for and being like, A big supporter of social media and my career [00:51:00] exists in large part because of social media, like genuinely like my career exists because of social media.

[00:51:07] And so I, but I, so I have these very strong conflicted feelings about just how bad, so much of this is for society. And yet, like how could it’s personally been for me?

[00:51:20] Brett: [00:51:20] What, what got me is like, I’ve always said, there’s this trade off between privacy and convenience and things like. Targeted ads actually often surface things that I would want. And in a lot of cases, I would rather see an ad for something that actually interests me than just a completely random web ad.

[00:51:46] But what this documentary reveals is that not only can social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, not only can they. Uh, [00:52:00] target exactly what you’re thinking, doing feeling at any given time they can adjust it. They can cause perception, shifts that actually change. Say what you, what ads you’re going to click.

[00:52:15] They can guide you. Toward clicking an ad by determining what you see and in what order and paying attention to how long you look at a post, what you like, what you respond to a, they detect what mood you’re in and figure out what to give you next to keep you on the screen. Cause that’s their ultimate goal is to just keep you watching.

[00:52:39] And same with YouTube and YouTube suggestions and the way all of this works. It’s the fact that they can shift my perception. And this is how people are radicalized, uh, because Facebook doesn’t care what they shift your perception to. As long as it keeps you on this screen and keeps selling you ads. [00:53:00] And if that means shifting you to Q Anon, they’re cool with it.

[00:53:04] They’ll turn a blind eye to that.

[00:53:06] Christina: [00:53:06] Yeah, I think that I’ve mentioned this before on a previous episode, but I’m going to mention it again and put it in our links. Um, I’ve also put in the Skype chat. Uh, my friend Kevin, um, wrote an amazing article for the

[00:53:19] Brett: [00:53:19] Oh, yeah.

[00:53:20] Christina: [00:53:20] uh, called the making of a radical. uh, what, how he does it, the, the presentation of it, first of all, it was just beautiful.

[00:53:27] Uh, and it goes through his entire like YouTube history and you literally see everything that he’s ever watched and you see the progression of how he was turned into. A radical based on the, you know, and they do that in part by showing a 48 hour snapshot of what he watched and in 2015, and you can see the, the, you know, recommendations getting, you know, more and more towns like reconfirming things and like reconfirming biases and, and you can literally see the algorithm being tuned [00:54:00] to reinforce engagement and to keep him on longer and longer.

[00:54:03] And it it’s fascinating. Uh, it’s a, it’s a really good long read. Uh, Kevin did amazing reporting. On it, uh, for, uh, for the magazine, uh, New York times magazine on this and, um, Kevin and I are our former colleagues. Uh, so be saying, this is, uh, certainly partially because I know him and I know his reporting, but also it’s just, it’s really good.

[00:54:26] But I think that that’s a really good, uh, thing to read in addition to watching that documentary, uh, because it’s so true. And I think that that’s what more and more of us are coming to realize is that. Like to me, that’s that, that really is the dilemma with social media. I think, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with social media and social media has existed long before Facebook and long before Twitter and long before YouTube what’s different is the algorithm, which is all about reinforcing attention and reinforcing, um, you know, people to stay, uh, tuned and locked in that it is a [00:55:00] distinctly new thing which didn’t happen, like say to live journal, live journal.

[00:55:05] Didn’t have an algorithm that. Showed when you would see a friend’s post, everything happened chronologically. And in fact, Facebook was chronological for quite some time and it was the introduction of the newsfeed. And at them starting to show things in non chronological for up, you know, order, uh, which if listeners recall, like when Instagram made that change, a number of years ago, people got really upset.

[00:55:28] Brett: [00:55:28] I’m still really upset. I want my, I want my Instagram posts in order. This is the only way to make anyway. Yes.

[00:55:34] Christina: [00:55:34] No, but right. But, but we, but this, this, you know, documentary explicitly makes it clear. This is why they move away from the chronological impact. It is all about keeping you engaged and because they’ve, they’ve sold to their shareholders, that engagement is one of those metrics that they can look at for, you know, continued growth.

[00:55:53] And they’ve tied that, um, They’ve tied it to revenue and maybe it’s true, but it wouldn’t [00:56:00] have to be, you know what I mean? Like they chose to double down on that as, as a Mark of showing growth. But to me was really disappointed about this is that obviously you can influence an impact and manipulate how people are going to stay engaged with stuff and, and, and, uh, keep them online and keep them part of these things for longer and longer.

[00:56:19] Like, obviously you can do all of those things. Um, But what’s not clear to me is like, I, they didn’t have to do that. Like

[00:56:29]Brett: [00:56:29] To begin with instead of selling their user.

[00:56:33] Christina: [00:56:33] what, or they could have continued to sell their users, but without having to like double down and tune everything for engagement, like they, they H whoever, like whoever it was, who made the business decision to sell engagement as the metric.

[00:56:50]Did the world a major disservice, not just because it has, um, reinforced the worst types of behavior, but because now [00:57:00] it has become the de facto and accepted business solution. And so I don’t know how we get past engagement metrics. That’s the really scary thing, because I feel like if that had never been brought into the conversation around.

[00:57:13] Ad companies, even knowing that that was an option for them, then we wouldn’t have gone down this, this path. Um, and that’s not to say that that ad executives might eventually, uh, gotten smarter. The fact that you could do that. But it would have taken a really long time and it could have been something that those networks could have pushed back on.

[00:57:31] You know what I mean? Whereas this wasn’t something like, this is the really interesting thing to me, people blame and not incorrectly, but people really like to criticize the ad tech industry for a lot of stuff. And I’m not opposed to that, but I have to say that in these cases, Ad tech didn’t do anything didn’t have anything to do with this.

[00:57:49] They simply were, were taking advantage of systems that these platforms took upon themselves to create and reinforce

[00:57:55] Brett: [00:57:55] Yeah, well, and they weren’t offered a lot of other options. Like this is [00:58:00] the way that we’re going to sell these ads.

[00:58:02] Christina: [00:58:02] precisely. And that’s, that’s kinda my point is that, is that, but, but like, that’s the thing is like that if they’d been offered, okay, we will sell these ads based on engagement that is not been tuned to keep people.

[00:58:14] On longer and longer. It’s not like the ad money would have gone someplace else. You know

[00:58:19] Brett: [00:58:19] no capitalism determines that you take the most effective route.

[00:58:23] Christina: [00:58:23] Right. And, and so that, to me, like you can blame the ad tech industry for a lot of things, but this is really one of those cases where it’s like, it was just handed to them on a silver platter.

[00:58:32] And then of course they are going to see that this. Is effective and double and triple and quadruple down. And once you get a, you know, longer, longer engagement times and more and more other things it’s, but just, it completely shifts. Yeah. Nature of how. And obviously people have been figuring out for years.

[00:58:51] I mean, television is a perfect example of this radio, too. Even books. It’s like you figure out what’s going to. Get the most readers, the most viewers and whatnot. And you, you tailor your conversation to that. Like [00:59:00] clickbait exists long before the internet, you know, um, yellow journal was pioneered by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.

[00:59:09] And, uh, I mean, it, it is notable. Uh, I think I’ve probably said this before Joseph Pulitzer was. A pioneer in yellow journalism. And, uh, yet his name is on, you know, the most, uh, one of the most prestigious journalism schools in, uh, you know, uh, Columbia. And he, you know, it’s the name of, of, of the most revered awards and in journalism.

[00:59:31] But like, if you actually look at his journalism, his acts as a publisher, He was very, very much of the sell papers at all costs kind of newspaper Baron days. And he and William Randolph Hearst used to do clickbait. Like that was what they did. Um, but, uh, so that that’s something that’s not new and it was still be an issue, but you didn’t have this.

[00:59:56] Additional aspect, which is the only things that you’ve see in the only [01:00:00] things that are reinforced are the things that are going to bring up the most outrage and division and, um, anchor and, uh, you know, keep people from, you know, clicking off and doing something else. And, uh, I don’t know, think about that a lot.

[01:00:17] Brett: [01:00:17] Yeah, I appreciated that at the end of, uh, the social dilemma they offer, uh, they, they don’t say you have to go out and delete your social media right now. Um, they, you know, you may, you may come to that conclusion yourself, but they offer some tips at the end. And some of them, I had never, never even considered like, uh, like never accept.

[01:00:44] Recommended accounts, uh, never S like when Facebook says friends, you might follow, or you might also be interested in never accept those. Like that is just a perfect way to put the [01:01:00] content that they determine you need to see to keep you on screen. That’s a pathway to get there and stuff like that. Uh, if everyone understood this, I think people could be a lot safer on social media.

[01:01:15] Christina: [01:01:15] I agree with that. I also think that it’s one of those things. Um, it reinforces that it works. Um, another former colleague of mine, um, Kashmir Hill. Who’s also now at the New York times, did some amazing reporting, um, uh, for the investigation, um, a team at, uh, uh, what was then, uh, Gizmodo media group, uh, about how Facebook determines you might know this person and who your real friends are.

[01:01:39] And it’s really creepy. Like I had one that it recommended to me. Last week that says, Oh, you know, you might know this person. And it gave me a person who I don’t have any shared Facebook friends with, with them. I don’t believe, um, We don’t have any outward connections, but [01:02:00] this is someone that I’ve been working with on a very frequently, on a couple of times, a week on, um, uh, a new podcast project that I’ve been working on for the New York times and, and Verizon.

[01:02:11] And so he and I have been working together quite frequently, but like his phone number, for instance, we, we text by a signal. We almost, most of our communications has been over zoom and over email. And we’re not connected on any other social networks yet. You know, my, my audio producer is now being a recommended person to be by Facebook and that right.

[01:02:32] Exactly. And I’m like, and I know that like, they’re not going through my email. Right. But yet there are some other digital fingerprints include someplace where it’s been able to successfully determine that I should be connected with this person.

[01:02:45] Brett: [01:02:45] That is frustrating. Like for someone smart enough to use signal, to like still be defeated by, uh, fingerprints, you don’t even know where they’re coming from. That is that’s terrifying.

[01:02:58] Christina: [01:02:58] Right. It is. And, and, [01:03:00] and, and mayor Lee did this great investigation to kind of figure stuff out because she was in a similar situation where she was like, somebody was there was, and there were cases that she reported, like somebody was like suggested to be a friend of someone that turned out to be like a relative or a sibling or something like person didn’t know existed.

[01:03:17] Like there are. This is, this is too, to me like the ultimate, um, argument against the fact that like, Oh, all the data is, is anonymized. It’s like, well, yes and no, it might be anonymized in the sense that the advertisers don’t specifically know who you are, but there are enough pointers. And there are enough things that if someone wanted to recreate and figure out who you are and create a profile based on, you know, your, your, um, advertiser ID number and whatnot.

[01:03:47] We can see the fact that just that these recommendations for people that you might know are correct. And, and that, that, that are, that are so followed with things. And many times they can even follow things based on location. That’s another weird one with this though, like me and [01:04:00] this person don’t even live in the same state.

[01:04:02] Like, you know, but like, but it’s so insidious that, you know, I’m very tech savvy. The person that I’m communicating with is tech savvy and, you know, It’s and I’m not, I’m not mad that like Facebook suggests that we should know one another. It was just one of those things where I was like, how do you know that this is somebody that I’m communicating with very frequently?

[01:04:23] Like how, like in the fact that they do because of the fingerprinting and all the other stuff that goes on, that is the thing that makes me just go damn.

[01:04:32]Brett: [01:04:32] So, if you wanted to keep track of all of the, uh, potential fingerprints and you wanted to do it in the geekiest way possible, there’s a command line at a command line. Utility might this one didn’t work as well. I felt like I was going to go for a, like a trifecta of segues for this episode.

[01:04:52] Christina: [01:04:52] you, you were so successful in other things also we’ve gone over an hour. Should we just start with NB next time?

[01:04:56] Brett: [01:04:56] Yeah. Okay. Okay. We will, we will put [01:05:00] this off. If this deserves more than five minutes of our

[01:05:04] Christina: [01:05:04] really does. It really does, but we’ll give you a preview. I found this command line thing actually on hacker news, I have to get packer news, the credit, and I hate saying nice things about hacker news, but they were correct in this case. And, uh, listeners, when I say that, never have I seen a project that screamed to me that it was Brett chirp.

[01:05:21] Strub more than this, uh, I mean, I stand by it. I’ve never seen a project that like scream to me, Brett terms for more than it’s to the point that when I was looking through how it’s written out, I had to keep checking that it was like, not something that you actually made. Brett.

[01:05:37]Brett: [01:05:37] Okay. So yeah, let’s leave that as the teaser,

[01:05:40] Christina: [01:05:40] Yeah. That’s the, that’s

[01:05:42] Brett: [01:05:42] because I agree. I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t mine. Like, it seems like the kind of thing I would’ve stayed up for five days making and the things that whole thing’s a bash script. It’s a bash script.

[01:05:55] Christina: [01:05:55] a basket it’s it’s, I’ve seen some really impressive, really impressive bash scripts [01:06:00] in my day. I think this is probably it’s in the top five. If not the top, top three. It’s definitely the top three.

[01:06:06] Brett: [01:06:06] All right. So there will be a link in the show notes. If your curiosity is just peaked and you’ve got to go find it for yourself, look for NB in the show notes, but otherwise we will, we will discuss in a little more depth, uh, in a week.

[01:06:19] Christina: [01:06:19] Yup.

[01:06:20] Brett: [01:06:20] All right. Well, Christina, I, I have a nice weekend. I know it’s Wednesday for everyone listening to this, but for us it’s the weekend

[01:06:29] Christina: [01:06:29] It is.

[01:06:29] Brett: [01:06:29] you should have a good one.

[01:06:31] Christina: [01:06:31] Yeah, as, as should you, I, should you get some sleep? Um, and a joy hacking away on stuff. I look forward to, um, when we talk next time, I will also be, be in the discord, uh, chatting with people now, but I also, as a teaser for next time, I wanna, I want to have a debate with you about 60% keyboards versus like.

[01:06:50] 65% are other ones because I, I have strong opinions and I didn’t realize, cause I’m not super into keyboard culture, but my friend Alex, [01:07:00] Cranz wrote a very contentious, uh, review of the, um, of the, you know, uh, HH, KB, you the happy hacking keyboard, uh, on Gizmodo. And she loves it. And I’m very opposed to 60% keyboards because I can’t not have, um, arrow keys, but I have a feeling that.

[01:07:18] You might disagree with me. Uh, and, uh, I will, I want to have a debate with you about

[01:07:23] Brett: [01:07:23] All right, we’ll talk.

[01:07:25] Christina: [01:07:25] It sounds good.

[01:07:26] Brett: [01:07:26] All right. Get some sleep, Christina.

[01:07:28] Christina: [01:07:28] Get some sleep, Brett.