Saiph Savage

(S1E52)

  
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Saiph Savage, co-director of the UNAM Civic Innovation Lab, discusses the era of misinformation and the uses and abuses of bots within social media. Considering her Botivist experiment, she emphasises how the use of bots free up humans to work on more creative tasks while bots are delegated to menial chores. Savage also details some of the abuses of bots which, along with trolls, have the capacity to silence opposition and journalists specifically because, in part, Big Tech companies are not employing enough humans to review each submission or complaint. Addressing the dangers that trolls pose—especially to female users on social media, Savage addresses how social media currently enables dominant groups to reassert their control instead of opening up to heterogeneous content. Examining how the larger ecosystem allows for the repetition of older power dynamics since Big Tech is financially rewarded by investments that emerge from bots, Savage details the links between revenue and Big Tech, suggesting that tech companies provide audits and transparency as to why certain accounts are banned or demonetised.