THE FIRST #MAKETECHHUMAN PODCAST: MONICA LEWINSKY ON CYBERBULLYING

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It’s all about connection. I think the root of everything in life, and one of the beauties of the Internet, is that it is about connection. But, what can be frightening is that people can feel very disconnected and that disconnection can be quite destabilizing and traumatizing in many instances.”

Matt Mira: Welcome to the first ever #maketechhuman podcast, presented by WIRED and enabled by Nokia. I’m your host Matt Mira.

#maketechhuman is a year-long exploration of where technology is headed and how it is impacting humanity. It’s a multi-platform program with stories, interviews, videos and now podcasts– check it out at wired.com/maketechhuman.

Our goal with this podcast is to host a series of discussions and debates that will impact global discourse, human behavior and even product development and policymaking. Over the next few months, we’ll be exploring a number of core #maketechhuman issues, such as Artificial Intelligence, Privacy + Security, Connectivity, and Equity. You won’t want to miss a single episode.

Our very first guest is a woman who needs no introduction but I’ll introduce her anyway. Monica Lewinsky is an activist, a Vanity Fair contributor and an ambassador for Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization. Her talk at the 2015 TED Conference has been viewed over 7 and a half million times. I’d like to start with Monica reading an excerpt from her #maketechhuman insert in the August issue of WIRED.

Monica Lewinsky: One of the most powerful and challenging crossroads is where tech and humanity meet—and sometimes collide. While the Internet has made us a more globally connected society, it can also disconnect us from humanity—our own and seeing it in others. That is the crux of the pandemic we face with cyberbullying and online harassment. Online we’ve got a compassion deficit— an empathy crisis. We need to communicate, consume content, comment, and click with compassion.

Matt Mira: And there we have it. Joining me in this conversation is Melanie Cornwell of WIRED. She’s sitting with us to sort of keep me in the line and actually make the conversation a lot better, honestly. So we’ll jump right in to the studio right now.

Now Monica, I’d like to kick off the conversation by asking you the core #maketechhuman questions we ask all of our contributors to the program. We’re going to ask two questions, the first one is what excites you about the way technology is heading and the second is what worries you?

So I’ll ask you the exciting one first. What excites you about where technology is headed?

Monica Lewinsky: What excites me is the connectivity. I think the ability for people to share and to understand other people’s experiences… is extraordinary. And so that global perspective is one of the amazing things the Internet provides.

Matt Mira: Now, the flipside of that, what scares you about technology?

Monica Lewinsky: …The dehumanizing. That’s what scares me. I think the ability to marginalize someone, and for someone to become invisible. I want more and more people to know that there are avenues where they don’t have to feel alone. There are crisis text lines. There are organizations like Bystander Revolution. There are so many different places where people can find connectivity.

Matt Mira: I just watched your TED talk yesterday. It took me literally … I was like, I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it, and then I was gone, and this is not important.

Monica Lewinsky: I’m glad you didn’t fake watching it.

Matt Mira: No, I didn’t fake watch it. … I watched it. It was amazing. It was fantastic. Also brutal, the statistics you’re sharing…So I just wanted to ask you, what made you finally go, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to take up this cause?” The cause being, if you’re listening, and I’ll fill you in, the cause is the online bullying atmosphere that is occurring all over social media. Even to me. I get bullied. I’m on Twitter. Everyone on Twitter gets bullied at some point.

Monica Lewinsky: The thing which I’m coming to see, which is interesting about bullying, digital bullying and online harassment, is that everybody can actually participate in this conversation, because they’ve either, as you’re saying, had something happen to them, or they know someone to whom this has happened. Or they’re worried about this happening to someone who’s in their life. And so in that sense, it’s a very inclusive issue.

But for me, it was a very personal experience…this experience I had with my mom about the tragic death of Tyler Clementi.

Matt Mira: You know what Monica? I actually have the clip of you discussing this at TED and I’ll play that right now.

Monica Lewinsky: [TED Talk excerpt]

I was on the phone with my mom in September of 2010, and we were talking about the news of a young college freshman from Rutgers University named Tyler Clementi. Sweet, sensitive, creative Tyler was secretly webcammed by his roommate while being intimate with another man. When the online world learned of this incident, the ridicule and cyberbullying ignited. A few days later, Tyler jumped from the George Washington Bridge to his death. He was 18.

My mom was beside herself about what happened to Tyler and his family, and she was gutted with pain in a way that I just couldn’t quite understand, and then eventually I realized she was reliving 1998, reliving a time when she sat by my bed every night, reliving a time when she made me shower with the bathroom door open, and reliving a time when both of my parents feared that I would be humiliated to death, literally.

Today, too many parents haven’t had the chance to step in and rescue their loved ones. Too many have learned of their child’s suffering and humiliation after it was too late. Tyler’s tragic, senseless death was a turning point for me. It served to recontextualize my experiences, and I then began to look at the world of humiliation and bullying around me and see something different.

In 1998, we had no way of knowing where this brave new technology called the Internet would take us. Since then, it has connected people in unimaginable ways, joining lost siblings, saving lives, launching revolutions, but the darkness, cyberbullying, and slut-shaming that I experienced had mushroomed.

Everybody who heard about this story was touched in a deep way, but it also was a wake-up call for the kind of world that we lived in… Even though there had been other tragic suicides, which had happened prior to this, this was very condensed in terms of the timeline of when it happened, and so in that sense, it was very real-time.

What I realized, as I started to think about my own reaction to what happened to Tyler, and thinking about his family, and particularly my mom’s reaction, was that we had entered this new world where, because of social media, the landscape had changed. And what it meant was that public humiliation and shame were no longer just for public people, they were now something that anybody online might experience.

And we don’t talk about what it is to be publicly shamed, what it is to have that level of humiliation. We don’t talk a lot about that in public. We don’t talk about the ways that you can get through something like that, and that you can, survive it. You feel very alone when things like that happen online…

I knew what that felt like, and I know what it feels like to think the world is laughing at you. I know what it feels like to think these things, which are being said about you online, will never disappear, and that’s all you’ll defined as. So that was really the start for me, of thinking about, “How do I give a purpose to my past? How do I take back my own narrative and use this so that other people may feel less alone when this happens?” Because as I was saying, it’s more likely to happen to people now with the advent of social media.

Matt Mira: Well, and there’s also the whole element of anonymity that the people doing the bullying have…it’s something that I don’t think most of these people, I would say almost all of them, would never say to someone’s face.

Monica Lewinsky: … Many of the chat sites and social media sites that do allow anonymous posting, I think are really struggling at this point in time with that, because there is something to the anonymity, the kind of mask that you’re allowed. And you’re a hundred percent right. People say things online which they would never say to someone else’s face.

Matt Mira: Right. I think as more and more people get on social media, as the number starts growing, and you’re just finding that there are more people out there who are going to do that kind of thing, who are going to jump and grab the torch and the pitchfork and run after whomever.

Monica Lewinsky: There’s a certain charge people get at times from the online mob. Jon Ronson talks about this, too, in his book. [It’s]…very interesting.

Matt Mira: It’s a spectator sport. It really is.

Monica Lewinsky: It has become a blood sport. The online Coliseum.

Matt Mira: And everyone can’t wait to watch whoever gets taken down, and everyone sort of gathers around their TMZ.

Monica Lewinsky: It’s true. But that’s what we can change. That’s where I think it is about individual responsibility. There are certainly many other aspects and many other places where responsibility needs to be taken. Certainly with the social networking sites, with how we deal with the Internet.

Well, I think that there are two aspects of that to look at, too. I mean, it’s particularly concerning when you think about teens, because the statistics are around 95 percent of teens are online, and 80 percent of those use social media and chat sites.

Then what you have on the flipside, is really looking at a bigger picture of why people are bullying. That’s something where society needs to start to step in and think about the core reasons. Rather than shaming the bully and attacking the bully, what’s going to change and shift the culture? And shift…what people are experiencing online?

Matt Mira: In an ideal world, where you get to say, “This is what needs to be done to stop this,” what do you think that is?

Monica Lewinsky: I think it’s very hard to answer the question in that way. … I wish that there were a one, two, three easy solution, but when I envision it, it’s more like a wheel. And at the center of this, we have this issue — this problem — the online harassment, the shaming, and the digital bullying; all of these issues in the middle. And all of the spokes are the different ways that we can start to address the problem.

…I think it’s a cultural shift. That’s the perspective from which I’ve been coming…What I talked about in the TED talk, and a bit even in the Vanity Fair piece last year, is that I think that [we need to look] at the problem in context. That we’ve created this in many ways, because I think our culture has come to value shame and humiliation too.

I know another #maketechhuman person this year, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, talked a year or so ago about presenting this idea of an online Magna Carta, and really creating the “Web we want.” While I think some of his concerns have more to do with privacy and data that are being collected, I think that there’s room there too for the more human experience that people are having online.

I believe very strongly that the Internet should be a safe space. We’re at an incredible time in our world, and the fact that we can be connected and have the Internet as a global social glue is extraordinary.

I don’t know how old you are, you look young…

Matt Mira: 32

Monica Lewinsky: Okay. A baby. I just turned 42. But for you growing up too, I think that there was…we had a computer in the house, but we certainly didn’t have the Internet.

Matt Mira: Right. I still had to go to an encyclopedia volume when I was doing homework, and pull out a book and flip and go, “There’s nothing in here about the American Revolution.” But it’s interesting, too. I think about the whole mindset of the online bully, and it is interesting to me. I equate it to when you’re a teenager, you’re 18, and you get your first credit card. You don’t think about it, because it’s just this thing you swipe. You always think about the money actually coming out of your pocket, because there’s more of an active thing of that, it’s never like a swipe and forget, whereas I think that what happens online is you sort of fire off your bullying Twitter comment, you hit send, and you put your phone away. And you don’t think about it anymore. It just sort of goes away.

Monica Lewinsky: Right. There was a really interesting article and This American Life episode with Lindy West, a journalist for the Guardian, who had an experience with an online bully who was harassing her…and I hope I get the details correct…but someone who was posing as her late father and sending horrific messages. She ultimately confronted this guy. In the process of the confrontation, he realized what it was that he was doing, and that he was actually doing this to another person, and expressed regret and remorse.

So I think that what you’re saying is right. There’s something distancing about the technology, as well…You wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street…

Matt Mira: Hopefully, you wouldn’t.

Monica Lewinsky: Theoretically. Most people would not walk up to a stranger on the street, and punch them in the stomach. And yet that’s exactly what happens online, when you’re saying something about someone…

Matt Mira: And as young as I might be, I’m a grown adult, and even on Twitter …

Monica Lewinsky: You have a beard.

Matt Mira: Yeah. I have a beard, guys, it’s cool. Even on Twitter sometimes you get a tweet that sort of hits you in that Achilles heel that you might not even know you had. And I’m like, “Oh.” And I feel it for like 20 minutes, 30 minutes. And I can’t imagine being an 18-year-old or a 16-year-old or a 14-year-old.

Monica Lewinsky: No. And also too, what I think is really important to remember is that, if I remember correctly, the corpus callosum, the part of your brain that connects the two hemispheres, which also allows you to have a sense of time and distance…is not fully formed until you’re in your 20s. And so that’s another aspect, especially with the younger generations and the teens who are experiencing this. If something happens to one of us, we may have had enough experience, we have the brain maturation to think, “Okay, this is terrible, but it will go away. It will eventually abate.”

Matt Mira: That is a very interesting point. Because when you’re a teenager, everything lasts forever, and you never think it’s going to stop.

Monica Lewinsky: Well, and your history is quite short. So if you’re 15, and you think, “Oh my gosh, this is going to go away in five years, or even one year,” well, that’s one 15th of the span of what you…

Matt Mira: Yeah. If you’re a 15-year-old, it’s a third of your life.

Monica Lewinsky: Right. Exactly. Five years is a third of your life, which seems like forever. But I do think, also to this point, what’s interesting is that there’s really been a big movement from a number of organizations who are working in this anti-bullying space, towards orienting people to this idea of Upstanding. People can actually make a difference, when they see these bullying situations and online harassment situations by stepping in and showing support for the person who’s been bullied. Or there can also be another way, if you don’t yet feel comfortable or don’t feel safe even stepping in; you can contact the person privately. You can also report the bullying situation.

And I’ve been working with an organization called Bystander Revolution, whose goal is to get people to understand that you can take the power out of bullying with simple acts of compassion and courage and inclusion. And [Upstanding] is one of those ways that you can do that.

Melanie Cornwell: I first heard the term Upstanding in your talk. I’d never heard it. And I wonder if there’s some sort of hashtag people can use.

Matt Mira: Had you literally never heard the term Upstanding?

Melanie Cornwell: Not used in this context. It’s like standing up, and you’re not going to be the bystander, you’re going to be the Upstander.

Monica Lewinsky: Bystander Revolution [looks] at the fact that we are all bystanders. And so there is the revolution of how do we go from being a bystander to finding a way of feeling comfortable, to help shift the culture.

Melanie Cornwell: And that there’s some sort of…it’s a proactive statement that, “Yes, I am here for you.” It’s not just an idle positive comment that Matt’s going to ignore because…

Matt Mira: Yeah. I don’t need that. Tell me something negative, and then I will focus on that forever.

Monica Lewinsky: Right. My feeling is…and this is a convoluted way to talk about it, but for myself, I feel that every time someone says something positive, it erases something negative that someone said somewhere inside my being. So in that way, I think that you may focus on the negative, but somewhere inside, it might feel slightly lessened if you’d had ten other people saying, “I love your show. You’re such a great guy. You’re my favorite; you’re the best. “

Matt Mira: Thank you.

Monica Lewinsky: You can post that.

Matt Mira: Guys, I’m the best.

Monica Lewinsky: I think that it lodges somewhere… It reduces the half-life of the experience of having read that negative comment.

Melanie Cornwell: It’s a good metaphor though. Nuclear…radioactive. No, seriously.

Monica Lewinsky: There was a great example of Upstanding which happened, I think within the last six months, or certainly this past year, and that was for what ended up being called the Dance Free Movement. That started with this hashtag, Find Dancing Man. There had been a wonderful guy, Sean, who had been at a concert dancing and had seen some people taking pictures of him. And they took these pictures, without his permission, of course, and put them up on a website where there was, sadly, some ridiculing which began.

And these young women, Hope and Cassandra, saw what was happening to Sean and realized that nobody should be shamed and humiliated for dancing; people are in their joy when their dancing. They started one of those crowdsourcing funds to raise money to have a dance party for Sean, whom they didn’t know. So they started with the crowd funding and they started with the hashtag on Twitter of Find Dancing Man, and Sean responded.

It makes me cry when I think of it every time, of the “I Am Dancing Man” and then, “Dancing Man Found.” You think about the courage that it took for [Sean] in that moment to step forward and say, “Yeah, I’m the person that was being made fun of.” And he’s a wonderful guy, and they’re wonderful girls, and they raised well over $40,000. Moby DJ’d this party; Pharrell had a video message there. I went. That of course made it…no, I’m kidding. I’m the worst dancer ever.

More recently, some very interesting research which came out of the UK earlier this year with school‑aged kids showed that if you helped people understand ways that one could step in and intervene in a bullying situation, that they saw, through observation, that the bullying situation was shut down in under ten seconds.

Matt Mira: Oh, wow. That’s interesting. Also, it’s fascinating how the human brain works, in the sense of, if you see a positive comment on Twitter and might go, “Oh, that’s lovely,” and you’re not going to think about it very much, but the negative comment will just drive you insane. Me personally.

Monica Lewinsky: My experience has really been when I see when someone who does Upstanding [behavior], when they do make a positive comment on my Twitter feed or my Facebook page, if they see a chain of things which have been said which are unkind, actually I think it does make a difference…

Matt Mira: That’s because you’re a mature normal human being, whereas…

Monica Lewinsky: Are you kidding?

Matt Mira: …me, I’m a standup comedian, and my brain is broken.

Monica Lewinsky: I don’t know that I’d say my brain is broken, but I’m pretty silly at times too, instead of mature.

Matt Mira: But yeah, it’s interesting too. And I really honestly cannot fathom growing up now. I can’t. I can’t. Instant Messaging had just started when I was a teenager and in high school. We had AOL, we had Instant Messaging. And that was in and of itself an interesting thing, but that was, again, a conversation between one or two people, and it wasn’t a big public thing.

Monica Lewinsky: But even back then in 2004 with IM chat, there was the tragic suicide of Ryan Halligan. We were starting to see the deleterious effects of online social interactions at that stage too, early on, and it’s just increased.

Someone had said this to me, which I thought was very interesting to think about…that a positive thing that the Internet does provide for these people growing up at this time, is that you’re able to find your people. And so you’re not as isolated in that way either. And I thought that was a really excellent point. I hadn’t considered that, that people can connect all over the world and find like-minded souls.

Matt Mira: Yeah, it’s fascinating too. When I was growing up, I was like, “Oh, I’m the only kid around here who likes Star Trek.” Yeah. That was me. And I would go to these Star Trek conventions that would happen in Boston, my mother would take me.

Monica Lewinsky: You could have been friends with my uncle.

Matt Mira: Oh yeah, he was good, he likes Star Trek?

Monica Lewinsky: He’s a Trekkie.

Matt Mira: Give him my number…we’ll talk. But I would go to these Star Trek conventions, and I would just be floored by the fact that there was like 5000 people in Boston that were all dorks like me. I was like, “Oh my God.” But to imagine the Internet being around, and you can find 100,000 or a million people who are into the same thing as you…

Podcasting in and of itself is you’re doing niches of niches of niches of things. I have a podcast about Frasier. Literally. Kevin Smith and I do a podcast that’s just about Frasier. So not only are we taking…you have to like Kevin Smith and Matt Mira, then you have to slice that into, you also like Frasier. But then there’s like 50,000 people who are listening to that every week. It’s just like, oh my God. You might think you’re alone out there, but you’re not. There’s somebody that’s like you.

Monica Lewinsky: It’s all about connection. I think the root of everything in life, and the beauty of the Internet, is that it is about connection. But, what can be frightening is that people can feel very disconnected, and that disconnection can be quite destabilizing and traumatizing in many instances.

Matt Mira: I often wonder about being a teenager and having parents who may be…because if you’re a teenager now, your parents might not necessarily have grown up around the Internet, so if you’re being bullied on the Internet and you go to your parents, I don’t know if they’re really going to understand the gravity of it to the teenager. Do you know what I mean?

Monica Lewinsky: I think parents are learning. Most of my friends have kids, and many of them have kids who are now coming of…it seems like 10/11 is when they start to go on Instagram. And so I hear increasingly from them, and I think in just the things I’ve read and seen, that this is becoming something where parents feel they do need to be educated. And Bystander Revolution, that’s one of the things that they’re focused on, too. Trying to help parents understand what’s going on.

…One of the things which is interesting is there’s an organization in the UK called Anti-Bullying Pro, and they’re one of the Diana Award charities. And what they do is they’ve created these programs within a school. They take students and train them to become anti-bullying ambassadors. Therefore, there’s a peer-to-peer relationship, where when someone is being bullied, they have a peer to go to. Because often times, kids are loath to go to their parents. Something I think we have to be working on, too, is trying to take the shame and stigma out of the experience of bullying, so that people feel a bit freer to communicate that.

Matt Mira: As you said in your TED talk, you were sort of patient zero for news getting broken online, et cetera.

Monica Lewinsky: Losing a digital reputation.

Matt Mira: Yeah. And all of a sudden, you’re now this public figure and now everyone’s piling on. But do you think it would’ve been any different for you now? Do you think it would’ve been worse to deal with now than it would’ve been in the late ’90s?

Monica Lewinsky: I think it’s a combination. What I wasn’t able to understand during that time — unless someone sent me a letter — there was no way to understand that you might have support out in the world. The only reflection I had back to me was what was online and what was in the media. In that sense, it would’ve been easier to see that there were people who understood what was going on and who were supportive. What would’ve been more challenging, being a scandal that unfolded online, was that there are more outlets [today]. It would’ve been even more amplified.

And I think there’s more competition now among the different channels. And that was really part of the perfect storm from that time, was the fact that, for the longest time, CNN was the only 24-hour news network. And then shortly before ’98, both MSNBC and Fox News were born…In part, there was the competition that started. It wasn’t just the idea of the 24-hour news cycle, but that plus the competition led to …

Melanie Cornwell: A race to the bottom, in a way.

Monica Lewinsky: Yes. So I think that in that way, that was part of what changed it. And we see this so often now, the attitude that being first is better than being right. And unfortunately, we as consumers reward that.

Sally Kohn gave a great TED talk on click bait…She talks about how that algorithm for what we’re served is based on what we click. So the reality is that we are seeing what we are creating. If we want to change, and we don’t want to fall into this cesspool of just shaming click bait media, we unfortunately have to stop clicking. Myself included. I’m not a preacher; I’m an observer.

Matt Mira: What are you more likely to click on? Which of the…

Monica Lewinsky: Oh, no, this is not Watch What Happens Live. So I don’t have to choose.

Melanie Cornwell: I wish it were.

Matt Mira: Which quiz would you click on first: Which cast member of Friends are you? Or how many times…well no, that’s not a quiz. Or…Which member of the crew of the Enterprise are you? Which one are you going to click on? It’s the Friends one, right?

Monica Lewinsky: It would probably be the Friends one. I’m so sorry.

Matt Mira: You’d probably be Monica, because that’s your name. That’d be one of the quiz answers.

Monica Lewinsky: I know. And the hair and Rachel and the whole…oh God, ’90s flashbacks…freaking out.

Matt Mira: Oh, ’90s. So do you…

Melanie Cornwell: Do you think it’s showing that Matt’s fiancée works at Buzz Feed?

Matt Mira: She does. She’s the exec. editor over there. So I get it.

Monica Lewinsky: Is that your whole relationship, like…?

Melanie Cornwell: Just leave quizzes on the couch.

Monica Lewinsky: …where should we go for dinner?

Matt Mira: She will occasionally send me…she’s like, “Look at this, I took the ‘Which Shark Tank shark are you?’” She’s Laurie Greiner, guys. I’d be Mark Cuban.

Now, I’m going to lead you down the home stretch of the #maketechhuman Podcast…So as part of the whole program of #maketechhuman, we’ve been talking to everybody about a lot of issues ranging from artificial intelligence to online security to access for individuals, being able to access the Internet, period.

I think where it best fits into this conversation is the discussion of online privacy, which we’ve been talking about a lot. It just feels to me like the right to online privacy has disappeared over time. Do you feel like there’s any sort of way to get that back? How do you feel about online privacy? Do you think it’s a right? Do you think it’s something that everybody should have? Or do you think it’s just like well, guys, deal with it, that’s the Internet.

Monica Lewinsky: I think it’s nuanced. I think it’s a nuanced issue, and I think it’s a very important issue, and we’re actually really at the point in time in the Internet’s history where we need to carefully untangle this and figure it out. Because on the one hand, I do believe in online privacy; I do believe that there should be freedom of speech; and I do believe you should be able to do things and not feel the government or some corporation is able to gather that data…On the flipside, I don’t think people should be able to post anonymously when they’re making personal comments about someone else.

…There have been many times in our history, where one person’s right has come up against another person’s right, and we don’t always untangle that in the right way. And I think here we’re looking at First Amendment issues, we’re looking at right-to-privacy issues, but I think we also have to look at the right to be protected online and to feel safe.

Melanie Cornwell: …So I have one last question, which is…first I’ll say, we are delighted that you are part of the #maketechhuman program.

Monica Lewinsky: Thank you.

Melanie Cornwell: And I’m wondering, did you ever expect that you would be in the company of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Stephen Hawking, Sugata Mitra, and of course, Matt Mira?

Monica Lewinsky: No, and I’m incredibly grateful — flattered and grateful for the opportunity. And I think also, too, grateful to the #maketechhuman program in a sense, because by putting this issue in the category of those other people, it also signals that this really is something that we need to pay attention to, so thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Cornwell: Absolutely. And it’s our pleasure. We saw your TED talk and it seemed like it was among the absolutely most important issues.

Monica Lewinsky: Thanks.

Matt Mira: Did you see it in person?

Melanie Cornwell: Yeah.

Matt Mira: Good for you. I didn’t, I had to watch it on YouTube.

Melanie Cornwell: …It was exciting.

Matt Mira: Probably because I would’ve had to travel to the TED talk.

Melanie Cornwell: It was mind blowing, and I will say that…

Monica Lewinsky: Thank you, Melanie.

Melanie Cornwell: Absolutely. And I was sitting next to the Editor-In-Chief of Ars Technica, which I’m sure you’re not familiar with, but people like Silicon Valley CEOs and engineers and those kinds of people read it, and I said, “What do you think?” And I thought he was going to say, “Yeah, whatever,” because it wasn’t technical. I thought he was going to tell me he liked the AI talk…but he said, “It’s the most important talk this year.”

Monica Lewinsky: Oh my gosh.

Melanie Cornwell: He said, “My women writers deal with it so much. Ten years ago, it wasn’t happening. It is the most important issue that we face.”

Monica Lewinsky: …While we’re constantly trying to change the landscape so that it doesn’t happen, we have to also be looking out for the people who are experiencing it right now. I think that’s what’s important, too, and what he was saying about his employees experiencing this, particularly women and minorities and the LGBTQ community suffer from being exposed to this kind of vitriol. And in ways which are rape threats and death threats. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in…

I’m very grateful for how people have received the TED talk and all of the things I’ve done in the last year-and-a-half.

Matt Mira: Yeah, and we look forward to seeing what you have in the fall.

Melanie Cornwell: Made a big difference.

Matt Mira: Sounds like it’s going to be something cool.

Thanks for listening to the #maketechhuman podcast, presented by WIRED and enabled by Nokia. This podcast is part of the broader Nokia and Wired #maketechhuman debate about the possibilities, challenges, and tensions at the nexus of humanity and technology. For more, go to wired.com/maketechhuman.

This has been part one of the Cyberbullying podcast. Don’t miss part two — a fascinating conversation with #maketechhuman contributor Jon Ronson, author of the bestseller “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed;” Justin Patchin, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center; Robin Stern, associate director for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and of course me, your host, Matt Mira. And until then, join the conversation at wired.com/maketechhuman or on Twitter #maketechhuman

7 episodes available. A new episode about every 18 days averaging 42 mins duration .