Your Undivided Attention

In this podcast from the Center for Humane Technology, co-hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin expose how social media’s race for attention manipulates our choices, breaks down truth, and destabilizes our real-world communities.

Tristan and Aza also explore solutions: what it means to become sophisticated about human nature by interviewing anthropologists, researchers, cultural and faith-based leaders, activists, and experts on everything from conspiracy theories to existential global threats.

Recent Episodes

35 - Mr. Harris Zooms to Washington

Back in January 2020, Tristan Harris went to Washington, D.C. to testify before the U.S. Congress on the harms of social media. A few weeks ago, he returned — virtually — for another hearing, Algorithms and Amplification: How Social Media Platforms’ Design Choices Shape Our Discourse and Our Minds.
May 10, 2021

34 – Can Your Reality Turn on a Word?

Can hypnosis be a tool to help us see how our minds are being shaped and manipulated more than we realize? Guest Anthony Jacquin is a hypnotist and hypnotherapist of over 20 years, author of Reality is Plastic, and co-runs the Jacquin Hypnosis Academy. He uses his practice to help his clients change their behavior and improve their lives.
April 29, 2021

Bonus – The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide Revisited

[This episode originally aired May 21, 2020] Internationally-recognized global leader on climate change Christiana Figueres argues that the battle against global threats like climate change begins in our own heads.
April 22, 2021

33 - Mind the (Perception) Gap

What do you think the other side thinks? Guest Dan Vallone is the Director of More in Common U.S.A., an organization that’s been asking Democrats and Republicans that critical question. Their work has uncovered countless “perception gaps” in our understanding of each other.
April 15, 2021

Bonus – Coded Bias

The film Coded Bias follows MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini through her investigation of algorithmic discrimination after she accidentally discovers that facial recognition technologies do not detect darker-skinned faces. Joy is joined on screen by experts in the field, researchers, activists, and involuntary victims of algorithmic injustice.
April 8, 2021

32 - Come Together Right Now

Shamil Idriss, CEO of the organization Search for Common Ground, shares the lessons of peacebuilding from his work in Niger, the Balkans, and Rwanda. Technology and social media are creating patterns and pathways of conflict that few people anticipated or even imagined just a decade ago. And we need to act quickly to contain the effects, but we don't have to reinvent the wheel.
April 1, 2021

31 – Disinformation Then and Now

Camille François, Chief Information Officer at the cybersecurity company Graphika and an affiliate of the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and other disinformation researchers have been fighting two battles over the last decade: one to combat and contain harmful information, and one to convince the world that these manipulations have an offline impact that requires complex, nuanced solutions.
March 18, 2021

30 – The Courage to Connect

It’s no revelation that Americans aren’t getting along. But Braver Angels is working to address this problem. The organization brings Americans together to bridge the partisan divide, offering tools and running workshops that convince Republicans and Democrats to meet but not necessarily in the middle.
March 4, 2021

29 – A Renegade Solution to Extractive Economics

Kate Raworth, the “renegade economist” and creator of Doughnut Economics, explores how we can transform the world by changing the models for how we value it. Check out our conversation.
February 11, 2021

28 – Two Million Years in Two Hours: A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari is one of the rare historians who can give us a two-million-year perspective on today’s headlines. In this wide-ranging conversation, Yuval explains how technology and democracy have evolved together over the course of human history, before exploring nearly unimaginable possibilities for where we might go from here.
January 15, 2021

27 – Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A Civic Vision for the Internet

Eli Pariser, co-director of Civic Signals, co-founder of Avaaz, and author of "The Filter Bubble," has been thinking for years about how to create more functional online spaces and is bringing people together to solve that problem.
December 23, 2020

26 – Are the Kids Alright?

Jonathan Haidt, NYU social psychologist, has spent the last few years trying to figure out why we are in the midst of a teen mental health crisis. He believes social media is to blame.
October 27, 2020

25 – Your Nation’s Attention for the Price of a Used Car

Zahed Amanullah, counter-terrorism expert at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, explains how the very tools that extremists use to broadcast messages of hate can also be used to stop them in their tracks.
October 6, 2020

Bonus – The Social Dilemma

A new documentary, The Social Dilemma comes out on Netflix today, September 9, 2020.
September 9, 2020

24 – Facebook Goes ‘2Africa’

Julie Owono, Executive Director of Internet Without Borders, discusses Facebook’s “2Africa” subsea cable project and the risks of tech companies leading us into an age of “digital colonialism.”
September 2, 2020

23 – When Media Was for You and Me

Fred Turner, a professor of communications at Stanford University, discusses how media can make us feel more reflective, more patient, and more tolerant.
August 5, 2020

22 – Digital Democracy is Within Reach

Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, helps us imagine a world where every country has a digital minister and technologically-enabled legislative bodies.
July 23, 2020

Bonus – Beyond the Boycott

The #StopHateforProfit campaign is an important first step.
July 10, 2020

21 – The World According to Q

Travis View studies the cryptic appeal and cult-like dynamics of QAnon and what happens as Q followers leave their screens behind, arm themselves, and take their extremism into the real world.
July 8, 2020

20 – The Bully’s Pulpit

Fadi Quran and his team at Avaaz go to great lengths to figure out exactly how social media is being weaponized against vulnerable communities, including those who have no voice online at all.
June 22, 2020

Bonus – The Dictator's Playbook Revisited

Maria Ressa is arguably one of the bravest journalists working in the Philippines today. As co-founder and CEO of the media site Rappler, she has withstood death threats, multiple arrests and a rising tide of populist fury that she first saw on Facebook, in the form of a strange and jarring personal attack.
June 16, 2020

19 – The Fake News of Your Own Mind

Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman have helped thousands of people find their way out of a mental loop, by moving deeper into it. It’s a journey inward that reveals an important lesson for the architects of the attention economy.
June 2, 2020

18 – The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide to Saving the Planet

Christiana Figueres, one of the main architects of the Paris Agreement, is intimately familiar with the high stakes of climate change negotiation. We explore how a shift in Silicon Valley’s vision could lead 3 billion people to take action.
May 21, 2020

17 – The Spin Doctors Are In

Renée DiResta traces conspiracy theories back to their source, showing how disinformation spreads in the age of COVID-19.
May 7, 2020

16 – When Attention Went on Sale

Tim Wu, Columbia law professor, author of The Attention Merchants and The Curse of Bigness, takes us through the birth of the eyeball-centric news model and ensuing boom of yellow journalism, to the backlash that rallied journalists and citizens around creating industry ethics and standards.
April 28, 2020

15 – Changing our Climate of Denial

Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, talks us through his approach to shifting public opinion on climate change.
April 22, 2020

14 – Stranger than Fiction

Claire Wardle, co-founder and executive director of First Draft, studies the gray zones of information warfare, where bad actors mix facts with falsehoods, news with gossip, and sincerity with satire.
March 30, 2020

13 – Mr. Harris Goes to Washington

Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin take us behind the scenes of Center for Humane Technology's January 8th testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee on disinformation in the digital age.
January 30, 2020

12 – Trust Falls

Rachel Botsman, Trust Fellow at Oxford University, guides us through a global trust crisis—speaking directly to technology leaders about fostering communities and creating products the public is willing to put faith in.
January 14, 2020

11 – The Cure for Hate

Tony McAleer was introduced to Neo-Nazi ideology through the U.K. punk scene in the 1980s. But after his daughter was born, he embarked on a decades-long journey from hate to compassion.
December 19, 2019

10 – Rock the Voter

Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica insider, witnessed a two-day presentation at the company that shocked her and her co-workers.
December 5, 2019

9 – The Dictator’s Playbook

Maria Ressa is arguably one of the bravest journalists working in the Philippines today. As co-founder and CEO of the media site Rappler, she has withstood death threats, multiple arrests and a rising tide of populist fury that she first saw on Facebook, in the form of a strange and jarring personal attack.
November 4, 2019

8 – The Opposite of Addiction

Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream, traveled some 30,000 miles in search of an answer to what causes addiction and depression.
October 22, 2019

7 – Pardon the Interruptions

Gloria Mark, a professor in the Department of Informatics at University of California, Irvine, started measuring the attention spans of office workers with scientific precision. What she has discovered is not simply an explosion of disruptive communications, but a pandemic of stress that has followed workers from their offices to their homes.
August 14, 2019

6 – From Russia with Likes (Part 2)

Renée DiResta, disinformation expert, Mozilla fellow, and co-author of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, explains how social media platforms use your sense of identity and personal relationships to keep you glued to their sites longer, and how those design choices have political consequences.
August 1, 2019

5 – From Russia with Likes (Part 1)

Renée DiResta, disinformation expert, explains how social media platforms’ algorithms and business models allow foreign agents to game the system, and what these messages reveal to us about ourselves.
July 24, 2019

4 – Down the Rabbit Hole by Design

Guillaume Chaslot, AI expert, helped write YouTube’s recommendation engine and reveals how those priorities spin up outrage, conspiracy theories and extremism.
July 10, 2019

3 – With Great Power Comes… No Responsibility?

Yaёl Eisenstat, a former CIA officer and a former advisor at the White House, shares what she learned advising technology companies in the U.S., and her perspective on government's role in regulating tech.
June 25, 2019

2 – Should’ve Stayed in Vegas

Natasha Dow Schüll, cultural anthropologist and author of Addiction by Design, tells us what gamblers are really after a lot of the time—it’s not money.
June 19, 2019

1 – What Happened in Vegas

Natasha Dow Schüll, author of Addiction by Design, has spent years studying how slot machines hold gamblers, spellbound, in an endless loop of play. She never imagined the addictive designs which she had first witnessed in Las Vegas would go bounding into Silicon Valley and reappear on virtually every smartphone screen worldwide.
June 10, 2019