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Jillian York

Welcome to the 38th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Jillian York, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. First, we get a special on-the-ground report from special guest Mohamed El Dahshan in Tunisia, talking about a ruling expected from the country’s Supreme Court about filtering the Internet. Mohamed also talks about how freedom of speech online briefly flourished in Tunisia and Egypt before being reined in. We also talked about the case of Hamza Kashgari, who could get executed in Saudi Arabia because of three tweets he wrote directed to the prophet Mohammed.

Next up was a discussion about Pinterest, the visual social networking site that has become a hit among people who like to do scrapbooks and bookmarking online. Special guest Courtney Lowery Cowgill, who wrote a popular story about Pinterest, tries to explain what makes the site so addictive — and whether they can figure out a business model for it. Finally, we discuss recent moves by Apple responding to investigative reports about appalling conditions at its factories in China. The tech giant hired a labor monitoring group to do inspections at its Chinese factories, but will Apple take action or is this just whitewashing the problem?

Check it out!


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Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

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Mohamed El Dashan

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


1:00: Jillian York explains the Berkman Center at Harvard

2:20: Rundown of topics for the podcast

Online report from Tunisia

5:00: Morrocans, Syrians arrested for online speech

6:20: Special guest Mohamed El Dahshan

8:40: Filtering problem not a big issue in the general public

12:00: El Dahshan: The witch-hunt for Saudi man who tweeted about Mohammed is embarrassing

Pinterest craze

17:00: Website has great visual appeal

17:30: Special guest Courtney Lowery Cowgill

19:30: Million-dollar question: How will Pinterest make money?

21:30: Cowgill: Pinterest offers a visual way to shop around

24:10: Pinterest is what you make it

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Courtney Lowery Cowgill

Apple monitors Chinese factories

25:10: Will Fair Labor Association do a good job monitoring factories?

28:10: How much follow-up with Apple do?

39:20: Hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition to get Apple’s attention

More Reading

Tunisia: Trial Over Censorship of Pornographic Websites in Tunisia Postponed at AllAfrica

Why a Saudi blogger faces a possible death sentence for three tweets at Christian Science Monitor

We’re all Americans now at Foreign Policy

Pinterest’s Rite of Web Passage—Huge Traffic, No Revenue at WSJ

Pinterest: Why What It’s Not Says So Much at PBS MediaShift

Pinterest should file for an IPO at Fortune

Why Pinterest Is So Addictive at Fast Company

When is the social curation bubble going to burst? at GigaOm

Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories at NY Times Bits Blog

Apple’s external inspections of Foxconn a good first step at ZDNet

Apple joins industry-funded labor monitor for China factory audit at LA Times

Weekly Poll

Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about Pinterest:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+