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tv   Craigslist Founder at the National Press Club  CSPAN  September 25, 2018 7:05am-8:04am EDT

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smoking e-cigarettes and the new fda prevention program. live coverage begins at 8 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. and tonight at 10 eastern, arizona governor doug ducey debates democratic challenger david garcia. that's on c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> thursday morning we're live in indianapolis, indiana, for the 42nd stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour. indiana attorney general curtis hill will be our guest during "washington journal" starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. >> professor christine blasey ford has agreed to testify thursday before the senate judiciary committee about her sexual assault allegation against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. judge kavanaugh will also testify at that hearing. we'll have live coverage thursday starting at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span3.
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you can also watch online at or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> craigslist found per craig newmark -- founder craig new mark recently donated $20 million to mark-up, a new nonprofit journalism organization aimed at understanding the impact of technology on society. from the national press club, this is about an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible] of the national press club.
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we are so pleased to welcome today's headliner, craig newmark, the founder of craigslist and craig newmark philanthropies which has supported a host of causes, especially journalism, veterans issues, women in technology and voter protection. before we begin, i would like to, please, ask you, silence your cell phones if you haven't already. and if you're tweeting today, we are press club dc, and the hashtag for today's event is npc live. i would like to also introduce our head table guests. please hold your applause until be everyone has been introduced. so starting from my left, we have mike smith, ceo of greensmith public affairs and a member of the national press club headline arers committee. we have megan ross, correspondent at gaylord news service. we have a senior associate ed editor at the kiplinger washington editors. we have katie horn, head of
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product and technology at the mark-up. something that you may have just recently heard about. be we have chris swanson, vice president of editorial projects in education. that's the publisher of education week. we have jess marson, managing editor at the mark-up. coming here from my right, we have lisa matthews, assignment manager at the associate ised press and co-chair of the national press club headliners team. we have caitlin reilly, staff writer at inside philanthropy. we have wesley lowery, national reporter, post. we have julia anguin and barbara cochran. and the curtis b. hurley chair in public affairs journalism at the missouri school of journalism. skipping over our speaker only for a moment, we have betsy
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fisher martin, extestify director of -- executive director of the women many politics institute at american university and co-chair of national press club headliners team. thank you for joining us here today. [applause] i would also like to to acknowledge additional members of the headliners team responsible for organizing today's event. laurie russo, tamara hinton and ellen ferguson as well as press club staff, specifically lindsey underwood, laura cokier and executive director bill mccarran. now -- yes. thank you. [applause] now to our guest. craig newmark is a jersey boy who reshaped the world of classified ads with the online, mostly free craigslist. the business began as an e-mail service for his friends and colleagues to share information
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about local events and earned him a place in the internet hall of fame in 2012. newmark handed over his managerial duties to jim buckmaster in 2000, but he remains a major shareholder in the privately-held company he began in 1995 and incorporated in 1999. now he's turned to philanthropy as a way to sustain what he calls, quote-unquote, trustworthy journalism. he has given 60 million to journalism efforts just over last three years. [applause] that includes a $20 million gift to city university of new york graduate school of journalism and a gift that was announced just yesterday, $20 million to a brand new, nonprofit journalism venture called the mark-up. so why does he feel compelled to spend part of his fortune on
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this mission? he'll share his thinking with us today. as the head of craig newmark philanthropies, newmark is also focused on helping veterans and their a families, protecting voters' rights and creating opportunities for women in tech. he credits his sunday schoolteachers and his high school history teacher in morristown the, new jersey, for nurturing a sense of responsibility and a love of the democratic process. so with that, i'd like to welcome a self-described nerd who created a list and changed the way we buy and sell things. as he put it to fortune magazine, i didn't think i would start a very successful company. it has worked out much better than i thought. [laughter] and now i can put my money where my mouth is. craig, thank you so much for being here today. if you'll join me up here, we can get our discussion started. [applause]
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so it's so nice to see you here in washington, welcome. >> it's my pleasure. i've been here a fair amount in the recent past. i spent a year in a symbolic role at the department of veterans affairs. i was the, quote, nerd in residence. [laughter] unquote. >> what did that entail? >> you know, they didn't need my help with technology at all. they already knew what they were doing pretty well. the help they needed was just talking about it better. but i seriously am a nerd. that's not my potentiality. [laughter] -- my specialty. >> well, let's talk a little bit about the mark-up, this brand new project of yours. i'm sure everybody here in the room is very interested in finding out a little more about it. can you explain to us your
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thinking about the need for an investigative journalism outfit -- excuse me, outlet focused on the impact of tech in society. >> well, my contribution to mark-up is minimal. >> it's $20 million. >> well -- [laughter] but i'm not a journalist. and, you know, journalism is hard, writing to deadline every day or something and in some places worrying about being shot at or something of that nature. in this country or being harassed pretty badly. but years ago i realized that there are some stories where you can only get at the truth by looking really hard for evidence, for hard a fact -- hard fact, and sometimes you can only figure out what's going on by looking at the numbers; that is, doing some serious data science. that was absent in particular from people, well, from reports which look at the effects of new technology on our society.
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those, you know, the effects of technology on society have been completely unpredictable. no one in science fiction really predicted the rise of the internet. everyone sort of thinking about flying cars and lunar colonies and jet packs. and i seriously still want my jet pack. [laughter] but things have just proven to be unpredictable. so, again, sometimes the only way you can get to truth is through data science. that's particularly true about the role of the effects of the big tech platforms on our culture. we don't know a lot about what's really happening. lots of conjecture, lots of anecdotes. we need something real. >> so how do you see data scientists and investigative journalists working together to bring us better news? >> well, the idea is sometimes we need to find out what are the
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real effects of interference in our election whether it's by domestic actors or foreign actors. the only way you can actually take a look at that is by looking at the data present in the data the bases of -- databases of the social media platforms. you need to do statistical analysis, social network analysis of that. that's actually really hard work. people are inventing the tools to do all that as the problem evolves. it makes me want to be young again when i -- [laughter] >> you're still young. >> well, when i was smart and scientific, i could do that stuff. now i'm, i've recently entered my sunset years. [laughter] >> i'm not even sure what that means, but congratulations on getting there. we hope you have many happy returns. >> thank you. [laughter] i recently acquired my medicare
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part a card. >> i would never have guessed it. >> thank you. >> so tell us, what are some of the types of stories you'd like to see coming out of the mark-up when it starts publishing? >> i have some ideas, but i'm -- oh, i'm hesitant to describe them since the ethics of funding nonprofit journalism are still being clarified, and sometimes a guy who's had some success in tech, we need to learn -- well, i need to learn to keep my mouth shut at times. [laughter] so i'm trying not to say anything along those lines until i better, i better understand that. because i do know some things i'd like people to take a look at, but something i've learned in business and everywhere, sometimes you gotta get out of the way, and then you need to learn to stay out of the way. that's my history in craigslist management. >> will you have any sort of editorial role at the mark-up?
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>> no. i mean, being an ed editor or curator or any sort is hard work requiring journalistic smarts, and i lack those. i really need to play to my strengths and to work in areas which are being neglected. one area where i will be involved with, since i'm involved with a number of these journalistic efforts, i need to get people to talk to each other and then to work with each other. because given the crisis in journalism and democracy today, we're in an all hands on deck situation. we really are all in this together. and someone like me can nag people -- i should say nudge people to do that -- [laughter] just short of being really annoying. i hope. [laughter] >> i'm sure. so let's talk a little bit about, as you put it, the crisis -- this crisis. was there any particular one
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thing that prompted you to start or one series of events that prompted you to start donating to journalism causes? >> about 12 years ago, i went to communications and society meeting in aspen sponsor by charlie firestone. and back then there were a lot of publishers, editors, reporters there, and they started educating me on what they thought i should know long term about the news industry. i really wasn't conscious of that education for several years, but then thicks started -- things started getting clear to me. i remembered what i learned in high school u.s. history because he taught me, as i put it, a trustworthy press is the immune system of a democracy. so i started taking action -- maybe not terribly informed, but
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i kept learning and then learning more. and then with the events of the last few years, i realized i needed to stand up, i needed -- as we say in jersey -- to put my money where my mouth is, to get committed, to stay committed and to be relentless in that manner. >> according to sunday's new york times article about the launch of the mark-up, some of the reporting tactics employed by the mark-up may violate tech platform terms of service agreements. terms of service agreements which ban people from performing automated collection of public information and prohibit them from creating temporary research accounts. should tech companies allow reporters to be, to have an exception to their rules? >> well, i am now working fairly quietly, fairly diplomatically at least for me, talking to everyone involved, reminding this is an all decks on hand thing and trying to smooth the
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way to make it okay for serious people with good ethics to take a look at what's going on. the idea is that the only way we're going to work ourselves out of this crisis, the only way i think the country is going to survive as a dem the crass is if -- democracy is if we work together to make those things happen that we're talking about. so i'm talking to people in platforms, i'm talking to let's say constructive critics of the platforms, and i'm speaking to a lot of reporters just so that everyone will play well together. because if we don't all hang together, we're going to hang separately. yes, i do remember that from mr. shulski -- [laughter] >> i wish he were here today. i'd like this man to stand up and take a bow. >> i should -- this was this morristown, new jersey, which credits itself as center of the revolution since and his army stayed there for two winters.
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>> very good. [laughter] >> that's all i remember, so it has to be better good. [laughter] >> at some point they made their way in this direction. so how are your conversations going with these platforms, and do those include twitter, facebook and google? >> it involves everyone, and, you know, i'm pretty optimist bic. everyone -- optimistic. everyone realizes we've got to pull together in this situation. it's hard sometimes. for example, if you talk about a technique used to defeat let's say a scammer or a disinformation op, if you say too much publicly, the bad actors get information on how to game the system. so these are, there's a whole bunch of really tough problems. it's kind of like when cops have an ongoing investigation, they don't want to say too much
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because then the bad actor involved will know perhaps how to evade capture. so sometimes you need to know when to stop talking. sometimes that's a challenge for me, but i do remind myself that brevity's full of wit. >> i love that. >> that was from a different teacher in high school. [laughter] but i, i remember ms. howe, but maybe it was ms. toronto. it was so long ago. so very long ago. [laughter] >> not so long ago. but i'm sure they would be very, very proud of you today. >> i'd like to think that. >> yes. this in late 2016 new york times journalist james risen, who faced potential jail time for refusing to reveal his sources during the obama administration crackdown on leaks from
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government officials wrote: over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle brower and leakers compared with only three by all the previous administrations combined. so the question here is why now the efforts, your efforts, to defend the free press? why not during the eight years of the obama administration? >> in the past i didn't really understand the issues. i had some sense that things were increasingly going wrong, in journalism and in our democracy, but i hadn't figured things out enough. my thought the hadn't coalesced enough to step up my, the step up my action. in recent years i realized that things took a real turn for the worse, and it was time to step up to rapidly accelerate my education and then to, then to do something. i guess the real answer is that
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sometimes before you know what you're doing, you should not do anything until you can make sure that you're going to do no harm. that's actually a big part for me of the ethics of funding nonprofit journalism and maybe everything else. do no harm really matters. >> so speaking of ethics, you've made sizable contributions to journalism now with your $20 million endowment gift to city university of new york and just now with your $20 million gift to mark-up. so what metrics will you use or will you expect to be applied to determine if these two organizations are meeting your goals for expanding the pools of journalists who follow good practices? >> i don't know if there's a way
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to measure that in a satisfactory way. >> is there a way to take a stab at it? >> well, what i'm looking for are news outlets and so on to adopt the principles of groups like the trust project from a news consumer point of view. the trust project is a way for a news outlet to say, hey, you can trust us. like having a code of ethics, like having a good corrections policy, a diversity policy, that kind of thing. but i'm really interested in the long run -- and, frankly, my guiding principle is that the arc, the arc of moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. if, ultimately, we see a lot more accountability wherein the press holds politicians to account, where we don't have to have a running count every day of how much deception we're
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seeing from if politicians, that's what matters to me. and, you know, my background is scientific. i want to see number, i want to be able to measure things, but i don't know how to do that. and i'm actually kind of cynical of any attempts to be able to do that. >> in interviews you've said that you're optimistic that the big tech companies are making progress towards being able to accurately identify and address campaign misinformation. what evidence are you seeing there? >> to speak to some of the specific techniques that can be used, ones or that are known publicly, some of problem when disinformation is introduced into the news ecosystem, you can see if you look at the postings, you may see alleged individual posting 24 hours a day or possibly posting thousands of times a day.
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that's one way to indicate that you have a problem with a bot or possibly a bot network. new techniques coming in which are starting to be used are when something comes into a feed, you can look at it and see, for example, be it's from a -- if it's from a news outlet, have they subscribed to trust project principles. you can take a look at things to see if the item has been fact checked, and if the fact checks are represented in claims, the format of which is standardized now by i'm looking forward to efforts at duke which would do things like are, oh, what i'm looking for are summary fact checks or maybe nutrition labels. and if a news item comes in from a news outlet whichs has a tendency, for example, of getting things wrong and never fixing them, that might play a role into what the platforms can
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do. i to want to make clear that a lot of this is determined by the choice of any particular individual user of a platform. we should get to choose what level of integrity we want from the items coming into our feeds. i'll probably say since i'm somewhat impatient, i say, hey, if an item comes in from a news outlet which gets things wrong and doesn't fix them, i may not want to see that. if i do accept an item like that but if begin, if those items -- if there's been a fact check done and the thing looks iffy before i share it, i want the platform to is say, hey, this thing looks iffy for the following reasons, are you sure you want to share it? the idea is you want to disrupt networks of disinformation. and that's only part of the story. if you had a few more hours, i could keep going.
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except i'd bore myself the tears. [laughter] >> this is not boring, this is very, very interesting. >> i've got to catch up we mail anyway. [laughter] >> okay. are you concerned that tech companies like google and facebook are using their algorithms to show a slanted political point of view? is political bias in algorithms something that that you would like to investigate with the mark-up? >> what i'm much more interested in is the appearance of bias sometimes caused by platforms enforcing the terms of service. there are sites or speakers, and, you know, if they engage in fraud or deception or disinformation, terms of service should prohibit that, and then the platforms should take that action. and i think that's being confused with bias. there are issues with algorithms, and sometimes, you know, my fellow programmers, you know, sometimes we don't realize
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actual privilege we have, and sometimes how that turns up in the code we write. i don't think i've ever been conscious of that, although maybe i've solved the problem by stopping coding in 2000. and i'm very sad about that. but the deal is that the whole bias thing, it's -- right now we need to see more enforcement of terms of service. >> do you think that the tech companies themselves should be self-policing, or do you think that washington or state government should be getting more involved in terms of regulation? >> i think it needs to be a combination. but given the toxicity of the current political environment, i have a feeling washington may be only make it worse. as odd as it sounds, a lot of good work is beginning to happen in sacramento, and i have a lot of confidence many in system of the -- in some of the, some of
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what may happen there. >> can you tell the us a little bit about that? >> right now there's folks in sacramento who are looking at things like net neutrality, who are beginning to think about, you know, how should platforms enforce their terms better. and i am pretty impressed by the, let's say by the quiet diplomacy i see happening, and i'm going to keep it quiet. the only downside in this is that someday i may have to visit sacramento. [laughter] did i say that out loud? [laughter] >> yes. [laughter] >> oh, crap. [laughter] >> do you think policymakers in washington -- or in sacramento -- understand technology well enough to regulate it or even detect whether it needs to be regulated, and if so, how? >> there are a handful of people who really know the stuff or who
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have staff who know the issues. maybe the most prominent, i think ron wyden, mark warren. i'm missing some names here. there are people who are pretty capable and do great jobs like liz warren and tammy duckworth. on the house side, there's will herd and, oh, probably anna eshoo. and i'm missing some folks too. but there are folks that i have great confidence in and have chatted at length in some cases -- well, for example, whether herd about cybersecurity issues -- with will herd about cybersecurity issues. >> how did that conversation go? >> that was kind of fun because -- [laughter] i, of course, freely admit as a nerd i'm lacking in social skills, and so it's more entertaining to connect with someone who may share my issues. [laughter]
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was that indirect enough? is. [laughter] >> that was pretty indirect. so one more washington question here. do you think that there should be a federal antitrust investigation of google and facebook for online platform bias, quote-unquote, as the white house is considering? >> there is no bias in that sense. >> okay. >> there are a lot of good people in federal agencies still there, i met a lot when i was spending more time in washington, and i think more time is needed to investigate possible -- well, to consider why terms of service need to, how they can be better enforced, how the terms could be improved to stop things like fraud and deception and disinformation. this is all moving target because the bad actors are really, really smart, they have a lot of funding and no scruples. >> maybe we'll come back to this
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a little bit later in our conversation. >> okay. >> but let's talk a little bit about philanthropy now. so you are making your mark as a be philanthropist. the giving pledge, created by bill and melinda gates and warren buffett, invites people to commit more than half of their wealth. so far your name has not appeared on the list of signatories. why is that. >> >> because i decided i may as well just go exceed it without going through the rigamarole. >> fair answer. [laughter] [applause] >> also part of it's self-image too. i don't see myself as a big deal. in recent years i've thought about the circumstances under which i grew up, and then i realized that across the street from our family home was a junkyard. i guess they're called salvage
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yards now. the junkyard that i played in, owned by family friends that was up the street, and that was great because there were stacks of old comics i could take, stuff like that. but then i realized that, you know, we grew up kind of in between loving above above -- hovering above poverty. so i don't think i'm a big deal. i don't have a personal assistant or anything like that, although my wife is really good at making airline reservations. so part of this is just self-image talking. i'm not that big a deal. and that's my reality. >> i'll leave that to room to decide. [laughter] you're a very modest man, very humble. >> i just think i'm being connected to reality. yeah. i still do enough customer service to stay in touch with what's real. it's not like i was doing ten years ago and, yeah. bear in mind that whenever you're dealing with a customer
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service rep, you're dealing with someone who has a taxing, stressful job. and even when you're getting stressed, try to give the customer service rep a break. [applause] >> so on any given day, the if i'm having an issue with something on craigslist and i pick up the phone and call a number at the bottom of the screen and the craigs list site, i might get you? >> not these days. [laughter] what happens is that typically people will find me through e-mail, through social media, that kind of thing. and typically i gather enough information for the main line customer service team, and i'll pass it on to them. >> why is it important to you to stay involved in that way? >> i've seen, i've seen company founders, oh, have issues in two different ways. one is founder syndrome. people who are good at starting
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something aren't good at continuing it. that's why in 2000, after people helped me understand that i suck as a manager -- [laughter] i turned it over. [laughter] yeah. and the other thing is that when you drift away from everyday kind of company functions, when you drift away from your customers, that's like drifting away from reality, and you just lose touch. and that's not good for anyone. >> was there any one major event that was the catalyst for you founding craig newmark philanthropies in 2016? >> it kind of just happened increasingly, increasingly, and then at some point i hit a reflective tipping point and said, hey, i've got to get my act better together because i had something called craig connects going which failed in
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terms of branding, and i needed just to get a lot more soars -- more serious to stand up. and, like i like to say, put my money where my mouth is. and that kicked everything into a much higher gear. >> what is the ultimate goal of craig newmark philanthropies? >> there's different ways of putting it. remember that arc of the moral universe thing. we want to protect it going in the right direction. we want to accelerate it. and my way of doing that is to find people doing good work in areas that i believe in and then give them the resources that i have to help them succeed. be that's a combination of money plus whatever influence i have. i have no idea how much influence i have, but i'm trying to use it in stuff that i believe in. yeah. i'm looking forward to doing more and more. for example, i'd love to go in to help out in sacramento.
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>> how would that look? >> i don't really know. frankly, it's like a two hour drive, and i hate driving. [laughter] >> somebody could drive you. there are planes, you could learn to fly. >> planes. >> yeah, yeah. >> what about that jet pack? >> the jet pack is the best idea. the jet pack is the bested idea. but seriously, are there other areas of focus that you might be considering donating towards? >> i have an area of four focuses right now which i need to stick with, although some are kind of in gray areas. my favorite is donors choose where a teacher in a public school classroom, a teacher often in a high poverty area, can put their projects up on the donors choose site and ask for funding, a dollar or $20 at a time. last year my donors choose program supported the teachers
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in school that serve military families. that idea i stole from stephen colbert. this year it's the about supporting teachers focusing on s.t.e.m. work. the deal is that this country, we need more and more people who are really smart in the s.t.e.m. fields as a matter of national survival. so that's an investment in that area. it plays into my interest in women in tech. so does the work being done by girls who code, which is a really big deal. >> that's a great organization. i didn't realize that you supported them. >> i'm on the board. >> that's a lot of support. technological innovations including ad revenue lost to free online services like craigslist have disrupted the old business model for news. is relying on wealthy benefactors the way forward for the news business, in your opinion? >> business models for
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journalism span a range from traditional advertising to sponsorship models, membership models and then the philanthropy. i want to see everything tried because no one knows how all this is going to the evolve over time. me, i do have a preference for philanthropy, sponsorship models, membership models, and i want to see more of that happening. and and so that's what i'm doing to help out. you know, i, you know, i think advertising is a legitimate way to pay for things, but me i'm, for some reason i just find more affinity with the philanthropy, sometimes sponsorship like we have here on npr. >> what are the responsibilities of others for, towards the free press? others including schools, governments, nonprofits, parents
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and ourselves? >> i'd like to say that we all should, oh, learn some degree of media literacy. for example, being able to sniff out when a story might be fake. but on the adult level, you know, we're all busy, and sometimes getting that extra education is just one more task too many, you know, in the day. for kids in school, i've listened to what dana boyd says from data society, and she says trying to, trying to teach media literacy, well, telling kids what they should and shouldn't believe might be like, might be like herding cats who hate you already. [laughter] so i don't know if i'm a big believer in that. i don't want to criticize it, but i have a feeling it may not be productive.
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plus i might have to go to, you know, sacramento. [laughter] >> why do can i get the feeling you're going to be in sacramento sometime very, very soon? >> well, there's possibilities to it because i've been friendly and supportive of mr. newsome for some time. >> right now -- [inaudible] is the only employee listed on the philanthropies web site. do you have plans to scale up the foundation in the future? >> not that big a deal, and i kind of -- well, i kind of feel like i could be most effective this way. and it forces me to do what i am naturally inclined to do, to be personally involved every day, to be hands on every day. that may limit me in some ways except to get my model -- well, my model in a way is to work with the people that i'm
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funding. staying out of the way but still, as i reflect on this, the group of nonprofits that i support constitute maybe the greater craig newmark philanthropies. i'm finding good people and good groups, getting them resources, staying out of the way. maybe that's the, maybe that's the model. on the other hand, in social media when you see something posted or tweeted, that's me. if you do see it at three a.m., that means me insomniac. [laughter] the thing is that in the past i got some help with some of that. people who would help me out. now i, as an engineer, i'm a hands-on guy. >> who are some of your mentors? who are some of the people that you've been learning from? >> historically the ones i can
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think of most mr. and mrs. levin in sunday school who taught me to treat people like i want to be treated and to know when enough is enough. high school history, mr. shulski, who also taught me that as a country we aspire to fairness and opportunity and respect for all. we're a flawed nation, but i really do believe that we're that shining city on the hill and that we should, you know, commit to that and do something every day. more recently it's been my rabbi, leonard cohen. [laughter] >> is that a coincidence in the name or is your -- >> referring to -- no, that's not a joke. [laughter] he's not doing much preaching anymore, but he is my rabbi. >> okay.
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you've supported several publications through grants in the past. would you consider buying one outright? >> buying a publication is for important, fancy people. [laughter] that being said, i have a great deal -- >> not people who donate $20 million here or there. >> well, $20 million won't get you all a that much -- >> in terms of a publication. >> i have worked with a bit and have confidence in marty the barron and marc benioff. mark in particular has done a lot for veterans and families which means a lot to me. >> and is one of your causes, one of the causes that you support. >> very much so. in brief, i figure if someone is willing to sacrifice a lot, maybe go someplace and risk taking a bullet to protect me, i should do something. and as a country, we're kind of forgetting how much we owe vets. and as a country we never
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understood how much their families sacrifice to support us. >> what do you think we should be doing more of to support veterans and their families? >> there's a pretty big range of things. starting, boy, there's a lot of small things like we need to preserve and expand the g.i. bill. we need to, oh, we need to get veterans better coverage for things like exposures to burn pits where they may have inhaled a lot of really toxic stuff. we need the v.a. to be better suited for the support of women veterans, because right now the number of women veterans is large already and just getting bigger and bigger. and maybe we need to remind veteran service officers that if a couple comes in, please don't assume that the vet is the male.
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>> moving back to journalism for just a bit, beyond charity what do you see as the new revenue model for newspapers and investigative reporting 2007 that classified are dead? given that classifieds are dead? >> i don't really know, and i, frankly, i'd have to defer that to people who know stuff like thomas bechtel, jeff jarvis, kelly mcbride and company at pointer. this, remember, is my philosophy of do no harm. i'd rather say nothing than say something stupid. >> well, it sounds like you've been talking to a lot of people and informing yourself. >> i have. but again, i'm not in the news business. i'm not a news professional. i'm a news consumer and should respect those boundaries. and particularly when i have people around who can do the job far better than i can. if i got too smart, you know, i might have to go visit, you
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know, sacramento. [laughter] >> at a time of rapid digital journalism, what is your wish for the future of the press, particularly as it pertains to millennials? >> i, what i want are mechanisms that are evolving already in the journalism ecosystem to find means by which it's easy for a platform to figure out on the fly what's probably trustworthy and what's not. i want millennials to become aware of those mechanisms and to be smart about what they see and, more importantly, what they spread. the theme is that, oh, what went so wrong in 2016 and even now is foreign bad actors themselves may not have that much of an effect on our country or the ukraine or other countries. the problem is with news
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consumers who may not have a good idea of what not to share with their peers. it's often the sharing of discuss information that does the real damage -- that does the real damage. >> are you concerned that a repeat of russiagate is threatening greater tensions with the other major nuclear weapons state or threatening us at all? >> i'm reading the, i'm reading the publicly-available open source intelligence reports, and that's a known thing that's happening. i don't know if we understand it well enough, but there are both foreign and domestic bad actor the who just come out and say here's what we're doing. and that's a big deal. they are pretty open about that. they say, hey, here's what they're going to do, and then
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they do it. >> how much impact do you think the russian involvement, russian involvement had on the 2016 elections? >> my understanding is that the effect was substantial, but i'm going to wait for more til i read that excerpt from that jane mayer argue that just appeared in the new yorker which i have sitting on my phone. so my understanding, after a lot of reading and talking to people in the appropriate community, that the effect was substantial. but i don't feel right saying more without reading what appears to be definitive information. >> do you think there should be an open source social media platform? >> boy, i don't know if there's a need for that. just reflexively almost i support -- [laughter] i support open source almost
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automatically. the idea is some people have tried to do that. i think one of them recently shut down because of lack of interest. i do think as more and more of the ethics of running social media platforms and more and more of that is explored, i think things are going to get better for all of us. one of big problems, for example, is lack of informed consent. a social media platform should clearly tell you what it's collecting, who it's going to share that with and so on. and those things are happening. i'm involved now with the center for humane technology which is doing that kind of thing. and for that matter, there's the european gdpr which actually goes some ways many that direction -- in that direction, requiring platforms to tell you, hey, here's what we're going to correct about you, and here's what we're going to share about
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you. different countries have different flavors; some opt in, some opt out. and that's a controversial topic because implementing that is going to be really hard for some people. but i can see all those areas improving, and i'm committed. >> do you think it's time to regulate social media? >> again, i, i don't think positive regulation will come from washington, although i do hear good things about work going on, you know, in sacramento -- [laughter] >> in sacramento. >> -- and i just can't wait to get there. [laughter] >> i hear it's about a two hour drive. [laughter] >> well -- >> not from here. >> -- jet packs. >> jet packs. as one of the pioneers of online date canning, now that craigslist has removed personal ads, what do you see as the
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future of online dating, and how can people or what can people do to insure its practices are implemented safely? >> that's an area which -- well, at craigslist is all jim buckmaster's domain. me, i don't think about online dating. and to reinforce that, mrs. newmark just tried calling me a few minutes ago when you saw me doing something with my watch. [laughter] i'm pretty glad it exists as a thing and i think greatly facilitated when digital cameras came along. but i haven't thought about it for a long time, specifically not for about 12 years which, by coincidence, is when i met the future mrs. newmark. >> did you meet her via an online web site? >> i met her at my favorite caée back in san francisco.
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[laughter] i almost said sacramento. >> i heard. [laughter] i was going to say now -- yeah. in your opinion, is there still a need or a place for print journalism, and how should that coexist with ding the tall news? >> i'm going to interpret that two way as. whether it's in paper or not, i don't care too much. i do love paper and books in particular. but for what's done in print journalism and specifically and most of all investigative reporting, i think that's more and more important because journalism and investigative journalism more than anything is, well, is the immune system of democracy. be -- we do need appropriators keeping people -- reporters keeping people honest, and that is never going to be end. >> how do you define trust wore journalism? >> well, i define it as involving journalism which
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involves doing research. not just finding anecdotes, but looking at the evidence and the data if that's available. fact checking pretty thoroughly, adhering to principles of the trust project. and then when something goes wrong -- because people do make mistakes -- when that, whenever the errors are made, that that they're corrected quickly and in a serious way. the, that's pretty much as much as i would expect as a news consumer. fact checking is hard and time consuming and expensive but required. and, you know, i don't need -- as a news consumer, i don't care too much about scoops. please take the time to get it right. >> it's clear from -- it's clear that you follow media, so who are some of your favorite
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reporters? >> well, i like to answer questions which will piss people off no matter how i answer -- [laughter] and is right now i'm thinking in a way of the first thought that came to mind was news aggregator, tegan goddard who does political wire. in terms of bylines, i like seeing -- i think the number is too large. in my field it's like a kara swisher is a really big deal. and i'm trying to think of more, because i work so hard to get bylines into tweets. so that's as far as i'll go right now is kara. >> okay. where do you get your news primarily? >> man, it's across a very wide range of feeds. i will make special efforts to look at what's in "the washington post," "the new york times" and so on. i'm just sorry that not enough
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of them are funny. oh, there's -- last week tonight, of course. and the podcast where -- the bugle. >> how should we be empowering students to contribute with fact checking? >> students on the fact-checking level, and i'm assume ising like high school? -- assuming like high school? i would encourage them instead to learn how to become wiki media editors -- wikipedia editors. wikipedia needs more and more people writing articles and correcting them. and in wikipedia parlance, an editor is also someone who writes an article. that's what i would like to see in school, because wikipedia is where facts go to live. and it's actually pretty good in those regards right now. not perfect, pretty good,
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getting better and better over time. so i'd like to see, you know, i'd like to see high school students writing articles, fact checking them and, you know, getting credit for that. i'd like to see that at the college level also because wikipedia needs more and more editors. in particular, wikipedia needs more female editors because there is a harassment problem there which i'm in a very small way helping address. harassment nowadays is being directed towards lots and lots of reporters, particularly women or people of color. and some involved in a number of efforts to resolve that. >> can you talk a little bit about those efforts? >> i'm involved some efforts with the global fund for women, online, online sos, the adl and,
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boy, there's one based in europe that we're trying to get nonprofit status for here whose name i can never remember. the international consortium of journalists. i'm missing several. because, you know, at my age you forget things. [laughter] i'd like to play that card now as often as i can. [laughter] >> so how do you handle hackers, people who hack into individual accounts? >> i prevent -- well, boy. i take precautions, and to best of my knowledge, haven't had much of a problem yet which is a terrible thing to say openly, because that will be tempt thing. but i am -- tempting. but i am taking appropriate measures which i will not discuss openly. what happened about 15 years ago, i did say something, and then the, a couple people from the tech staff showed me excerpts from a blackhat bulletin board saying here's what craig said about what they
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do. .. someone tries to login with your password on a different system, your token or some other means of authentication, and that's going to be big deal more and more for reporters in particular. >> so i have a question here. how do i contact your philanthropy organization for an idea? >> there's a contact form. >> perfect. easy. whoever submitted that question. so thank you for being here with us today.
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i have just maybe one or two more questions here that we will ask before wrapping up today's conversation. you have mentioned several groups you are working with. will you bring the back to the national press club to give us an update on progress of the markup? >> i like to do all the above because i guess this this is a mission required for our country's survival on democracy. we need to support good groups. we need to support them more, and then just come up later this only as long as i live. after that it's over. [laughing] or before i go to sacramento. [laughing] >> what advice do you have for young people or students of journalism, people who would like to become journalists? >> first i liked when everyone
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of youth. youth is wasted on the young. but the advice i give them is that doing journalism, you are actually helping protect the country. i mean consumptive protect the protected the country by being tops or firemen or members of the armed services. but as a journalist you are part of the immune system of democracy. you are part of something much bigger than yourself, and the country need you right now. the country needed you yesterday, and that's how i have encouraged people thank you. >> i was just thinking if i could tell how much of love to be in sacramento. [laughing] >> but we love having you here with us right now. i'm going to take this opportunity very quickly before my final question to let everybody here know about some other events at the press club this week. at 6:30 p.m. we have headlined his book event with dan abrams,


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