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Watch > Episode > Jamie Bartlett - Inside The Digital Underworld

Jamie Bartlett - Inside The Digital Underworld


Jamie Bartlett is a distinguished author, journalist, and expert in the field of technology ethics, having emerged as a leading voice in discussions surrounding the impact of technology on society. The author of “The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld”, Bartlett is Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos. He heads the Violence and Extremism Programme which researches a range of terrorist and extremist groups. To research the book he immersed himself in the dark net buying marijuana from the Silk Road, watching the production of internet porn, and meeting with British neo-nazis.

With a focus on the intersection of technology, politics, and culture, Bartlett’s work delves into the profound changes and challenges posed by the digital age. Through his writings, research, and public engagements, he navigates the complex landscape of modern technology with a critical and insightful perspective.

Jamie Bartlett began his career in journalism, working for various prominent media outlets. His investigative reporting often centred on the societal implications of emerging technologies, internet subcultures, and the intersection of politics and digital innovation. Bartlett’s ability to unravel complex narratives and present them in a compelling manner contributed to his reputation as a skilled and insightful journalist.

Bartlett’s transition from journalism to authorship marked a significant phase in his career. His books showcase his capacity to explore the fringes of technology and society, with “The Dark Net” offering an in-depth exploration of the hidden corners of the internet, shedding light on the subcultures that exist in the digital underworld.

Beyond journalism and authorship, Jamie Bartlett has positioned himself as a tech ethicist and thought leader in the realm of digital ethics. He engages with the ethical considerations surrounding technology, artificial intelligence, and the digital transformation, emphasising the need for responsible innovation. Bartlett is actively involved in discussions on privacy, online extremism, and the ethical implications of algorithmic decision-making.

Jamie Bartlett extends his influence beyond the written word through frequent media appearances, public speaking engagements, and participation in conferences. His ability to articulate complex technological and societal issues has made him a sought-after commentator on topics ranging from the implications of social media on democracy to the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence.

Jamie Bartlett’s multifaceted career reflects a deep commitment to understanding and dissecting the intricate relationship between technology and society. From his early days as a journalist to his current role as a prominent tech ethicist and author, Bartlett’s work has contributed significantly to public discourse on the ethical challenges and opportunities posed by the digital age.

As technology continues to evolve and reshape the fabric of our lives, Jamie Bartlett remains a vital voice, urging us to consider the broader societal implications of the digital revolution.


00:00 Trailer.
01:02 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
07:30 Brian’s introduction
08:03 Getting right into the shocking, hidden, obscured subcultures online.
09:10 Discovering the human element of the two dimensional people seen on the online world.
10:56 Facebook’s role in prevention of lone wolf terrorism as in murder of Lee Rigby.
13:47 Rise of the lone wolf terrorist attack.
14:29 Security is the basis from which all our other liberties ultimately flow.
16:22 Use of modern technology by Jihadist and English far right parties.
20:42 Revelations from a study of Facebook supporters of anti-establishment far right parties.
23:31 Neo Nazi Paul playing to the audience, having a separate online and offline persona.
28:24 Tor and the Silk Road online market place pros and cons.
35:26 Problem of controlling an anonymous market place where anything can be bought and sold.
36:59 Surprised to learn of the power of the market to act in the interest of the consumer.
38:53 Jamie wouldn’t be surprised by a Silk Road app in the future.
40:24 Pornography online, research all in the interests of writing a book.
49:30 Pro-ana sites seemingly supportive communities, but dangerously destructive or deadly.
52:49 Ease of becoming sucked into online communities when searching for knowledge and support.
54:08 The journey most people make into child pornography.
58:50 Consequence of lowering barriers to entry of pornographic or drug access sites.
1:01:11 Jamie’s warning that people need to be aware of increasing normalisation of bad things.
1:02:25 Technology addiction awareness increasing.
1:04:09 Conclusions drawn upon coming to the end of writing the book.
1:07:43 Vilification issues for politicians communicating via the internet.
1:10:09 The future for everyone’s digital footprint.
1:12:43 Future society inequality of intelligent users of the internet and others addicted to its harmful effects.
1:14:34 Jamie’s digital tombstone will show that he just wanted to get people thinking.
1:16:06 Phone call to the 20 year old Jamie Bartlett.
1:17:31 Best advice Jamie has ever received.
1:19:02 Advice to the 20 year olds around the world who want to change the world.
1:20:56 How to access Jamie’s book.
1:25:04 Brian’s summing up.


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