IRL: Online Life is Real Life

Host Manoush Zomorodi shares real stories of life online and real talk about the future of the Web.

IRL is an original podcast from Firefox.

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Season 4

7: What if women built the internet?

All the things we love on the internet — from websites that give us information to services that connect us — are made stronger when their creators come with different points of view. With this in mind, we asked ourselves and our guests: “What would the internet look like if it was built by mostly women?”

Witchsy founders Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin start us off with a story about the stunt they had to pull to get their site launched — and counter the sexist attitudes they fought against along the way. Brenda Darden Wilkerson recalls her life in tech in the 80s and 90s, and shares her experience leading AnitaB.org, an organization striving to get more women hired in tech. Coraline Ada Ehmke created the Contributor Covenant, a voluntary code of conduct being increasingly adopted by the open source community. She explains why she felt it necessary, and how it’s been received; and Mighty Networks CEO Gina Bianchini rolls her eyes at being called a “lady CEO,” and tells us why diversifying the boardroom is great for business and innovation.

Show Notes

Coraline Ada Ehmke has been an open source programmer for over 20 years and created the Contributor Covenant. You can also learn about Mozilla’s own community participation guidelines.

Meritocracy as an open source practice is briefly mentioned in this episode. Mozilla has taken steps to discontinue using the word “meritocracy” as a way to describe our governance and leadership structures. Here’s why.

Mozilla is dedicated diversity and inclusion on the web and in the workplace. Learn about our diversity journey.

Firefox is open source and driven by a community of volunteers and contributors. However, in the past decade, representation of women in open source has inched up merely 1.5 percentage points to a shockingly low 3%. Read about the importance of — and efforts to realize — open source gender inclusion.

Like society, the Internet grows stronger with every new voice. What’s healthy and unhealthy on the web when it comes to inclusion? Mozilla’s Internet Health Report has some of the answers.

And, check out this article from Common Sense Media, on kids and technology use.

Season 3

  • Examine how the internet is changing our minds, our votes, and our democracies – all over the world. Listen now.

  • Today’s teens are the first humans who have spent their entire lives online. Find out what it's like growing up in the age of screens. Listen now.

  • Veronica Belmont and Franchesca Ramsey meet the people working to make the web — and world — friendlier places. Listen now.

  • Veronica Belmont and Peter Rojas explore how the Internet is building and confusing our relationships. Listen now.

  • There’s a new currency in town (and no, we’re not talking about Bitcoin). We’re talking about attention. Listen now.

  • One of the most successful recruitment tools the U.S. Army ever made was… a video game? Find out how gaming elements in tech have infiltrated our online and offline lives. Listen now.

  • Explore the tradeoffs you make online everyday, and learn why on earth your email inbox is filling up with privacy policies. Listen now.

  • Get a sneak peak at what Veronica Belmont will cover in Season 3 of IRL, because online life is real life. Listen now.

Season 2

  • How to stop the spread of disinformation online. Listen now.

  • How technology can create, and can break, our filter bubbles. Listen now.

  • When bad code spreads disinformation and bias, it’s never something that “the algorithm did.” It’s something people did. Listen now.

  • On the Internet no one knows you’re a dog, as the old joke goes. But does anonymity truly exist on the web anymore? Listen now.

  • From Snapchat filters to Apple’s Face ID, biometric technology plays a growing role in our everyday lives. What do we actually give up when we upload our face to these apps? Listen now.

  • Recent reports estimate that over 50% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. Veronica Belmont investigates the impact of growing up online. Listen now.

  • Most website visitors aren’t human. They’re bots. Here’s how to spot them. Listen now.

Season 1