This week on The Issue Is, the newest power players in the worlds of social media and California politics.
First, tech expert Jessica Naziri and Bloomberg reporter Katie Roof joins Elex Michaelson to discuss the launch of Meta’s new Threads app, a text platform meant to rival Twitter that garnered more than 70 million users in its first two days of release alone.
Naziri and Roof explain what is behind the historic launch and what it means for Twitter, which has faced and survived many copycat apps in the past. They also discuss a potential lawsuit by Elon Musk against the Mark Zuckerberg owned platform and what this all means for political discourse in the lead up to the 2024 election.
Next, Michaelson is joined by a rising name in the California legislator: Assemblyman Isaac Bryan. This week, Bryan was named Assembly Majority Leader under new Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas.
Bryan joins Michaelson to discuss his new position, his unique upbringing - as one of hundreds of foster siblings - his legislative priorities, and how he plans to bring change to Sacramento as one of the youngest members of the Assembly.
THE ISSUE IS: THREADS HAS HISTORIC LAUNCH
ROOF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's the network effect. I mean, Facebook's network is unrivaled, you had Instagram, which has 2 billion users on it, and even though just a fraction of them signed up, you already got to 70 million, and in short order. Some of the other sites like Blue Sky, which was started in part by Jack Dorsey, tried to create Twitter rivals, but they took the opposite approach where they were trying to keep it to a select group of people that were invite only, but as a result, you have a lot fewer people on it and a lot less people who can even join it and talk about it…"
NAZIRI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Let’s not forget, they launched at the most perfect time. I mean, right now, you see the moderation is 0-to-none on Twitter, Musk just a few days ago decided to have less views, you can only see about maybe like 600 tweets per day, and things are just going down really fast. And this is why one reason people are like, okay, I'm sick of this app, they're making it hard for me, I'm no longer verified, I have to pay-to-play, so many reasons for people to want to jump ship to a new app…"
THE ISSUE IS: CAN TWITTER AND THREADS CO-EXIST?
NAZIRI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think these are two separate apps. I don't think that they're equally on the same playing field. Twitter, I think of news and I think of now as a place where you go and there is actually, as Musk likes to say, less censorship, everyone can come on, it's freedom of speech. And then you have Threads, on the other hand, where it's more celebrities, it's more influencers... there's two different things going on here…"
THE ISSUE IS: SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE
ROOF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think it's very possible that one site will have more of a right-wing bent and one site will have more of a left-wing bent, but you have a lot of leftists already on Twitter, you have a lot of right-wing people who are using Instagram, so I don't think it's going to be the case where it's only one or only the other…"
THE ISSUE IS: A UNIQUE UPBRINGING
ASM. BRYAN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "My mother was 16 years old. She survived a rape. She got pregnant with me. She lived in deep poverty. She couldn't keep me. She gave me up. I went to two different foster homes, my second foster home as an infant. I was adopted in the Bryan family - they did foster care for 26 years, they adopted nine of us, I had hundreds of foster siblings growing up in the Bryan family. We moved a lot to make ends meet. I went to a lot of different schools….
"I’ve seen the way systems fail folks. I've seen the way systems have failed my siblings, my foster siblings, and to be in a position now to be able to change those systems and make them the kind of civic infrastructures that allow for everyone to thrive is an opportunity I'm looking forward to…."
THE ISSUE IS: GENERATIONAL CHANGE IN SACRAMENTO
ASM. BRYAN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Change has always been intergenerational, right? It's been multiracial. It's people who come from rural areas and densely populated areas. It's about love, compassion and uplifting the humanity in all of us, and that's what I'm going to try to do as majority leader. And I'm grateful to my colleagues for their trust in my ability to do that…
"I came up as a community organizer in a very real way, trying to organize my neighbors, trying to organize L.A. County, trying to push for the changes that we needed. And when I became an elected official, it occurred to me that oftentimes that's a license to abandon your organizing days. For me, that's not the case - I go to the same places I used to go, I say hi to the same neighbors I've always said hi to, and I know that real power isn't held by me or my colleagues, it's held by the community. I never forget that…."
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.