Iowa caucus tech issue: what happened?

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, talks about voting and technology!

What tech issue caused all the problems at the Iowa caucuses?

Well, seems like what happened is a Democratic app developer company built an app to try to process the results and they coded it badly. They released it too late. They didn't train people. It crashed. It was a big mess. And yes, it is the apps fault. They also named it "Shadow," which is insane.


Is a low-tech voting system safer than a high-tech one?

No. I still think we need high-tech voting. I am still in favor of electronic voting. I do think you need paper ballot backups, so people trust it. And you do need to protect it from hackers. But high-tech voting, please, let's get there.

What is Section 230 and should we repeal it?

That refers to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. It is an old law and is an important section of it. What it does is it gives the social media companies, or any platform company really, protection over things that people say on the sites. So, on wire.com, if you write something really nasty or libelous in a comment, we aren't responsible for it. Or on Facebook, if you say something, Facebook has limited liability over what you say. A lot of people want to get rid of it because it means a lot of bad stuff gets posted online. They also want to get rid of it because everybody hates the social media companies right now. Should they get rid of it? No. Maybe modify it. But we do need protections or else it would be impossible to run this website or a platform like Facebook.

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