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The Week Unwrapped: Twitter vs India, digital amnesia and sleepless nights

Why is the Indian government suppressing social media? Have we given up using our memories? And why are so few of us getting a good night’s sleep?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Twitter vs. India

After a series of attempts to force social media platforms to block content it objects to, the Indian government is facing a court challenge from Twitter. Until now, Twitter has had a mixed record in responding to blocking orders, sometimes complying with them and at other times resisting. Now, the company is seeking a judicial review, saying it is being asked to block content that is not illegal under Indian law.

Digital amnesia

Are we now so reliant on our smart phones and digital gadgets that they will ultimately change how our memories work? Neuro-scientists are divided on the issue, with some arguing we have always offloaded our memories onto external devices, such as simply writing down notes, while others argue the less we use complex systems such as episodic memory the greater we are at risk of dementia.

Sleepless in San Francisco?

California has passed a new law requiring the school day to start later so that the state’s teenagers can sleep longer. Americans are, apparently, in the midst of a “great sleep recession” – only 35% of them report sleeping between seven and nine hours on average, according to Gallup’s most recent report on the subject. So what is causing all this sleeplessness? What are its impacts? And what could we do to change it?

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