Juliana Chan Erikson

Juliana is a correspondent and a member of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Juliana resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area with her husband and 3 children.

Virtual Reality Church

A congregation of avatars

Religion | Pioneering pastors are using virtual reality to reach an unconventional group of people
by Juliana Chan Erikson
Posted 2/11/21, 12:44 pm

In the 21 minutes that his virtual reality Sunday service was still functioning, Pastor Bill Willenbrock had to shush a group talking in the back of the room, ask a small wolf to get off the pulpit, and kick out a doppelgänger yelling obscenities. Minutes later, his virtual reality church world crashed, leaving about 20 attendees (including this reporter) frozen in their pews. 

Bringing the gospel to virtual reality has not been easy.

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Jaap Arriens/Sipa USA/AP

Canceled and deplatformed

Technology | Will online conservative voices be silenced after right-wing groups stormed Capitol Hill?
by Juliana Chan Erikson
Posted 1/28/21, 08:02 am

After a Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C., left five people dead, major technology companies moved swiftly to cut connections with right-wing extremist groups and anyone deemed associated with them. Within days, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google had suspended accounts linked to former President Donald Trump and the right-leaning social network Parler.

The post-riot purge raised the question: Would conservative voices be broadly silenced online? The answer depends on where you look.

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Julia de Boer

Eyes on education

Technology | Facial recognition technology offers potential safety benefits, but most U.S. schools remain wary
by Juliana Chan Erikson
Posted 1/14/21, 03:16 pm

Matthew DeBoer never intended to be a spokesperson for facial recognition. Back in 2018, the principal of St. Therese Catholic Academy, a K-8 school in Seattle, was looking to upgrade the academy’s aging security system when he heard about an offer from tech firm RealNetworks to pilot test its facial recognition technology.

With support from parents and staff, DeBoer signed up and installed facial recognition by the school’s external doors.

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