Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy - Siva Vaidhyanathan

Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy


A fully updated paperback edition that includes coverage of the key developments of the past two years, including the political controversies that swirled around Facebook with increasing intensity in the Trump era.

If you wanted to build a machine that would distribute propaganda to millions of people, distract them from important issues, energize hatred and bigotry, erode social trust, undermine respectable journalism, foster doubts about science, and engage in massive surveillance all at once, you would make
something a lot like Facebook. Of course, none of that was part of the plan. In this fully updated paperback edition of Antisocial Media, including a new chapter on the increasing recognition of--and reaction against--Facebook's power in the last couple of years, Siva Vaidhyanathan explains how
Facebook devolved from an innocent social site hacked together by Harvard students into a force that, while it may make personal life just a little more pleasurable, makes democracy a lot more challenging. It's an account of the hubris of good intentions, a missionary spirit, and an ideology that
sees computer code as the universal solvent for all human problems. And it's an indictment of how social media has fostered the deterioration of democratic culture around the world, from facilitating Russian meddling in support of Trump's election to the exploitation of the platform by murderous
authoritarians in Burma and the Philippines. Both authoritative and trenchant, Antisocial Media shows how Facebook's mission went so wrong.

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A fully updated paperback edition that includes coverage of the key developments of the past two years, including the political controversies that swirled around Facebook with increasing intensity in the Trump era.

If you wanted to build a machine that would distribute propaganda to millions of people, distract them from important issues, energize hatred and bigotry, erode social trust, undermine respectable journalism, foster doubts about science, and engage in massive surveillance all at once, you would make
something a lot like Facebook. Of course, none of that was part of the plan. In this fully updated paperback edition of Antisocial Media, including a new chapter on the increasing recognition of--and reaction against--Facebook's power in the last couple of years, Siva Vaidhyanathan explains how
Facebook devolved from an innocent social site hacked together by Harvard students into a force that, while it may make personal life just a little more pleasurable, makes democracy a lot more challenging. It's an account of the hubris of good intentions, a missionary spirit, and an ideology that
sees computer code as the universal solvent for all human problems. And it's an indictment of how social media has fostered the deterioration of democratic culture around the world, from facilitating Russian meddling in support of Trump's election to the exploitation of the platform by murderous
authoritarians in Burma and the Philippines. Both authoritative and trenchant, Antisocial Media shows how Facebook's mission went so wrong.

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