Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy
by Siva Vaidhyanathan
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
by Jaron Lanier
Facebook is a company that has lost control—not of its business, which has suffered remarkably little from its series of unfortunate events since the 2016 election, but of its consequences. Its old slogan, “Move fast and break things,” was changed a few years ago to the less memorable “Move fast with stable infra.” Around the world, however, Facebook continues to break many things indeed. In Myanmar, hatred whipped up on Facebook Messenger has driven ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. In India, false child abduction rumors on Facebook’s WhatsApp service have incited mobs to lynch innocent victims. In the Philippines, Turkey, and other receding democracies, gangs of “patriotic trolls” use Facebook to spread disinformation and terrorize opponents. And in the United States, the platform’s advertising tools remain conduits for subterranean propaganda.
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
by Safiya Umoja Noble
Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor
by Virginia Eubanks
At the simplest level, an algorithm is a sequence of steps for solving a problem. When people say they’re worried about the power of algorithms, however, they’re talking about the application of sophisticated, often opaque, software programs to enormous data sets. These programs employ advanced statistical methods and machine-learning techniques to pick out patterns and correlations, which they use to make predictions. Predictive algorithms are increasingly central to our lives. They determine everything from what ads we see on the Internet, to whether we are flagged for increased security screening at the airport, to our medical diagnoses and credit scores.
Because it has been used so rarely, and because it is a power entrusted to Congress, not the courts, impeachment as a legal process is poorly understood. There are no judicial opinions that create precedents for how and when to proceed with it. Past cases are subject to competing and often contradictory interpretations. Some might even be tempted to argue that because impeachment is ultimately political, it cannot be considered in legal terms at all. That extreme view cannot be right. Impeachment must be a legal procedure because it derives from specific constitutional directives.
The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News—and Divided a Country
by Gabriel Sherman
As she prepared to go live on the final night of the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Megyn Kelly found herself at the center of two converging stories. That afternoon, Rupert Murdoch had announced to Fox News staff around the world that Roger Ailes, the network’s cofounder and CEO, was resigning …
The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads
by Tim Wu
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
by Antonio García Martínez
The old cliché about advertising was, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” The new cliché is, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.” In an attention economy, you pay for free content and services with your time. The compensation isn’t very good.
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
by Sherry Turkle
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
by Sherry Turkle
We check our phones 221 times a day—an average of every 4.3 minutes—according to a UK study. This number actually may be too low, since people tend to underestimate their own mobile usage. In a 2015 Gallup survey, 61 percent of people said they checked their phones less frequently than others they knew. Our transformation into device people has happened with unprecedented suddenness.