As corporations such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google gain an increasing and unprecedented amount of power and influence over the public, what does this mean for democracy?
In a world of big data and fake news, where do we source our information from, and who do we believe? Close on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the struggle between digital technologies and democracy seems more relevant than ever.
Join Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media and best-selling author, to unpick what impact this dissemination of very individual and personalised information is having on journalism, politics, society and democracy as a whole.
Jamie Bartlett’s new book The People Vs. Tech argues that the internet is killing democracy, and proposes radical ways in which we can get a firm handle on digital disruption and its far reaching effects.
‘This book could not have come at a better moment... The People Vs Tech makes clear that there is still time – just – for us to take back control.’ - Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times
The internet was meant to set us free.
Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. But have we unwittingly handed too much away to shadowy powers behind a wall of code, all manipulated by a handful of Silicon Valley utopians, ad men, and venture capitalists? And, in light of recent data breach scandals around companies like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, what does that mean for democracy, our delicately balanced system of government that was created long before big data, total information and artificial intelligence? In this urgent polemic, Jamie Bartlett argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society is weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will.
The People Vs Tech is an enthralling account of how our fragile political system is being threatened by the digital revolution. Bartlett explains that by upholding six key pillars of democracy, we can save it before it is too late. We need to become active citizens; uphold a shared democratic culture; protect free elections; promote equality; safeguard competitive and civic freedoms; and trust in a sovereign authority. This essential book shows that the stakes couldn’t be higher and that, unless we radically alter our course, democracy will join feudalism, supreme monarchies and communism as just another political experiment that quietly disappeared.
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