Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation Details

From a rising star at The New Yorker , a deeply immersive chronicle of how the optimistic entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley set out to create a free and democratic internet—and how the cynical propagandists of the alt-right exploited that freedom to propel the extreme into the mainstream.

For several years, Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, has been embedded in two worlds. The first is the world of social-media entrepreneurs, who, acting out of naïvete and reckless ambition, upended all traditional means of receiving and transmitting information. The second is the world of the people he calls "the gate crashers"—the conspiracists, white supremacists, and nihilist trolls who have become experts at using social media to advance their corrosive agenda. Antisocial ranges broadly—from the first mass-printed books to the trending hashtags of the present; from secret gatherings of neo-Fascists to the White House press briefing room—and traces how the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then how it becomes reality. Combining the keen narrative detail of Bill Buford's Among the Thugs and the sweep of George Packer's The Unwinding, Antisocial reveals how the boundaries between technology, media, and politics have been erased, resulting in a deeply broken informational landscape—the landscape in which we all now live. Marantz shows how alienated young people are led down the rabbit hole of online radicalization, and how fringe ideas spread—from anonymous corners of social media to cable TV to the President's Twitter feed. Marantz also sits with the creators of social media as they start to reckon with the forces they've unleashed. Will they be able to solve the communication crisis they helped bring about, or are their interventions too little too late?

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Title:Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation
ISBN:9780525522263
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    Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation Reviews

  • Neil Griffin

    Right before the election, I was sharing a meal with one of the smarter people I know. He's a little younger and a bit more online than I am, so sometimes our conversations go to places that surprise ...

  • Murtaza

    This is a difficult book to review. Depending on ones level of prior familiarity with the subject the author is discussing, it will feel either familiar or revelatory. For me it probably fell more in ...

  • Sandra

    We are presented with a torturously detailed narration centered around the usual suspects, Deplorable Twitter personalities, and written by (who better than) someone who truly detests them, and is not...

  • Mehrsa

    I've been reading a lot of these exposes recently as we all "normies" or the "un-redpilled" all of a sudden discover this community of the alt-right. This one is among the better of these books becaus...

  • Jon-Erik

    This is the book you want to read about the on-line underground.It is superior in everyday to the rantish Troll Nation or the too personal, too disorganized Troll Hunting. Trolls are just part of the ...

  • Anthoferjea

    When I first read Marantz' "The Virologist" four years ago I was immediately hooked. He became one of the New Yorker writers I was most interested in, along with Hua Hsu, Jia Tolentino, and Emily Nuss...

  • Ryan Lackey

    Marantz had pretty good access to a lot of interesting (bad) people, but didn't make particularly good use of that access. He seems better when writing about people he likes, but even less objective t...

  • Matt Schiavenza

    Who is the alt-right? They're conservative extremists, sure, and most are outright racists and anti-Semites. They hate political correctness. They despise feminism. They think the general idea of Amer...

  • Jason Sullivan

    The themes of Antisocial are probably familiar to anyone who's spent more than 20 minutes on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit in the past 5 years, but the interviews and other details that come from Maran...

  • Hannah

    Really important for anyone who spends time thinking about the future of media, the internet, and politics. Or for like anyone. Marantz is pretty funny which was great because the content of this book...