An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination

Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. Harper, $29.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-296067-2
New York Times reporters Frenkel and Kang debut with a paragon of investigative journalism in this insiders’ account of the scandals and toxic culture at social media giant Facebook. Compiling interviews with former and current employees as well as investors, regulators, and lawmakers, the authors offer an unvarnished view of the company’s callous business practices, most notably the exploitation of users’ data, their “merciless” overthrows of competitors, and the “powerful monopoly” that resulted. They recap headline-grabbing events such as the discovery of Russian hackers’ use of the platform and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Less familiar (and more riveting) anecdotes include a contract employee leaking a memo to the press, who was then caught by Facebook’s “rat catcher,” Sonya Ahuja, and fired, and former vice president of global communications Elliot Schrage threatening a representative from Common Sense Media who was concerned about protecting children from the potential harms of social media. And though CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg refused to be interviewed, both come vividly to life, the latter a “master manager” and advertising guru, the former an operator who’s affable in public and ruthless behind the scenes. The result is a work of impeccable research and relentless reporting. (July)
Reviewed on : 07/16/2021
Release date: 07/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-296070-2
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