Tech Panic: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Facebook and the Future

Robby Soave. Threshold, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-1-982159-59-7
Reason editor Soave (Panic Attack) argues in this lucid if one-sided defense of Big Tech that increased regulation of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets will do more harm than good. Contending that the “decentralization of authority” brought about by social media has helped people to exercise their freedoms and made U.S. democracy more participatory than it was a generation ago, Soave expresses concerns that a more intensive fight against disinformation will end up stifling free speech. He cites the rise of Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement as examples of how social media provides people with unprecedented opportunities to organize and effect change, contends that allegations of false information spread by Russian agents on Facebook altering the 2016 U.S. presidential election are overblown, and claims that existing regulatory efforts, including the $5.7 million fine levied in February 2020 against TikTok’s predecessor for illegally harvesting data, are enough to hold Silicon Valley accountable. Though he doesn’t fully reckon with the ways Facebook, Google, and Amazon have stifled competition, Soave raises worthy free speech concerns. This sober account strikes a persuasive note of caution. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/27/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-5961-0
Book - 978-1-9821-5960-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-3446-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-3448-2
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