With Facebook making headlines and lawmakers considering regulation, Oxford University Press this week confirmed that it is crashing Siva Vaidhyanathan’s Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy for a June publication, with a May 15 ship date. The book had been scheduled for a fall publication.
OUP president Niko Pfund told PW that the publisher was initially reluctant to move the book up, as they didn’t want it to appear that the book was “hastily assembled” in reaction to recent events.
“Anti-Social Media is a book that has been years in the making, the result of much thought, study, and conversation,” Pfund says. “After Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill, however, it became clear to us that Siva’s perspective needed to be part of the conversation."
The final decision to move the book up, he added, was made after some “frenetic teleconferences” from the London Book Fair, where the author was featured in a Q&A in PW’s Show Daily, and where social media, privacy rights, and data collection were part of the professional conversation as the European Union prepares to implement new protections under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May.
In his recent interview with PW, Vaidhyanathan, who in 2010 published The Googlization of Everything: And Why We Should Worry, described the book as the first to look at Facebook’s global impact in a world where social media and other information tech companies hold enormous power over our lives.
While plans are still being made for the launch, OUP officials say they will have ARC’s to give away in the ABA Bookseller Room at BookExpo, and added that Vaidhyanathan will keynote the Association of University Presses annual conference on June 17, in San Francisco. As of this writing, the book was listed as the #1 new release on Amazon in the social science category.