The Web We Weave

Why We Must Reclaim the Internet from Moguls, Misanthropes, and Moral Panic

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By Jeff Jarvis

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$18.99

Price

$24.99 CAD

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  1. ebook $18.99 $24.99 CAD
  2. Hardcover $29.00 $39.00 CAD

A bold defense of the internet, arguing attempts to fix and regulate it are often misguided "essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of the internet" (Taylor Lorenz, author of Extremely Online)

The internet stands accused of dividing us, spying on us, making us stupid, and addicting our children. In response, the press and panicked politicians seek greater regulation and control, which could ruin the web before we are finished building it.
 
Jeff Jarvis is convinced we can have a saner conversation about the internet. Examining the web’s past, present, and future, he shows that many of the problems the media lays at the internet’s door are the result of our own failings. The internet did not make us hate; we brought our bias, bigotry, and prejudice with us online. That’s why even well-intentioned regulation will fail to fix hate speech and misinformation and may instead imperil the freedom of speech the internet affords to all. Once we understand the internet for what it is—a human network—we can reclaim it from the nerds, pundits, and pols who are in charge now and turn our attention where it belongs: to fostering community, conversation, and creativity online.  

The Web We Weave offers an antidote to today’s pessimism about the internet, outlining a bold vision for a world with a web that works for all of us. 

  • “It's fashionable these days to blame the Internet for many of society's woes, but as Jeff Jarvis points out in this fascinating book, the Internet is merely a mirror of everything we are, good and bad, fractious and collegial, angry, sad, and joyful. One of humanity's greatest inventions deserves to be protected and nurtured, so that it can continue to nourish us. I've been engaging in a weekly conversation with Jeff on our podcast for more than 15 years. In that time, we've debated many of the points in this book, and in every case Jeff deep historical expertise and nimble mind have won the day. He is the champion the Internet — and all of its users — deserve.”
    Leo Laporte, founder, TWiT Podcast Network
  • “Jarvis reminds us in no uncertain terms that the future of technology and society remains exactly where it always has: in our hands. In this timely, lucid, and hold-nothing-back book, Jarvis offers a wakeup call about what we all can — and must — do as we enter the age of AI.”
    John Palfrey, president, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • "In this incisive and groundbreaking book, Jeff Jarvis boldly resets our conversation about the internet, helping us find our way back to the hopes we once had for it. Backed by deep research, Jarvis defends the internet from its many critics, and he shows why panicked attempts to strictly regulate the net will backfire. Ultimately, Jarvis presents a striking vision for how we can build a web that truly works for everyone. This is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of the internet."
    Taylor Lorenz, author of Extremely Online
  • "The Web We Weave looks hard at real life on the Internet, the good and the bad. Jeff Jarvis looks past the PR stunts manufactured by powerful bad actors to focus on actual problems and possible solutions. The book shows how bad legislation and regulation often turns bad situations into worse ones."
    Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist
  • The Web We Weave powerfully challenges our penchant for pessimism, reminding us that the Internet once provided genuine hope and possibility for equity and mutuality. Jeff Jarvis brings our history and current moment into sharp focus to argue that if we can renew our sense of collective obligation - which we have the power to do - we might just be able to reclaim the Internet’s promise.”
    Charlton McIlwain, New York University
  • “Journalist, teacher, historian, critic, tech blogger, and optimist, Jeff Jarvis offers a richly documented and impassioned case for rejecting the overhyped fears that surround the Internet today. He argues that societal overreaction to disruptive technologies has antecedents through the centuries, from the printing press to electricity, the telegraph, bicycles, and radio. Leaving no one off the hook, Jarvis implores all stakeholders to become stewards of the Internet, to reclaim the good that it was—and still can be—through evidence-based rules and open-sourced offerings centered on humanity. Agree or disagree with his assertions, The Web We Weave challenges us to find real solutions."
    Susan Ness, principal, Susan Ness Strategies
  • "In The Web We Weave, Jarvis convenes an important conversation about what the Internet is and isn’t, and how its true nature informs possible remedies for prevalent ills such as hate speech and misinformation online. Rather than addressing these issues from a place of anxiety fueled by moral panics about technology, and relying on regulations that may hurt the very groups of people that we hope to protect, Jarvis urges us to recognize and reclaim our agency as users to build and foster positive and productive communities online. This is an important book for anyone who is interested in the social implications of internet technologies (including artificial intelligence), the philosophy of technology, freedom of expression, and media history."
    Christoph Mergerson, University of Maryland

On Sale
Oct 8, 2024
Page Count
272 pages
Publisher
Basic Books
ISBN-13
9781541604131

Jeff Jarvis

About the Author

Jeff Jarvis is a longtime journalist and leading expert on the internet. He blogs at Buzzmachine.com, cohosts the podcasts This Week in Google and AI Inside, and has written for the Guardian, the Atlantic, Nation, and Businessweek. The author of six books, including The Gutenberg Parenthesis and What Would Google Do?, he lives in New Jersey.  

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