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Anyone who wishes to destroy legitimate political and social power has a new weapon. It is the anarchist's dream, a force so shockingly effective that its destructive power seems limitless. Scientific proof is powerless in front of it; democratic validity is bulldozed by it; leaders are humiliated by it.
What we used to call influence has become something violently toxic. Renée DiResta gives us a powerful original framing to explain how it now shapes public opinion through a virtual rumor mill of niche propagandists. While they position themselves as trustworthy “Davids”, their reach, influence, and economics make them classic Goliaths, invisible rulers who create bespoke realities that control the destinies of millions of people, their work driven by a simple maxim: “if you make it trend, you make it true.”
By revealing the machinery and the dynamics of the interplay between influencers, algorithms, and online crowds, DiResta vividly illustrates the way belief in the fundamental legitimacy of institutions that make society work is deliberately undermined. This alternate system for shaping public opinion, unexamined until now, is rewriting the relationship between the people and their government in profoundly disturbing ways.
From taking on and defeating California’s anti-vaxxers a decade ago to uncovering the ways that China and Russia target the American public and our elections, – and now herself a target of Congressmen Jim Jordan and hyper-partisans of the lunatic fringe – DiResta has not merely been an observer of the machinery promulgating the Big Lie and the unyielding culture wars. As analyst, investigator, and participant, she provides unprecedented insight into the way influencers shape the opinion and behavior of massive crowds, with the power to drive those crowds into battle – while bearing no responsibility for the consequences.
- On Sale
- Jun 11, 2024
- Page Count
- 432 pages