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How Tech Amplifies Discontent, Disrupts Democracy—And What We Can Do About It
Formats and Prices
- Hardcover $29.00 $37.00 CAD
- ebook $15.99 $20.99 CAD
- Audiobook Download (Unabridged)
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The original internet was not designed to make us upset, distracted, confused, and outraged. But something unexpected happened at the turn of the last decade, when a handful of small features were quietly launched at social media companies with little fanfare. Together, they triggered a cascading set of dramatic changes to how media, politics, and society itself operate—inadvertently creating an Outrage Machine we cannot ignore.
Author, designer, and media researcher Tobias Rose-Stockwell shares the defining shifts caused by these technologies, and how they have ignited a society-wide crisis of trust. Drawing from cutting-edge research and vivid personal anecdotes, Rose-Stockwell illustrates how social media has bound us to an unprecedented system of public performance, training us to react rather than reflect, and attack rather than debate.
Outrage Machine reveals the triggers and tactics used to exploit our anger, unpacking how these tools hack our deep tribal instincts and psychological vulnerabilities, and how they have become opportunistic platforms for authoritarians and a threat to democratic norms everywhere.
But this book is not just about the problem. In a story spanning continents and generations, Rose-Stockwell explores how every new media technology disrupts our ability to make sense of the world, from the printing press to the telegraph, from radio to television. Outrage Machine situates social media within a historical cycle of confusion, violence, and emerging tolerance. Using clear language and powerful illustrations, this book reveals the magnitude of the challenges we face, while offering realistic solutions and a promising pathway out.
“A masterful appraisal of how social media platforms feed on users’ anger. . . . The historical perspective enlightens, and the author’s sensible suggestions—including recommendations to make algorithms more transparent and to rigorously verify that ‘all users are real humans’—chart a way out of the morass. The result is a superior take on how to tame social media.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred)
- “Based on solid research, this is a disturbing examination of the destructive impact of social media.”—Kirkus
- “A riveting exploration of the double-edged sword of our time: social media. This book provides a road map of how we got here, what’s really at stake, and how we can find our way out. An absolutely urgent read.” —Ryder Carroll, New York Times bestselling author of The Bullet Journal Method
- “With insight and sensitivity, Tobias offers a deep examination of how digital technologies are shaping our perceptions, relationships, and even our sense of personal identity. This book offers a vital perspective that’s needed for us to build a more humane future.”—Tristan Harris, cofounder of Center for Humane Technology, cohost of Your Undivided Attention podcast, as seen in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma
- “Tobias is a master of intuition and metaphor. This is a vivid and unforgettable book.”—Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist at New York University and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Righteous Mind
- On Sale
- Jul 11, 2023
- Page Count
- 416 pages
- Legacy Lit