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An Ugly Truth

An Ugly Truth

2021 . Business & Economics, Leadership, Corporate & Business History, Computers, Internet . Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang

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An Ugly Truth

About the book

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER // WINNER OF THE SABEW BEST IN BUSINESS AWARD A Book of the Year: Fortune, Foreign Affairs, The Times (London), Cosmopolitan, TechCrunch, WIRED "The ultimate takedown." - New York Times Book Review Award-winning New York Times reporters Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang unveil the tech story of our times in a riveting, behind-the-scenes exposé that offers the definitive account of Facebook's fall from grace. Once one of Silicon Valley's greatest success stories, Facebook has been under constant fire for the past five years, roiled by controversies and crises. It turns out that while the tech giant was connecting the world, they were also mishandling users' data, spreading fake news, and amplifying dangerous, polarizing hate speech. The company, many said, had simply lost its way. But the truth is far more complex. Leadership decisions enabled, and then attempted to deflect attention from, the crises. Time after time, Facebook's engineers were instructed to create tools that encouraged people to spend as much time on the platform as possible, even as those same tools boosted inflammatory rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and partisan filter bubbles. And while consumers and lawmakers focused their outrage on privacy breaches and misinformation, Facebook solidified its role as the world's most voracious data-mining machine, posting record profits, and shoring up its dominance via aggressive lobbying efforts. Drawing on their unrivaled sources, Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang take readers inside the complex court politics, alliances and rivalries within the company to shine a light on the fatal cracks in the architecture of the tech behemoth. Their explosive, exclusive reporting led them to a shocking conclusion: The missteps of the last five years were not an anomaly but an inevitability--this is how Facebook was built to perform. In a period of great upheaval, growth has remained the one constant under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Both have been held up as archetypes of uniquely 21st century executives--he the tech "boy genius" turned billionaire, she the ultimate woman in business, an inspiration to millions through her books and speeches. But sealed off in tight circles of advisers and hobbled by their own ambition and hubris, each has stood by as their technology is coopted by hate-mongers, criminals and corrupt political regimes across the globe, with devastating consequences. In An Ugly Truth, they are at last held accountable.

Year:

2021

Language:

English

Publisher:

HarperCollinsPublishers

Pages:

352

ISBN:

0062960679 (ISBN13: 9780062960672)

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Reviews

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Morten Schroeder image

9 months ago

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Super interesting insight into the inner workings of Facebook and their role in online ‘mediation’! It’s a borderline 9 I’d say! It definitely finally cemented a few things for me concerning the role Facebook played in electing Mr. 🥕 as US president. The knowledge of fraud and election meddling that Facebook was fully aware of, but did nothing about, astonished me! The book also showed me how much Facebook in their endeavor to show they’re impartial (“we are fighting for the freedom of speech”) they actually were the opposite. Republicans were blaming them for left-wing so they made a case out of not censoring right-wing propaganda even when that propaganda was completely and utterly false. In my opinion that’s not being impartial - but in fact the opposite. The refusal to censor lies meant they basically allowed lies to be spread like wildfire. They even KNEW that lies were more ‘viral’ than truth. I’m fully convinced (after reading this book) that Donald Trump would not have been elected if Facebook had stepped in earlier - and they easily could have but refused! @Jean-BaptisteRieu @AnnieSpencer @MarkusMarañonStraarup

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Annie Spencer image

8 months ago

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A fascinating insight into conversations that happened behind the doors of Facebook. Squarely in the camp of 'corporate drama' books, gives you a peak into how Facebook works and where their priorities lie. It is astounding to think how your typical workplace frustrations at facebook (your boss not escalating issues up the chain... tensions between different BUs.. etc etc) have truly global political consequences that will have changed the chart of the world order.

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New York Times Best Sellers image

11 months ago

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Two investigative journalists for The New York Times look at Facebook’s fall from grace.

HG

Harish Goud

4 months ago

image8

Superb

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