Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy

Little, Brown. Apr. 2017. 320p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780316275774. $29; ebk. ISBN 9780316275743. ECON
Taplin's (director emeritus, Univ. of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab) prose is like a web search: he pulls in multiple topics, uses frequent citations, and fires ideas at lightning speed. In the end, readers understand how this swirl of ideas, facts, and mistruths describe Facebook, Google, and Amazon as anarcho-libertarian economic monopolies. Lawless digital companies steal, hoard, and sell popular culture. Online monopolies rob artists, writers, and musicians of payment and sell information that online users unwittingly provide for free. Libertarian robber barons such as PayPal founder Peter Thiel, Larry Page of Google, and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, worship unregulated online and real-world markets, and fiercely fight any attempt at democratic control. The dream of an Internet of ideas has morphed into an intrusive and spectacularly profitable market for those who possess digital content.
VERDICT This fast-paced dissection of the inner workings of the Internet will fascinate anyone using it—and make them want to drop off the grid.
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