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DIGITAL DISCONNECT: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet against Democracy - featuring Robert McChesney
DIGITAL DISCONNECT - based on the acclaimed book by media scholar Robert McChesney, trains its sights on the relationship between the internet and democracy in the age of fake news, filter bubbles, and Facebook security breaches. In a wide-ranging analysis that moves from the development of the internet as a publicly funded project in the late 1960s to its full-scale commercialization today, McChesney traces how the democratizing potential of the web is being radically compromised by the logic of capitalism and the unaccountable power of a handful of telecom and tech monopolies. The result is an indispensable classroom resource - a vital tool for helping students make sense of a technological revolution that’s radically transforming virtually aspect of human communication.
While most debates about the internet continue to focus on issues like the personal impact of internet addiction or the questionable data-mining practices of individual companies like Facebook, Digital Disconnect raises bigger questions about the political impact of the corporate and commercial interests that now dominate the internet. Along the way, it examines the ongoing attack on net neutrality by telecom monopolies like Comcast and Verizon; explores how internet giants like Facebook and Google have amassed huge profits by surreptitiously collecting personal data and selling it to advertisers; and shows how these companies have routinely colluded with the national security state to advance covert mass surveillance programs.
Even more urgently, Digital Disconnect clarifies how the rise of social media as a leading information source has worked to isolate people into ideological filter bubbles and elevate fake news at the expense of real journalism. At a time when debates about the questionable business practices of telecom and tech companies are moving to center stage like never before, Digital Disconnect raises crucial questions about who gets to control the internet and what it means for our democracy.
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