Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

From a rising star at The New Yorker , a deeply immersive chronicle of how the optimistic entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley set out to create a free and democratic internet--and how the cynical propagandists of the alt-right exploited that freedom to propel the extreme into the mainstream.

For several years, Andrew Marantz, a New Yorker staff writer, has been embedded in two worlds. The first is the world of social-media entrepreneurs, who, acting out of na�vete and reckless ambition, upended all traditional means of receiving and transmitting information. The second is the world of the people he calls "the gate crashers"--the conspiracists, white supremacists, and nihilist trolls who have become experts at using social media to advance their corrosive agenda. Antisocial ranges broadly--from the first mass-printed books to the trending hashtags of the present; from secret gatherings of neo-Fascists to the White House press briefing room--and traces how the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then how it becomes reality. Combining the keen narrative detail of Bill Buford's Among the Thugs and the sweep of George Packer's The Unwinding, Antisocial reveals how the boundaries between technology, media, and politics have been erased, resulting in a deeply broken informational landscape--the landscape in which we all now live. Marantz shows how alienated young people are led down the rabbit hole of online radicalization, and how fringe ideas spread--from anonymous corners of social media to cable TV to the President's Twitter feed. Marantz also sits with the creators of social media as they start to reckon with the forces they've unleashed. Will they be able to solve the communication crisis they helped bring about, or are their interventions too little too late?

Title:Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation
ISBN:9780525522263
Format Type:

    Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation Reviews

  • Murtaza

    This is a difficult book to review. Depending on ones level of prior familiarity with the subject the author is discussing, it will feel either familiar or revelatory. For me it probably fell more in ...

  • Neil Griffin

    Right before the election, I was sharing a meal with one of the smarter people I know. He's a little younger and a bit more online than I am, so sometimes our conversations go to places that surprise ...

  • Jon-Erik

    This is the book you want to read about the on-line underground.It is superior in everyday to the rantish Troll Nation or the too personal, too disorganized Troll Hunting. Trolls are just part of the ...

  • Mehrsa

    I've been reading a lot of these exposes recently as we all "normies" or the "un-redpilled" all of a sudden discover this community of the alt-right. This one is among the better of these books becaus...

  • Annarella

    An interesting and fascinating book that about our times and helps to understand what's going on line.Even if it's about USA the content can be applied to different countries and it's a clear depictio...

  • Mindo'ermatter

    No question the author personally struggled with this book, which combines several short loosely related pieces (some adapted from either previously published articles or as article preparations). The...

  • James Beggarly

    An amazing book that digs deep into on line life of the fringe sites on the right and how they find a brief moment in the sun as their candidate makes it all the way to the White House. The book shows...

  • Dorkthropology

    A book that covers a broad swathe of shitty people all down the hard right radicalism slide. Alt-right, alt-light, straight up nazis, and various dipshits in between.Marantz covers a lot of gross peop...

  • John Spiller

    Although by no means definitive, "Antisocial" examines how a cadre of "alt-right" insurgents, white supremacists, and general shit-stirrers exploited the "anything goes" mindset of social media to dis...

  • Ryan Lackey

    Marantz had pretty good access to a lot of interesting (bad) people, but didn't make particularly good use of that access. He seems better when writing about people he likes, but even less objective t...