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The Chaos Machine

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529416404

Price: £12.99

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‘The Chaos Machine is an essential book for our times’ – Ezra Klein

The Chaos Machine is the story of how the world was driven mad by social media. The election of populists like Trump and Bolsonaro; strife and genocide in countries like Myanmar; the rampant spread of COVID-19 conspiracy theories as deadly as the pandemic itself; all of these are products of a breakdown in our social and political lives, a breakdown driven by the apps, companies and algorithms that compete constantly for our attention.

Max Fisher is a leading New York Times technology reporter whose work has covered the way that social media sites – driven increasingly by artificial intelligence rather than human ingenuity – push users towards more and more extreme positions, deepening the divisions in society in pursuit of greater engagement and profit. With extraordinary access to the most powerful players in Silicon Valley, and with testimonies from around the world of the havoc being wreaked by our online selves, The Chaos Machine shows us how we got to this uniquely perilous moment – and how we might get out of it.

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Reviews

Social media isn't just changing our lives. It's changing the world, and even its creators and would-be overseers have only the foggiest ideas about how. In this meticulously reported, grippingly told account, Max Fisher chases the results across continents, and paints a disturbing picture of not just where we are, but where we're going. The Chaos Machine is an essential book for our times
Ezra Klein, author of the New York Times bestseller Why We’re Polarized
Max Fisher blends together deep reporting, riveting stories, and a global canvas in this gripping and definitive work on the damage wrought by social media. The Chaos Machine is essential reading if you want to understand a force that is reshaping the world and the very real consequences it is having on people everywhere
Ben Rhodes, author of the New York Times bestseller The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House Date
In this timely book, Max Fisher reveals how powerful social-media giants set all of humanity on an alternative course to the future. The Chaos Machine boldly exposes how a few technology companies chose profit over people, helped spread salacious misinformation, and ultimately ripped the fabric of society apart. I hope everyone will read this important investigation with an open mind, because we must choose a different path forward, and fast
Amy Webb, author of The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity
Well argued, engaging and often necessarily discomfiting
Irish Independent
A stark warning about the extent to which Facebook et al distort our perception of reality
Guardian
Fisher's book brings us face to face with chaos machines and their ruinous human consequences - Literary Review