PositiveThe Washington PostThe book is not the first to tackle these issues, but it adds a trove of rich detail that will be important in the ongoing assessment of social media’s impact on society and democracy ... The heart of the book, and its most compelling parts, involve the company’s discovery of Russian-generated disinformation on the platform during the 2016 election and the security team’s frustrated efforts to get their findings in front of Zuckerberg and Sandberg ... The drama between Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters and its Washington office will make the book fascinating for followers of tech policy.
PositiveThe Washington PostThese nuggets have already drawn the interest of the tabloids. Indeed, some of what Rosen plucked from years as a journalist feels designed for them...The heart of the book, though, and its more compelling parts, involve his work with Wallace ... All this source-tending would be suitable material for a course in journalism ethics. But Rosen’s account leaves a reader with the feeling that such cozy relationships are a necessary part of success in big-time TV.
PositiveThe Washington PostIn Sullivan’s conversations across the country, readers told her they were aware of the problem — they saw local news as increasingly partisan or shallow. But they apparently hadn’t made a crucial connection: The decline in quality is due to the erosion of the industry’s financial foundation ... This lack of awareness of the threat facing local news is the essential problem Sullivan’s book addresses. She is sounding an alarm. She’s not the first to explore this crisis, but her book succeeds in its aim of delivering an urgent message in a concise way ... Sullivan does not advocate a particular approach. She is interested, she says, in \'anything reasonable\' that supports the function of local news.
RaveThe Washington PostFrier captures the power Instagram came to wield in society even among those who didn’t use it ... The author deftly weaves Instagram’s cultural impact into what might otherwise be a cold-eyed business story, adding rich texture and context, and giving us non-billionaires something we can relate to. But the book’s narrative power — and it’s told in a narrative voice, relying on interviews with hundreds of employees and others close to the companies — rests in the human drama among the whiz kids navigating Silicon Valley’s tricky crosscurrents ... The book is also leavened by entertaining details ... At a time when social media companies are being scrutinized by regulators and the media, suspected of focusing more on their bottom lines than the interests of their users, Frier’s book is an instructive case study. It also matters for future app developers, who might be building the next thing that falls into a tech giant’s crosshairs.
PositiveThe Washington PostThe repurposing of his New Yorker work at times gives the book a kludgy feel. But the book goes beyond the individual magazine pieces by providing valuable connective tissue that Marantz uses to weave these stories together with history and context. The effect is to inspire a larger contemplation of what the collapse of civil discourse means about our society ... Marantz is above all a storyteller, so his narratives are crucial. He has a keen eye for detail and a deft ability to let readers discover and then ponder the movement’s ironies — and there are many — without hitting them over the head ... The author’s liberal use of asterisks to indicate asides at the bottom of pages can seem distracting at first. But they ultimately form a kind of meta-metaphor: a book about the Internet lets the reader decide whether to navigate away from the text, as in a hyperlink, to get to an ancillary point or return to it later ... Marantz chronicles the outrageous behavior but then, mercifully, elevates the conversation ... Our words, after all, do matter, and Marantz makes a compelling argument that they matter more than we think.