Short Take – Nonfiction: Terms of Service – Jacob Silverman

Is the background noise on privacy, the NSA, big data and the dark side of what you’re sharing in the “sharing economy” making you start to think you ought to poke around in those privacy settings on your smart phone? Then then this clear-sighted exploration of social media, big business and how it affects the little guy might be for you.

As social media platforms and other technologies diffuse into our everyday lives, Silverman acts as a much-needed digital skeptic, drawing out the resulting ideological shifts and questioning what these changes mean for society…notions of authenticity and selfhood as affected by Facebook, the economic and social effects of the so-called ‘sharing economy,’ [and] digital serfdom….[T]he book also makes clear that with continued citizen inaction and apathy, tech companies led by cyber-libertarians and techno-utopians will continue to build a world with interests that don’t match our own. Silverman proves himself an astute cultural critic as he addresses the complexity of the current moment in technology.”
Publishers Weekly

“A deep and disquieting plunge into digital culture. . . . Relentlessly skeptical, Silverman captures beautifully the surreal aspects of the social media experience. . . . Intelligent, provocative and illuminating.”
Kirkus (starred review)

“An absorbing look at the conflict between privacy and social media.”
Booklist

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection (9780062282460) by Jacob Silverman. $26.99 hardcover. 3/17/15 on sale.

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