Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection

by Jacob Silverman


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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

Social networking has grown into a staple of modern society, but its continued evolution is becoming increasingly detrimental to our lives. Shifts in communication and privacy are affecting us more than we realize or understand. Terms of Service crystalizes this current moment in technology and contemplates its implications: the identity-validating pleasures and perils of online visibility; our newly adopted view of daily life through the lens of what is share-worthy; and the surveillance state operated by social media platforms—Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others—to mine our personal data for advertising revenue, an invasion of our lives that is as pervasive as government spying.

Jacob Silverman calls for social media users to take back ownership of their digital selves from the Silicon Valley corporations who claim to know what's best for them. Integrating politics, sociology, national security, pop culture, and technology, he reveals the surprising conformity at the heart of Internet culture—explaining how social media companies engineer their products to encourage shallow engagement and discourage dissent. Reflecting on the collapsed barriers between our private and public lives, Silverman brings into focus the inner conflict we feel when deciding what to share and what to "like," and explains how we can take the steps we need to free ourselves from its grip.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062282484
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/08/2016
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 504,251
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jacob Silverman's work has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and many other publications. In 2008 the Virginia Quarterly Review recognized him as one of the top literary critics under thirty, and in 2012 he became a three-time Jeopardy! champion. He is on the board of Deep Vellum, a publisher of international literature. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

The Ideology of Social 1

Engineered to Like 21

Pics or It Didn't Happen 45

The Viral Dream 65

Churnalism and the Problem of Social News 101

To Watch and Be Watched 129

The War Against Identity 155

The Reputation Racket 187

Life and Work in the Sharing Economy 219

Digital Serfdom; or, We All Work for Facebook 249

The Myth of Privacy 229

Big Data and the Informational Appetite 313

Social-Media Rebellion 333

Acknowledgments 373

Notes 315

Index 409

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