Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

The story of how a noted tech venture capitalist, an early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg and investor in his company, woke up to the serious damage Facebook was doing to our society and set out to try to stop it.

If you had told Roger McNamee even three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping Facebook from destroying our democracy, he would have howled with laughter. He had mentored many tech leaders in his illustrious career as an investor, but few things had made him prouder, or been better for his fund's bottom line, than his early service to Mark Zuckerberg. Still a large shareholder in Facebook, he had every good reason to stay on the bright side. Until he simply couldn't.

ZUCKED is McNamee's intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world's most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing. It's a story that begins with a series of rude awakenings. First there is the author's dawning realization that the platform is being manipulated by some very bad actors. Then there is the even more unsettling realization that Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are unable or unwilling to share his concerns, polite as they may be to his face.

And then comes the election of Donald Trump, and the emergence of one horrific piece of news after another about the malign ends to which the Facebook platform has been put. To McNamee's shock, even still Facebook's leaders duck and dissemble, viewing the matter as a public relations problem. Now thoroughly alienated, McNamee digs into the issue, and fortuitously meets up with some fellow travelers who share his concern, and help him sharpen its focus. Soon he and a dream team of Silicon Valley technologists are charging into the fray, to raise consciousness about the existential threat of Facebook, and the persuasion architecture of the attention economy more broadly -- to our public health and to our political order.

Zucked is both an enthralling personal narrative and a masterful explication of the forces that have conspired to place us all on the horns of this dilemma. This is the story of a company and its leadership, but it's also a larger tale of a business sector unmoored from normal constraints, just at a moment of political and cultural crisis, the worst possible time to be given new tools for summoning the darker angels of our nature and whipping them into a frenzy. Like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, Roger McNamee happened to be in the right place to witness a crime, and it took him some time to make sense of what he was seeing and what we ought to do about it. The result of that effort is a wise, hard-hitting, and urgently necessary account that crystallizes the issue definitively for the rest of us.

Title:Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
ISBN:9780525561354

    Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe Reviews

  • Mehrsa

    Fascinating account from an insider on facebook. A few points I took away after reading this: 1. Facebook responds to every problem with a tech fix. The world is bugs to be fixed to "Zuck."2. Facebook...

  • Michael Perkins

    This astounding two-parter by Frontline is a must-watch for those interested in the FB debacle.https://www.pbs.org/video/the-faceboo...https://www.pbs.org/video/the-faceboo...====================="Its...

  • Gayle Fleming

    I know. I know. You have nothing to hide so you don't care if your personal data is collected. The benefits you believe you derive from the big three internet platforms—Facebook, Google and Amazon f...

  • Lane Erickson

    astounding amount of filler; most of the book reads like a plea from the author to be taken seriously, where this is not necessary. the content could have been condensed to 30-45 pages without losing ...

  • Gary Singh

    Words coming soon ......

  • Nancy

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.More proof of the damage happening via Facebook. Of course I am posting a review of a book about the dangers of social networks on a social network site. Anyway I ca...

  • Marie

    "My trust in Facebook has been misplaced.""The algorithms choose posts calculated to press emotional buttons because scaring users or pissing them off increases time on site.""Facebook is the fourth m...

  • Steve Peifer

    There are some good things in this book. I really didn’t understand filter bubbles before, and it was revelatory. The author is clearly smart, and he seems to be the Forest Gump of technology; his f...

  • Jeffrey Powanda

    Good book for Facebook haters like me, but I'm not optimistic about McNamee's proposed solutions (aggressive antitrust action and government regulation). In fact, I'm surprised McNamee, a multimillion...

  • Juarez  Poletto Jr.

    Important message but terrible delivery!I had two major problems with this book, first it bored me to death, it compesate the lack of content and new facts to the story by repeating itself over and ov...