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...

  • Morgan Blackledge

    Oh man I’m so cranky right now.I should not be writing while I’m in this mood. But Zucked has me all worked up.So here goes.....I hate Facebook.I super fucking hate it. But I used to love it back ...

  • 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...

  • Michael Perkins

    Brand new TED talk (4/16/19) from the journalist who uncovered the Cambridge Analytica connection to FB. Both the British Trumpkins AND Facebook sued the journalists to try stop the truth coming out. ...

  • 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 ...

  • Paula

    Be scared. Be very VERY scared about what Facebook (and Google and Amazon, et al.) are doing to our democracy - and our brains and how we are living our lives in general. This is one of THE scariest -...

  • Gary Singh

    Here is the cover story I wrote about Zucked in Metro Silicon Valley:http://www.metroactive.com/features/Z...Contains an introduction and interview with the author....

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    Facebook and social media is something unprecedented in business and ordinary life. Namely, it is the melding of the two. People use platforms like Facebook to connect with people in our social circle...

  • Devogenes

    Alright so there's a lot of important information about Facebook and the digital corporatocracy in this book and it is worth reading for that and I appreciate the author's attempt to alert people to t...

  • 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...