Media Manipulation

One of the most dangerous trends of our time: Harnessing the vast new possibilities of the digital age, including misuse of both mainstream and social media, malicious actors find it easier than ever to disseminate lies and conspiracy theories. With minimal effort and resources they can destabilize whole societies and even influence elections. Read these summaries and learn how they operate by distorting the messages the public receives, what damage they inflict, and how free and open societies can defend against them.


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Summaries

How False Beliefs Spread

James Owen Weatherall and Cailin O'Connor

Yale UP, 2020

R 8
Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

Ronan Farrow

Little, Brown UK, 2019

R 10
Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Roger McNamee

Penguin Press, 2019

9
Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another

Matt Taibbi

OR Books, 2019

R 9

Jon Allsop

Columbia Journalism Review, 2021

9
Lies about science, civil rights, and the vote itself have turned Americans against one another.

Jane Lytvynenko

Buzzfeed, 2020

9
A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News

Cindy Otis

Feiwel & Friends, 2020

R 9
Conspiracy theories seem to meet psychological needs and can be almost impossible to eradicate. One remedy: Keep them from taking root in the first place.

Greg Miller

Niemanlab.org, 2021

8
How Big Tech Got Bigger

Alex Hern

The Guardian, 2020

9
Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

Andrew Marantz

Viking, 2019

R 9