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  • Silicon Values

  • The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism
  • By: Jillian York
  • Narrated by: Megan Tusing
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Silicon Values

By: Jillian York
Narrated by: Megan Tusing
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Summary

What is the impact of surveillance capitalism on our right to free speech? The internet once promised to be a place of extraordinary freedom beyond the control of money or politics, but today corporations and platforms exercise more control over our ability to access information and share knowledge to a greater extent than any state. From the online calls to arms in the thick of the Arab Spring to the contemporary front line of misinformation, Jillian York charts the war over our digital rights.

In Silicon Values, leading campaigner Jillian York looks at how our rights have become increasingly undermined by the major corporations' desire to harvest our personal data and turn it into profit. She also looks at how governments have used the same technology to monitor citizens and threatened our ability to communicate. As a result our daily lives, and private thoughts, are being policed in an unprecedented manner. Who decides the difference between political debate and hate speech? How does this impact on our identity, our ability to create communities and to protest? Who regulates the censors? In response to this threat to our democracy, York proposes a user-powered movement against the platforms that demands change and a new form of ownership over our own data.

©2020 Jillian C. York (P)2021 Tantor

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  • chris boutte
  • 02-04-21

Amazing book about social media platform issues

I'm always reluctant to read books about criticisms of social media platforms because it's an extremely important topic, but many authors don't do the topic justice. I've read quite a few books that seem to drag on and not really make strong arguments, but Jillian York did an amazing job with this book. She has years of experience in activism and holding social media companies accountable, and she's also an amazing story teller. I'm not as familiar with global issues as I'd like to be, so sometimes the stories are confusing, but Jillian was able to explain them in a comprehensive way that I could understand. 

This book dives into a variety of topics that I hadn't even thought of. Sure, we often talk about how addictive social media is or how the platforms use our data, but this book has a variety of new angles. It discusses how governments manipulate the platforms to silence activists, how sex workers are oppressed on the platforms, and much more. I think my favorite thing about Jillian's writing is that she addresses that these are difficult, nuanced subjects that need a lot of conversation. For example, she discusses hate speech and censorship and how her views of the topics have evolved over the years. If nothing else, Silicon Values will make you more aware and get you thinking about these topics in a new way.