Democracy Hacked : Political Turmoil and Information Warfare in the Digital Age
by Moore, Martin

1 Individuals: the Freextremist Model
2 Plutocrats: the Mercer Model
3 States: the Russia Model
4 The Facebook Elections
5 Anarchy in the Googlesphere
6 The Unbearable Lightness of Twitter
7 Platform Democracy
8 Surveillance Democracy
9 Democracy Rehacked

Democracies are being gamed. Authoritarian governments, moneyed elites and fringe hackers are exploiting our digital infrastructure and the vulnerabilities in our democratic system to influence our politics and elections. In just a few years, it has become a perpetual information war.
Inherently unstable and prone to wild volatility, our digital ecosystem has at its heart a vacuum open to the influence of those with the motivation, money or expertise to exploit it. Played successfully it can lead to unprecedented swings of public opinion.
Martin Moore explains how hackers interfere in our democratic processes, why they can do it and outlines what we need to do to save democracy for the digital age. This is a story about active measures, data mining, psy-ops, mercenaries, microtargeting, the alt-right, plutocrats, the collapse of local news, Silicon Valley, Trump, trolling, surveillance - and you.

Dr Martin Moore is director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Policy Institute at King's College London. He was previously founding director of the Media Standards Trust (2006-2015) where he directed the Election Unspun project and wrote extensively on the news media and public policy. He lives in London.

For many, the U.S. election of 2016 was their first indication that communication technology might not be a benign player in the shaping of public opinion. In 2011, the Arab Spring was driven by pro-democracy forces using Twitter and other social media to announce protests. The mistake, media critic Moore says, was to assume digital communications would be used only for democratizing principals. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube have had a dramatic impact on the way people are targeted for political influence based on personal data. Moore relays the history of digital opinion-hacking and provides examples of disinformation and outside-influence campaigns around the world. In this eye-opening book, Moore issues an urgent warning about the potential dangers of "govtech," convincingly alerting readers to the headlong rush by governments to cede public services to these same commercial tech vendors in such sensitive areas as security, health care, education, energy, and transportation without first developing comprehensive citizen-privacy laws. An important, timely, and clearly written look at a crucial subject. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A new book about the burgeoning phenomenon of election hacking, a problem that is far more complex than many people realize.Technology journalist Moore, the director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, begins with an overview of the internet's genesis as a utopian frontier pioneered by 1960s counterculture visionaries. Chronicling the later development of Google, Facebook, and other social media, he examines how they transmogrified from innocent, beneficial elements of the cyberworld into revenue-driven tools of blatant capitalism. Starting with Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, Moore details the development of the internet's role in political campaigns. It has morphed from a place to organize and canvass into a cynical and chaotic battlefield of "memetic warfare," smear campaigns, and electoral discord. Sorting through the evolution of online forum 4chan and its offspring, the author examines how Steve Bannon and Breitbart News co-opted the once-apo litical resident hackers and trollers of these "meme factories," spinning them into an army of guerrillas bent on sabotaging the 2016 presidential campaign. "[They] hacked opinion polls, raided opposing communities, doxxed journalists, harassed critics, gamed social media and baited mainstream media," writes Moore. "They used digital tools and platforms to do to politics what Silicon Valley had already done to the economy and society, to cause disruption." In what's been dubbed "surveillance capitalism," the author shows the staggering degree to which Google and Facebook now gather both consumer and personal data as commodities to increase stock value. Moore demonstrates how these data have affected elections across the world, in the Philippines, Turkey, India, Iran, Britain, and beyond. The author also tackles Vladimir Putin's global "covert army" now sewing discord and undermining democratic processes, the nuanced involvement of Twitter, Reddit, and other social media plat f orms, and much more. Less about solutions and more about the degree and details of the crisis, this volume on the digital disintegration of democratic processes is at once engrossing, instructive, and urgently necessary. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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