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  • The Bridge Street Press
  • The Bridge Street Press
  • The Bridge Street Press
  • Hachette Audio

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination

Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang

1 Reviews

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Economics

The Everything Store meets Too Big to Fail in this intimate portrayal of the stumbling giant that is Facebook by two New York Times journalists

In November 2018, the New York Times published a bombshell in-depth investigation that exposed, with disturbing insider detail, how leadership decisions at Facebook enabled, and then tried to cover up, massive privacy breaches and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The story quickly shot to the top of the paper's most emailed list. It would earn the team of Times reporters a prestigious Loeb award, the George Polk award, and a spot on the Pulitzer short list. But it only skimmed the surface.

The investigation's lead reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang, spent eighteen months piecing together the story of how one of the most powerful companies in the world tried to bury a damning truth-that Facebook has become a conduit for disinformation, hate speech, and political propaganda. The unrivalled sources of these two veteran journalists led them to perhaps the most recognizable names in the tech industry: Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Both have long existed as archetypes of uniquely 21st century executives-he, the tech "boy genius" turned billionaire, she, the ultimate woman in business, an inspiration to millions through her books and speeches.

An Ugly Truth is the definitive story of Facebook's fall from grace, following the embattled company from 2011, when its power and positive influence was undisputed, to 2020, when it will face its biggest test yet-the US presidential election. What are the ultimate ramifications when a few individuals are in charge of the technology used by half the world's population? Can they control the technology they've unleashed into the world? And if not, can we, as individuals and as a society, control them?

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Praise for An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination

  • [Frenkel and Kang] have produced the ultimate takedown via careful, comprehensive interrogation of every major Facebook scandal. An Ugly Truth provides the kind of satisfaction you might get if you hired a private investigator to track a cheating spouse: it confirms your worst suspicions and then gives you all the dates and details you need to cut through the company's spin. - New York Times

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Sheera Frenkel

Sheera Frenkel covers cybersecurity from San Francisco. Previously, she spent over a decade in the Middle East as a foreign correspondent, reporting for BuzzFeed, NPR, The Times and McClatchy Newspapers.

Cecilia Kang covers technology and regulatory policy out of Washington. She joined the New York Times in 2015 after ten years covering technology and business at the Washington Post.

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