30 review for The Tyranny of Big Tech

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Baumgartner

    This book is a crash course in the history of corporate monopolies which gave rise to elitism in big tech and big government. Anyone who believes in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness needs to read this.

  2. 5 out of 5

    William Lynch

    All things aside about public opinion regarding the author, this is an extremely well-written and persuasive book. It clearly presents the case of social media and tech companies profiting off our personal data without our knowledge or consent, controlling speech and government, and doing its best to control the way we think and operate on a day-to-day basis. The fact that I bought the book off Amazon after seeing advertised on Twitter is not lost on me. The book has inspired me to unplug more o All things aside about public opinion regarding the author, this is an extremely well-written and persuasive book. It clearly presents the case of social media and tech companies profiting off our personal data without our knowledge or consent, controlling speech and government, and doing its best to control the way we think and operate on a day-to-day basis. The fact that I bought the book off Amazon after seeing advertised on Twitter is not lost on me. The book has inspired me to unplug more often, delete social media and other apps that monopolize my attention, and believe that government intervention to stop Big Tech is an appropriate action.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cara Bristol

    Big Brother is watching you, but it’s not the government, it’s Big Tech. Let’s begin with defining “Big Tech” so there is no misunderstanding. What Senator/Author Josh Hawley means by Big Tech is a cabal of specific tech companies (Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter). He is not referring to technology in general. He is not anti-technology or anti-progress, he is against the power the monopolies have amassed and the manipulation and control they exert over an unsuspecting American public. Haw Big Brother is watching you, but it’s not the government, it’s Big Tech. Let’s begin with defining “Big Tech” so there is no misunderstanding. What Senator/Author Josh Hawley means by Big Tech is a cabal of specific tech companies (Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Twitter). He is not referring to technology in general. He is not anti-technology or anti-progress, he is against the power the monopolies have amassed and the manipulation and control they exert over an unsuspecting American public. Hawley equates Big Tech with the robber barons (e.g., the railroads, the banking & steel industries) of the Gilded Age. He presents a well-researched, fascinating historical background and perspective to further the understanding of growth Big Tech monopolies and their impact and influence on the lives of everyday Americans as well our political system. Simply put, tech users are being lied to and used by these companies for political and financial gain. The reach and influence of these companies is unparalleled, and most American are unware of how they are being psychologically manipulated and controlled. The Tyranny of Big Tech will make you rethink logging onto Facebook, doing a Google search or using your smart phone. And it should make you question what you are being shown and not shown by Big Tech. Every American should read The Tyranny of Big Tech—but don’t do it when you’re home alone. It’s that scary. BTW, if you're in a book club, this would be great selection.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    This man is hated by the left. Really anyone that supported or supports Donald J. Trump is hated by the left. Ironically the party of inclusion and anti-hate. I even had trouble finding this on Amazon's web site. They hide the book from regular searches. Probably due to him outing Amazon as well for their fake woke practices. The book stars off with a history lesson about monopolies. Again ironic that the Democrats have always been about breaking up monopolies however now that they have found a This man is hated by the left. Really anyone that supported or supports Donald J. Trump is hated by the left. Ironically the party of inclusion and anti-hate. I even had trouble finding this on Amazon's web site. They hide the book from regular searches. Probably due to him outing Amazon as well for their fake woke practices. The book stars off with a history lesson about monopolies. Again ironic that the Democrats have always been about breaking up monopolies however now that they have found a way to use them for their advantage, they are surprisingly fine with them. This books explains the abuse of Section 230 and how these tech giants have used it to corner the power that even exceeds that of the putrid Federal Government, which by the way was already abused. Since before even big tech's take over, the Federal Government has left the reservation when it comes to powers. In the Constitution of "these" United States under Article II explicitly defines what the Federal Government can do. I work in the Information Security Business and when it comes to Phishing attacks, the one constant is an immediate call to action. They are always telling you, "if you don't click now, your account will be closed" etc. This is why I do not want to take the vaccine until some more time passes by and we see results. The government does NOT have the power to mandate that you take any medication. Figures that Biden, coming from the administration that forced people to BUY healthcare I guess its not a stretch. The fact is the Facebook, Twitter, and any other Social Media companies need to be broken up and need to be regulated. As we saw with COVID and Hunter Biden's laptop, regardless of what experts had to say, there was one narrative, the Democratic Party one and anyone writing anything against the liberal talking points were banned. Not to be left out, is the Mainstream Media which does the same. Social media controls even their messaging since they can block any story that SM does not agree with or does not meet the narrative. New York Post was silenced by Social Media for a story that after the damage was done, finally admitted that it was not the "Russian Misinformation". What irks me is that still today in 2021, you are totally allowed to say that Trump's 2016 win was due to Russian interference, even though countless investigations that took place during Trump's presidency and even now that he is gone, are still taking place. However when the Right demands investigation into the 2020 election, you cannot write about it on Social Media and no investigation are being allowed. You have Democratic operatives fighting any independent investigations. I wish that Social Media would be benefitting the Right so that the left would demand change as well. I used to think Liberals were people of substance, intelligent, fair, inclusive and anti-war. However now I am completely shocked that they are nothing of the like. As a libertarian, I have friends that are left, right and everywhere in-between. On the left, anyone not lockstep with them, deserves to die. Even the most moronic statements like "If you do not wear a mask to protect your fellow Americans, you should die of cancer". It is absolutely insane. I blame this on Social Media because of the echo-chambers they create and the fact that they silence one side which emboldens the other side to continue to attack. I agree with Hawley on the control of Social Media. I believe that additionally, if an organization like NBC or Fox makes false statements and does not give the same level of correction as they did with the initial story (e.g. two days of Russian Collusion, they should have two days of "we lied and we were wrong" not a 5 second blurb.). Additionally today if Facebook blocks my content there is no option but delete the content. There is no arbitration that we can do to plead our case. I posted the story of Pete Buttigeg not riding his bike to work and the reasons was that the White House denied the claim and therefor it is fake. What a change from the Trump administration. In light of well researched evidence they called him a lier. BTW, calling a POTUS a lier on media started by the crazy liberal media. They set a precedence moving forward. Even this book, was canceled because they media company did not agree with his views. I challenge you to look through their thousands of authors and tell me if anyone of them are truly disgusting people. Trump was canceled from all Social Media but you have the Hammas. We even having sitting Congress people calling for the destruction of Israel and yet still remain on all Social Media Platform. I think society has devolved due to Social Media. I would be find abolishing all of it if they cannot be fair. Section 230 - Wikipedia Section 230 is a piece of Internet legislation in the United States, passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 (a common name for Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996), formally codified as Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 at 47 U.S.C. § 230.[a] Section 230 generally provides immunity for website platforms from third-party content. At its core, Section 230(c)(1) provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an "interactive computer service" who publish information provided by third-party users: No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. The statute in Section 230(c)(2) further provides "Good Samaritan" protection from civil liability for operators of interactive computer services in the removal or moderation of third-party material they deem obscene or offensive, even of constitutionally protected speech, as long as it is done in good faith. Section 230 was developed in response to a pair of lawsuits against Internet service providers (ISPs) in the early 1990s that had different interpretations of whether the service providers should be treated as publishers or distributors of content created by its users. After passage of the Telecommunications Act, the CDA was challenged in courts and ruled by the Supreme Court in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997) to be unconstitutional, though Section 230 was determined to be severable from the rest of the legislation and remained in place. Since then, several legal challenges have validated the constitutionality of Section 230. Section 230 protections are not limitless, requiring providers to still remove material illegal on a federal level such as copyright infringement. In 2018, Section 230 was amended by the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (FOSTA-SESTA) to require the removal of material violating federal and state sex trafficking laws. In the following years, protections from Section 230 have come under more scrutiny on issues related to hate speech and ideological biases in relation to the power technology companies can hold on political discussions, and became a major issue during the 2020 United States presidential election. On December 23, 2020, President Donald Trump vetoed the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 in part because it did not repeal Section 230, but the veto was overridden.[2][3][4][5] Passed at a time when Internet use was just starting to expand in both breadth of services and range of consumers in the United States,[6] Section 230 has frequently been referred to as a key law that has allowed the Internet to flourish, and has been called, by the cybersecurity law professor and author Jeff Kosseff, as "the twenty-six words that created the Internet".[7] I say abolish it and let them deal with the fallout.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda Galella

    Lots of good information in this book that’s worth reading. I did. Most of the reviews on here Amazon are NOT reviews, they’re posts, opinions, what folks used to be able to post in the comments section. When I began writing this, there was only one other VERIFIED PURCHASE besides mine. Whether you like Josh Hawley or not, he’s gathered a great amount of historical data about the tech industry and how it relates to politics. Some of that was interesting but probably not what most readers are inter Lots of good information in this book that’s worth reading. I did. Most of the reviews on here Amazon are NOT reviews, they’re posts, opinions, what folks used to be able to post in the comments section. When I began writing this, there was only one other VERIFIED PURCHASE besides mine. Whether you like Josh Hawley or not, he’s gathered a great amount of historical data about the tech industry and how it relates to politics. Some of that was interesting but probably not what most readers are interested in from this book. Half the book is devoted to the relatively recent history beginning with the birth of the internet and social media, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google & Apple. Hawley details how these giants of technology have an insidious hold on the lives of most people in our country. They control the flow of information, entertainment, communication and political persuasion. They permit and censure and are, as a consequence, controlling our first amendment rights. Josh shares personal interactions with key players from these companies as well as testimonies before Congress. The change of company goals and impact on society, politics, economy - well, it’s all a bit overwhelming to see in black and white. The sheer number of combined dollars between those top companies is staggering! What can we do about it? Josh posits that breaking up the relationship between Big Tech and Big Government and “by making different political choices -by revitalizing antitrust legislation, ending corporate giveaways, protecting our fundamental constitutional right to free speech, and revising our overall economic and social policy to put working people first.” , we can effect change. It doesn’t sound easy but it’s for sure necessary, IMO. I’ve never been an huge user of social media and have cut back even more as a consequence of recent events. I don’t have many apps on my devices, don’t accept texts or calls from unknown ID’s, never store anything, anywhere electronically and don’t download anything I haven’t researched. No apps running in the background, no helpful “assistant” to answer questions I can find out for myself ‘cause I don’t need anyone else listening to me other than my dog. It’s not much, but it’s my small bit to stop “The Tyranny of Big Tech” in my corner of the world; until it’s time to vote again📚 UPDATE 5/8/21 - altho’ my original review is dated 5/4/21, it was held for almost 48 hours before being posted. I find that interesting, especially in light of all the non reviews that were immediately posted. I can only wonder...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Nailed it. Absolutely well written and exact. And to the succinct proof points within law. Parts of it were over my head. But Josh Hawley not only observes correctly and defines to a T exquisitely to omit dual meaning, but he also correlates data to proofs and outcomes. Especially upon how the layout is planned and addictive. But that's a mere point. Why do these monopolies get to dictate and reign as they do? None of it is accident. For its length and its inclusions (mighty)- it still is not an Nailed it. Absolutely well written and exact. And to the succinct proof points within law. Parts of it were over my head. But Josh Hawley not only observes correctly and defines to a T exquisitely to omit dual meaning, but he also correlates data to proofs and outcomes. Especially upon how the layout is planned and addictive. But that's a mere point. Why do these monopolies get to dictate and reign as they do? None of it is accident. For its length and its inclusions (mighty)- it still is not an easy read. Emotionally or intellectually. Mere individuals are ciphers to this depth of economic and political power sequestered by so few elites. Additionally and added later after reading some reviews: Hawley's history facts check out. Most especially upon the past 150 years of gov. vs monopoly. And the summations given by people who gave this 1 star of that history? Especially upon who and what policy tries were failures or successful IN THE CONTEXT of the government control of economy in general and monopoly dominance in particular yet. If you need a REAL history re fact and data try this book. It is NOT theory of what happened but the HISTORY of what happened under past Presidential ploys. Mostly during the Gilded Age but after, as well. It seems many reviewers know nothing about the difference between those two entities. And need to fit everything into their own political whole piece belief override.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rama

    The tech giants and freedom of speech Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri describes as how the Big Tech companies drain prosperity and power from society by creating an oligarchy. These new-age corporations collect consumers’ personal data, they are tracked and fed into a vast data machine to produce algorithms that manipulate users with advertisements tailored for them. The author observes that this presents dangers to everyone through its addictive model, surveillance and data theft, psychological The tech giants and freedom of speech Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri describes as how the Big Tech companies drain prosperity and power from society by creating an oligarchy. These new-age corporations collect consumers’ personal data, they are tracked and fed into a vast data machine to produce algorithms that manipulate users with advertisements tailored for them. The author observes that this presents dangers to everyone through its addictive model, surveillance and data theft, psychological effects on children, censorship, and predatory form of globalism. These tech giants that include Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, and Apple also control the flow of information to censor, manipulate, and ultimately sway the opinion of the masses. A network of whistleblowers inside Google, Facebook and other companies explains how the tech giants are controlling the information we receive. For example, the market abuses of Google shows that it controls upwards of 90 percent of the market for online searches, both in United States and globally, and it has systematically used that market dominance to favor its own platforms. With Google-owned YouTube, advertisers pay a king's ransom to get their digital ads on YouTube, and then, according to the platform's customers and competitors, YouTube insists that these advertisers promise to use Google ad services to place ads on other sites. That's known in the antitrust world as "tying," the practice of conditioning the sale of one product to the purchase of a separate product. The famous example being Microsoft's effort to tie its Internet Explorer web browser to its Windows operating system in the 1990s, which a court ruled illegal. Google has tied access to ad space on Google Search in the same way, leveraging its dominance in both video and online search to create dominance in a third market. Even the information in Wikipedia is tailored to promote liberal values. In many instances the information is hyped up to promote the values Wikipedia sees fit. The author says that both Google and Facebook are ripe targets for antitrust enforcement and breakup, Google should be forced to give up YouTube and its control of the digital advertising market, and Facebook should lose Instagram and WhatsApp application. The author suggests that there are other antitrust changes Congress should make, to crack down on mergers involving digital platforms by giving the Department of Justice the power to designate major tech firms as "dominant." And those "dominant" firms should be prevented from merging with or acquiring another business, and all of them must undergo rigorous antitrust scrutiny. Senator Hawley concludes that by tearing down Big Tech's empire of surveillance and manipulation, the congress could send the power back to its citizens.

  8. 4 out of 5

    L.A. Starks

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Perhaps those who created the "Read Banned Books" posters and coffee mugs didn't have in mind the books that publishers and marketers are now trying to cancel, but like Abigail Shrier's and Andy Ngo's recent books, Senator Josh Hawley's The Tyranny of Big Tech is another. Fortunately it was ultimately published by Regnery after Simon & Schuster dropped it. Despite its slim size, including 30+ pages of end-notes, the book is much more than just a news summation--in fact, it is surprisingly, and us Perhaps those who created the "Read Banned Books" posters and coffee mugs didn't have in mind the books that publishers and marketers are now trying to cancel, but like Abigail Shrier's and Andy Ngo's recent books, Senator Josh Hawley's The Tyranny of Big Tech is another. Fortunately it was ultimately published by Regnery after Simon & Schuster dropped it. Despite its slim size, including 30+ pages of end-notes, the book is much more than just a news summation--in fact, it is surprisingly, and usefully, dense. Hawley starts with and roots his analysis in the history of railroad monopolies and Woodrow Wilson's progressivism (thus, belief in experts or "experts" running the government as opposed to citizen-workers) and how that became today's corporate liberalism, supported on all sides. He parses Section 230 (which allow the tech companies to escape liability that normal publishers face)--explaining that the courts subsequently gave even more leeway, stripping out what few guidelines had been in 230. He explains how tech companies take information users provide and sell it--without concerns for privacy--for advertising, and how, for example, Google controls the entire advertising stack. Hawley also examines how Facebook, Apple, and Amazon use their monopoly power. And he explains how deadly the government-tech monopolies are in terms of information suppression and voter persuasion. There is a wonderful anecdote about a whistleblower who provided information about Centra--and its use across Facebook to discuss censorship with Twitter and others--and how Hawley's questioning about the program surprised Zuckerberg during Congressional testimony. Finally, Hawley offers some remedies, many of them more readily accessible for the U.S. now that we are post-pandemic and have regained our right to freedom of assembly. This slim book is scary and highly recommended for that reason. Readers of Tyranny of Big Tech will understand why S&S and the tech companies are desperate to suppress it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Haleigh DeRocher

    This should be essential reading for every person who has ever opened a social media account or made a purchase on Amazon or searched something on Google. That's...what, every American? Josh Hawley expertly outlines the problems of Big Tech, and offers reachable solutions for undoing the damage they've already inflicted on our society. This book is like The Social Dilemma, except with a traditional, conservative bent. Best book I've read this year. This should be essential reading for every person who has ever opened a social media account or made a purchase on Amazon or searched something on Google. That's...what, every American? Josh Hawley expertly outlines the problems of Big Tech, and offers reachable solutions for undoing the damage they've already inflicted on our society. This book is like The Social Dilemma, except with a traditional, conservative bent. Best book I've read this year.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Hammill

    My overall impressions with the early copy I received: 1) If you are a god-fearing Christian, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK! I have not read a book that dishonors Christ like this in a very long time. DISAPPOINTED! 2) Josh Hawley (or his ghost writer?) really needs to review some basic writing structures and, idk, practice writing a bit before publishing? 3) They reeeeeeeeally need to invest in a copy editor. 4) Hawley somehow took a very interesting subject and made it drier than a saltine.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Big Tech (Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, etc.) have replaced the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age and are intent on dominating our lives. This book shows the history of the Robber Barons and their battle with Teddy Roosevelt over antitrust legislation. These events that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century are quite similar to the battles we see today with Big Tech. In both cases, the large companies who control information (in the present) and railroads/investments (in the past) are Big Tech (Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, etc.) have replaced the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age and are intent on dominating our lives. This book shows the history of the Robber Barons and their battle with Teddy Roosevelt over antitrust legislation. These events that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century are quite similar to the battles we see today with Big Tech. In both cases, the large companies who control information (in the present) and railroads/investments (in the past) are not the friend of the individual. They want the individual to be a cog in the wheel of progress. In this book Josh Hawley sets forth a plan to maintain the republic mindset and return power to the people. He shares how Abraham Kuyper helped him to prioritize family life and how he and his wife manage social media with a young family. We can encourage antitrust legislation through the Justice Department, obtain the rights for "Do Not Track" options, and take away the shield provided by Section 230. Big Tech has been infringing on our privacy and our individual rights. Let's channel our inner Teddy Roosevelt and take back our independence. Corporate liberalism, oligarchy, rule by the elite--these need not be our destiny. The tyranny of Big Tech can be challenged. We can forge a better political economy, one in keeping with our history and our highest aspirations. Theodore Roosevelt understood that our republic was a republic of the common person. This is what made it a republic of liberty. Now we must recall his example and make it so again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Henry

    Thought provoking and very well written.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia (bookbrunette)

    Putting away the public opinion of the author aside, this is an excellently written and well-researched book that should be read by everyone regardless of political affiliation. While going over the history of corporate monopiles in America, we can learn how some of the problems with modern big tech monopiles originated, how they consolidated so much power, and big government's role in all of it. It disturbingly shows how our personal date is collected and used to make a profit and to control sp Putting away the public opinion of the author aside, this is an excellently written and well-researched book that should be read by everyone regardless of political affiliation. While going over the history of corporate monopiles in America, we can learn how some of the problems with modern big tech monopiles originated, how they consolidated so much power, and big government's role in all of it. It disturbingly shows how our personal date is collected and used to make a profit and to control speech. The ramifications of this even have impacts in our everyday lives and behavior. The sources are clearly listed so anyone can do their own research if they want to. I'm very impressed with how much thought was put into this book. I highly recommend it to everyone, especially Americans, from all parts of the political spectrum.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Hawley misrepresents history to make his case. Check the facts about presidential records on antitrust efforts because he distorted most of them. Teddy Roosevelt did little in anti trust efforts and Presidents Wilson and FDR achieved major breakups. No mention is made of Bork and Reagan's undermining of antitrust suits and policy, to suit his rewrite of history. Don't buy this book of alternative facts. Hawley misrepresents history to make his case. Check the facts about presidential records on antitrust efforts because he distorted most of them. Teddy Roosevelt did little in anti trust efforts and Presidents Wilson and FDR achieved major breakups. No mention is made of Bork and Reagan's undermining of antitrust suits and policy, to suit his rewrite of history. Don't buy this book of alternative facts.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glenn O'Bannon

    EVERYONE worldwide should read this book! This book beautifully and simply explains the current problem with the power and control that Big Tech has over much of American life, American commerce, and even American information. The Europeans are much more tuned in to the problem than American lawmakers. But this book will open your eyes as to what the problems are, how they are similar to the problems America had during the Gilded Age when there were steel and banking and other monopolies, and what EVERYONE worldwide should read this book! This book beautifully and simply explains the current problem with the power and control that Big Tech has over much of American life, American commerce, and even American information. The Europeans are much more tuned in to the problem than American lawmakers. But this book will open your eyes as to what the problems are, how they are similar to the problems America had during the Gilded Age when there were steel and banking and other monopolies, and what the average person can do today to get back the personal power they have lost. The author makes it really understandable to the average person. It should be required reading in every Government and Law school program in High Schools and colleges everywhere.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Stein

    Gosh this book is bad. I'm working on a substantive review of the book for a site, that will dig into Hawley's ideology, but I don't really need that to tell you why this book is bad. Hawley lacks a basic understanding of the technologies about which he's writing. He refers to Android as "Google's phone," rather than an open source OS. He makes basic mistakes about how data technologies, cookies, and cryptocurrencies work. Many of these mistakes are consequential when it comes to his core argumen Gosh this book is bad. I'm working on a substantive review of the book for a site, that will dig into Hawley's ideology, but I don't really need that to tell you why this book is bad. Hawley lacks a basic understanding of the technologies about which he's writing. He refers to Android as "Google's phone," rather than an open source OS. He makes basic mistakes about how data technologies, cookies, and cryptocurrencies work. Many of these mistakes are consequential when it comes to his core arguments, since he makes claims about market share or who owns what that are just outright mistaken. There are good arguments for antitrust policies addressing the major tech and telecommunications comopanies. Hawley hasn't written one of them. He's engaged in a partisan exercise of playing the victim and the hero simultaneously to set up a run for President. That's who he is. The substantive review is available here: https://www.liberalcurrents.com/josh-...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Madley

    There is plenty of interesting history in here; obviously viewed through a lens, but it's not inaccurate. And whilst the tone is skewed towards conservatives, it's still accessible to us lefty liberals if you keep in mind that Hawley is writing a book that plays to his audience. I still found some of it to be right on the money I've two issues with this book. 1. Some of the jargon and acronyms imply he's sourced some of his alleged expert knowledge from Google or Wiki. Some really odd things said There is plenty of interesting history in here; obviously viewed through a lens, but it's not inaccurate. And whilst the tone is skewed towards conservatives, it's still accessible to us lefty liberals if you keep in mind that Hawley is writing a book that plays to his audience. I still found some of it to be right on the money I've two issues with this book. 1. Some of the jargon and acronyms imply he's sourced some of his alleged expert knowledge from Google or Wiki. Some really odd things said about Android for example 2. The book is for Trump-supporting Republicans and plays to that crowd. Just more confirmation bias in an echo chamber Also - and I'm being objective here - the book doesn't really touch on how Big Tech (Twitter, FB) massively, massively aided in Trump v Clinton in 2016. The overall conclusion is that Big Tech only helps those on the left to get their message out; which is clearly not true. As a Brit, I was interested to see if Cambridge Analytica got much of a critique but sadly not. Again, an interesting read, but spoilt by not very subtle "thought guidance" by Hawley (or his ghost writer). Somebody will write a balanced, considered book on this subject. This book however is heavily biased and therefore excludes a lot of readers, whilst enabling others to pat themselves on the back safe in the knowledge that they must be right, because they agree with the book. Given it 2 stars because there's still interesting stuff in here if you can overlook the, ahem, 'persuasive logic'.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    A couple of years ago, I asked a group of people whether, in their opinion, social media has been a good or bad influence on society. The responses were pretty solidly on the side of "good," though it must be noted that I posed this question to a group of libertarians, who are not typically known for their reliable judgment on what is and isn't good for society. Personally, I had doubts, and those doubts have blossomed into a full-blown detestation of social media and the technological revolution A couple of years ago, I asked a group of people whether, in their opinion, social media has been a good or bad influence on society. The responses were pretty solidly on the side of "good," though it must be noted that I posed this question to a group of libertarians, who are not typically known for their reliable judgment on what is and isn't good for society. Personally, I had doubts, and those doubts have blossomed into a full-blown detestation of social media and the technological revolution of which it is a part. This skepticism about claims that Big Tech is bringing humanity to new vistas of enlightenment is increasingly common, and among the leaders of the counter movement against tech monopolies stands Missouri senator Josh Hawley, author of The Tyranny of Big Tech. The causal observer – say, for instance, the fellow who gets all of his news from Facebook – might think Hawley some dangerous radical, and this book an unhinged screed. But neither is true. Hawley comes across as not only thoughtful and measured, but also as an excellent example of the type of young conservative that looks increasingly poised to replace the fusionist and neoconservative elements that have dominated the movement in recent decades. Hawley’s case against Big Tech is not merely that tech monopolies represent a danger to individual’s rights to privacy and free speech, though clearly that is true. He expresses concern that these companies – namely Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple – represent a threat to the republic itself, and to the ideals of self-government on which individual rights rest. Indeed, it is Hawley’s understanding that freedom means something more than the atomized individual’s right to be left alone, or to do as he pleases, that forms the foundation of his argument against Tech, and against monopolies more generally. Hawley convincingly argues, in the tradition of Robert Nisbet, that the autonomous individual is less free (and less of an individual) than the man living in community with others, a community that both constrains him and gives him a voice in how he is ruled. Hawley does not find the threat posed by Big Tech along these lines to be unique in American history. Rather, he sees in modern circumstances a parallel to the so-called Robber Barons of the 19th century, who introduced economic centralization and what the author calls “corporate liberalism” – in which the individual is “liberated” from the inefficiency of decentralization at the cost of his independence. One noteworthy similarity between the monopolists of the past and the present is the control that both exert over governments, to the diminution of the “common man’s” influence. This being Hawley’s reference point, he seeks to find inspiration for the modern resistance in Theodore Roosevelt, foe of the monopolists in the early 20th century, and though Hawley admits that not all of Roosevelt’s ideas along these lines were useful, he believes that the 26th president had picked the right battle. More to the point for the author, this is a battle that statesmen should take up again. All this forms the historical backdrop for Hawley’s case against Big Tech. The actual content of that case is an aggregation of all the various arguments made against technology companies in the last several years: the spying on users and the subsequent lying about it, anti-competition business practices, intentionally designing systems to be addictive, the censorship of discussion. None of these are particularly new allegations, nor even allegations that tech companies bother with refuting. More worrying are the lesser-known activities, particularly of social media companies. As an example, Hawley details an experiment conducted by Facebook, in which it intentionally showed hundreds of thousands of users negative content to see if it could affect their moods. Facebook measured the results of this test by monitoring the users’ subsequent posts, and found that the experiment worked: people were more depressed after viewing the content. Questions of the consequences of such unethical experimentation notwithstanding (did this experiment increase suicidal ideation among the subjects?), that a tech company can manipulate its users’ moods in this way is concerning, and that concern is not lessened when we consider the potential other uses of this kind of manipulation. What is the true purpose of all those one-sided “fact checks?” It’s probably not hard to figure that one out, particularly when these companies generally have less ideological diversity than a typical gender studies department. Because of the dangers posed by Big Tech, Hawley, following in the footsteps of Roosevelt, believes that regulation, and even breaking up the companies, is needed to reign in Big Tech, and disperse its power. To this end, he recommends ending the now-infamous Section 230 protection that tech companies enjoy, along with passing legislation that protects users’ privacy and raises the minimum age of using some platforms (social media, in particular, being harmful to the young). He also advises a change in the mentality of those users, suggesting that the time and attention we give these platform comes with a cost, which is the face-to-face interaction with the people who are physically near us. All of these recommendations for public and private action are well-considered, though it seems that Hawley is among the only voices advocating action at all (which is probably not coincidental with the treatment he received after the January 6th Capitol riot). We will need many more people in public and private life to adopt Hawley’s recommendation if the power of Big Tech is going to be rolled back. There are some aspects of The Tyranny of Big Tech to quibble with. Hawley’s repeated statements, for instance, that aristocracy is unnatural and that the founding generation thought it so are considerably less conclusively true than he lets on. In reality, aristocracy is one of the most natural elements of human life, as one would expect a sitting senator to acknowledge. It could be that what Hawley has in mind is better termed oligarchy or plutocracy – the rule of the elite, wealthy, and well-connected for their own benefit – which is at odds with traditional American virtues. But conservative writers have traditionally distinguished between natural and artificial aristocracy, between a caste of entrenched rulers and a class of capable leaders. I doubt that Hawley intends to argue against this latter group, but in his zeal to promote the cause of the “common man” his arguments slide a little too close to unqualified egalitarianism. Even so, Hawley has hit on the right concerns for our time, and is giving voice to a problem that few others, right or left, will even acknowledge. We can hope that others will join with Hawley, and begin to reclaim the space where we can once again practice independence and self-government, away from the Tyranny of Big Tech.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Szymon Raczkowiak

    Might be the worst book ever written. Not to mention the author is a traitor to our constitution.

  20. 4 out of 5

    BoxerLover2

    Treason is not a good look.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Chaney

    Spot on! It's everything I have felt and suspected written on paper. We have a lot of problems in America and big tech is one of the major culprits imo. Corporate elitism is crushing the middle class and the American dream. We no longer have a free market. The silent distribution of wealth that these companies have helped create is disturbing... In addition, the false narratives and half truths we see on their news feeds are bias and have little merit. Journalism has lost its core value and beco Spot on! It's everything I have felt and suspected written on paper. We have a lot of problems in America and big tech is one of the major culprits imo. Corporate elitism is crushing the middle class and the American dream. We no longer have a free market. The silent distribution of wealth that these companies have helped create is disturbing... In addition, the false narratives and half truths we see on their news feeds are bias and have little merit. Journalism has lost its core value and become entertainment. Big tech is creating a society that no longer thinks for themselves. Far too many people believe and are swayed by what they read on left leaning big tech platforms. The censorship is unreal. I finished this book 2 days ago and was delighted to wake up this morning with a Market Watch notification that a suit against Facebook for antitrust law violations is being revived. Google and Amazon need to be brought in for similar monopoly violations as well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    I think--and I'm not exaggerating here--that Josh Hawley is one of the most dangerous people on the planet. He also has one of the largest, loudest platforms in the world, so you can ignore the nonsense about him being "cancelled" straight off the bat. Cancelled! The man's on television seven days a week. Could he have a bigger megaphone? When talking about him, whether ally or enemy, people always say how smart he is, so it's no real surprise that this is a well-written and readable book. What i I think--and I'm not exaggerating here--that Josh Hawley is one of the most dangerous people on the planet. He also has one of the largest, loudest platforms in the world, so you can ignore the nonsense about him being "cancelled" straight off the bat. Cancelled! The man's on television seven days a week. Could he have a bigger megaphone? When talking about him, whether ally or enemy, people always say how smart he is, so it's no real surprise that this is a well-written and readable book. What is rather surprising is how much of it I agree with. Listen, there's a reason I'm not on Facebook. And a lot of what he writes about targeted advertising, information silos, and privacy are things that concern me too. But the reason that Hawley is so dangerous is that he's slick. Don't for a moment forget that he's got his own agenda. Yes, a lot of what's in the book is true. It makes it that much more challenging to detect information that is slightly--or in some cases not so slightly--skewed. I didn't take notes while reading, and I don't really want to have to fact check everything Senator Hawley claims. I've read enough books by more trusted sources to have a good idea where things diverged from the strictly factual. Most of it's accurate, butis still being used to serve his agenda. I actually think there's value to what's being discussed, but Josh Hawley will never meet my definition of a reputable source. For readers who want to learn more about some of the Silicon Valley issues Hawley is writing about, I'd recommend Roger McNamee's Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sir Farty Fartsalot

    Insurrectionist & an all-around piece of shit. DO. NOT. READ.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Houston, we have a problem. While many will see firebrand conservative Josh Hawley’s name on the cover and give it a hard pass, I think JH gives the issue of big tech’s game-changing re-ordering of our basic economic and social landscape a relatively impartial fact-based overview, beginning with the origins of civic liberties in Rome, to current day parallels to Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt differing tactics to break up the railroad, oil and steel conglomerates in the early 20th c. I’m all Houston, we have a problem. While many will see firebrand conservative Josh Hawley’s name on the cover and give it a hard pass, I think JH gives the issue of big tech’s game-changing re-ordering of our basic economic and social landscape a relatively impartial fact-based overview, beginning with the origins of civic liberties in Rome, to current day parallels to Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt differing tactics to break up the railroad, oil and steel conglomerates in the early 20th c. I’m all for free markets, as is Hawley, and agree that somebody needs to be minding the store bc these big companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter are censors, publishers, engineers and also beneficiaries of many business regulations that don’t know how to classify them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Xenophon

    I didn't want to give this book a full 5 stars. I disagree with how Sen. Hawley assesses the founding generation's view of aristocracy as well as his policy prescriptions. The introduction provoked an eye-roll. But this isn't primarily a history book, and I cannot help but applaud Sen. Hawley on multiple levels. First, this book stands at the apex of modern political rhetoric. Sen. Hawley is highly intelligent, but doesn't come across as arrogant or condescending in how he communicates. He gets t I didn't want to give this book a full 5 stars. I disagree with how Sen. Hawley assesses the founding generation's view of aristocracy as well as his policy prescriptions. The introduction provoked an eye-roll. But this isn't primarily a history book, and I cannot help but applaud Sen. Hawley on multiple levels. First, this book stands at the apex of modern political rhetoric. Sen. Hawley is highly intelligent, but doesn't come across as arrogant or condescending in how he communicates. He gets things down to where the goats feed. Second, his analysis on how Big Tech arose to exploit Americans is spot-on. Taking both together, I can see why this book was shuttered by Simon and Schuster. It will be a must-read political pamphlet for years to come.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Major Havoc

    A brief but compelling treatise on the rise of big tech in America and its threats/detriments to our freedom and liberty. Senator Hawley takes us from the late 1800's and the rise of the Robber Barons to the current day stranglehold of corporate liberalism on our everyday lives. He also offers a positive vision of a better future where we the people are no longer beholden to the ultra elite. The book also includes about 35 pages of references for those who wish to follow up and do more research A brief but compelling treatise on the rise of big tech in America and its threats/detriments to our freedom and liberty. Senator Hawley takes us from the late 1800's and the rise of the Robber Barons to the current day stranglehold of corporate liberalism on our everyday lives. He also offers a positive vision of a better future where we the people are no longer beholden to the ultra elite. The book also includes about 35 pages of references for those who wish to follow up and do more research of their own. Again, it is a short book, but it does pack a wallop.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wanda Keith

    Hawley takes us on a history lesson back to the days of the 'robber barons' and how they were defeated. We are now in a time that seems to be even more serious and Hawley walks us through what is going on with the tech giants and how we "must" do everything we can to overcome their tyranny against American citizens and citizens across the world. Extremely well written and researched. Hawley takes us on a history lesson back to the days of the 'robber barons' and how they were defeated. We are now in a time that seems to be even more serious and Hawley walks us through what is going on with the tech giants and how we "must" do everything we can to overcome their tyranny against American citizens and citizens across the world. Extremely well written and researched.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Roberts Lundy

    Written from a very intellectual point of view. No denying the facts here. Before we know it the “Hilters” of our world will mandate a gold star tattoos!! Brace yourself it’s already happening with your social media page, next vaccine passports.

  29. 5 out of 5

    N

    Anyone who was appalled at being the product after watching the Social Dilemma will be shocked to learn that is just the tip of the iceberg. This is an intelligent, thoughtful, reasoned book about the monopolies that are manipulating American life, a historical lesson of how and why, and what we can do about it in our families and in our government. As boring as it sounds, this is actually an enjoyable read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gracee

    If you use the internet or have a smart phone etc. you should read this book.

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