The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov has just been added to the library’s "new book shelf."
The book examines how Western powers with a "cyber-utopian" view of technology wrongly assume that the internet is always a pro-democratic and liberating force in the world. The author argues that, while the internet has the power to advance democracy and freedom and offers dissidents and human rights activists an effective means of organizing and communicating their cause, authoritarian governments also exploit social media to serve their own purposes. Some, he explains, use the internet to spread propaganda, while others use it for surveillance or to pacify and suppress their citizens so that they are not as interested in politics. The author concludes that we should stop thinking of the internet and social media as inherently liberating and should start taking what he calls a more "cyber-realistic" view of the world.