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The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour
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The Twittering Machine

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The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour
Hardcover $26.95
Sep 22, 2020 | ISBN 9781788739283

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  • Sep 22, 2020 | ISBN 9781788739283

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“What Susan Sontag did for photography, what Christopher Lasch did for the culture of narcissism, Richard Seymour has done for social media. I read it with a sense of recognition, and alarm.”
—Adam Shatz, contributing editor at the London Review of Books

“One of our most astute political analysts.”
—China Miéville, author of October

“A bracing tour through the social and political context and impact of Twitter and Facebook, exploring Gamergate to Isis to Trump’s Twitter presidency. He recounts horrifying miseries—suicides on YouTube, rapes on Periscope, streamed shootings on Facebook—created by people radicalised, or tormented by online peers, craving celebrity—all pushed to extremes by algorithms and monetised by tech companies.”
—Emma Jacobs, Financial Times

“The book is a thrilling demonstration of what such resistance can look like, by one of the most clear-sighted and unyielding critics writing today. We should all read it.”
—William Davies, Guardian

“Richard Seymour has a brilliant mind and a compelling style. Everything he writes is worth reading.”
—Gary Younge, author of Another Day in the Death of America

“A sophisticated critique of the age of social media.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Rather than wondering ponderously if this is ‘cancel culture’ or whatever, we might ask ourselves: Why were all these people tweeting? … This is not a book with an accompanying TED Talk, a ten-step program, or One Weird Trick to Fix Everything. Seymour’s pose here is that of a working analyst, not a confident diagnostician. He draws connections, he sketches notes toward a further diagnosis.”
—Max Read, Bookforum

The Twittering Machine understands our world as it is: shaped for better or worse by sophisticated, online, social technologies that developed in the context of a long human history of other technologies.”
—Damon Beres, OneZero

“Seymour is wide-ranging in his analysis of the destructive effects of the ‘social industry’ on personal and political life … By the end, if you weren’t already, you will be on the verge of deleting your Twitter account. And yet Seymour himself is still on there, professionally compelled as a freelance writer to plug into the machine.”
—Matthew Sperling, Guardian

“A very brilliant deconstruction of social media and our death drive to engage with it … What’s so useful about the book is that it dispenses with the platitudes we tend to hear about social media, and takes a psychoanalytical approach to social media that feels fresh and freshly horrifying.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Incisive … [The Twittering Machine contains] a number of penetrating insights into the nature and effects of social media.”
—Daniel Bessner, Nation

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