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Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Invisible Hand

The heroic, rational, problem-solving engineer is a near-religious icon in the tech industry. But...the engineering mind-set led Facebook to develop a powerful surveillance system that tracks users to target them with ads, nudge them to stay online longer, prompt them to share more personal details and prod them to keep compulsively coming back...Evildoers--the dictators, the genocidal generals, the traffickers of political propaganda, the purveyors of false news--did not hijack Facebook. They simply used the platform as it was designed: to try to influence user behavior.

Natasha Singer, The New York Times Book Review, March 15, 2020

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