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Tech's Terrible Year: How the World Turned on Silicon Valley in 2017

When Jonathan Taplin’s book Move Fast and Break Things, which dealt with the worrying rise of big tech, was first published in the U.K. in April 2017, his publishers removed its subtitle because they didn’t think it was supported by evidence: "How Facebook, Google and Amazon cornered culture and undermined democracy."

Tech's Terrible Year: How the World Turned on Silicon Valley in 2017

When the paperback edition comes out early next year, that subtitle will be restored.

“It’s been a sea change in just six months,” Taplin said. “Before that, people were kind of asleep.”

In the last year, barely a day has gone by without a scandal placing technology companies in the spotlight, whether for sexual harassment, livestreamed murder, Russian influence operations or terrorist propaganda.

Tech’s annus horribilis started with calls to #DeleteUber, but the way things are going it will end with calls to delete the entire internet.

“2017 has definitely been a year when tech has found there is a target painted on its back,” said Om Malik, a venture capitalist. “The big companies have been so obsessed with growth that there’s been a lack of social responsibility. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.”

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When the paperback edition comes out early next year, that subtitle will be restored.

“It’s been a sea change in just six months,” Taplin said. “Before that, people were kind of asleep.”

In the last year, barely a day has gone by without a scandal placing technology companies in the spotlight, whether for sexual harassment, livestreamed murder, Russian influence operations or terrorist propaganda.

Tech’s annus horribilis started with calls to #DeleteUber, but the way things are going it will end with calls to delete the entire internet.

“2017 has definitely been a year when tech has found there is a target painted on its back,” said Om Malik, a venture capitalist. “The big companies have been so obsessed with growth that there’s been a lack of social responsibility. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.”

Read Full Article

Tech's Terrible Year: How the World Turned on Silicon Valley in 2017