A brief overview of the current state of online culture from 4-chan style alt-right shock trolling, to gender nonconforming tumblr communities. Really informative for an old man like me, it traces the way left and right online activists have pushed each other (and our common discourse) into further and further extremes.
Nagle knows her memes. You’ll get an overview of the rise of Pepe the frog, dicks out for Harambe, and the major cyber bullying cases of the last five years. But she does more than present an overview of the garbage that has been filling up your newsfeed. She also attempts to explain why these nihilistic, misogynistic and racist corners of the internet have gained such prominence, why they have penetrated mainstream discourse, and where we might be headlining from here.
If I have a quibble with the book it’s the tone at times that progressive movements on the internet created the space for the rise of 4-chan style nastiness. I’m not buying that. We’re all probably a bit to blame for Milo and his ilk, but complaining about teenagers on tumblr trying out different gender expressions just doesn’t seem like the place to focus.
Still, this is an excellent, fascinating, read. My good friend Tom put it best when he said this book would feel outdated in two years and absolutely essential in twenty. Get after it now and be outdated next year, but way ahead of the curve in twenty.