Review: Marantz’s Anti-Social

Anti-Social: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

Andrew Marantz

Antisocial is an extension of the reporting Marantz did for the New Yorker, both before and after the election on the rise of clickbait websites and alt-right trolls. Some of this will be familiar ground to those who read the earlier articles, but there is more than enough new material here, and new insights to make this worth your while if you’re interested in how certain less savory corners of the internet work.

Marantz is a great journalist, who doesn’t shy away from the tricky questions that arise when you’re profiling some pretty unappealing people. If you’re humanizing an racist, anti-Semitic asshole like Mike Enoch, who is playing who? Marantz is forthcoming in the complexities of these relationships and if you follow this world at all, perhaps the most interesting insights here are into how figures like Enoch, Cernovich and others interact when an honest to goodness report is on the phone.

Perhaps in a year this will all feel very old, but for now, this is a book worth reading if you care about the conversation in this country and where “the narrative” is going.


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  1. Casual, But Smart

    I found this book so fascinating. It helped me understand why Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms have turned into these hyperbolic chambers of political polarization. I feel like it will stand the test of time — it captures a moment in history of social media and its excesses extremely well.

    1. seanv2

      Yes! It’s rare that these corners of the world get a serious treatment by a real journalist!

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