Ebury rushes 'urgent polemic' after Cambridge Analytica scandal

Ebury rushes 'urgent polemic' after Cambridge Analytica scandal

Ebury is rushing to publish The People Vs Tech: How the internet is killing democracy (and how we save it) following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

Authored by Jamie Bartlett, the director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media and the presenter of the BBC documentary "Secrets of Silicon Valley", the "timely polemic" argues that the internet is "killing democracy" and puts forth 20 "radical" proposals as to what can be done about it.

The book's publication has been brought forward from 31st May to 5th April in e-book and 19th April in physical edition. 

According to Ebury, the release schedule was changed following "the explosive news of Cambridge Analytica’s alarming role in Brexit and the US election". Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica’ is currently embroiled, along with Facebook, in a dispute over the harvesting and use of personal data and whether it was used to influence the outcome of the UK Brexit referendum or the US presidential election.

The premise of Bartlett's book is that digital technology and our democracy are incompatible, and we must reform democracy and reign in digital disruption within the next 20 years - or risk losing democracy for good.

Bartlett said the tension between our analogue democracy and our digital technologies had become "increasingly obvious" and was "one of the most pressing questions of our time". "On the current trajectory, democracy won't survive. This book sets out an alternative," he added.

Among the author's proposals are new government policies and laws, as well as what is described by Ebury as "a citizen fightback".

Ebury deputy publishing director Andrew Goodfellow said the book "brilliantly anchored the overload of noise in the press, distilling the swirling debate down to what we need to know and what we can do to make change".

UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired from Caroline Michel at PFD.