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Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World (University of Minnesota Press), by Ulises Ali Mejias

Jan. 8, 2014
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Ulises Ali Mejias is out to bust commonplace assumptions, including the one about access to technology leveling the playing field. The University of New York communications professor cites a statistic: cell phone ownership is actually higher among Latinos and African Americans than whites, yet black median income plummeted during the smart phone era. Off the Network goes after blithe assumptions that social networking causes political change; only after the Mubarek regime shut down the Internet did the revolution gain traction with Egyptians forced to mobilize by other means. Off the Network is not a Luddite’s lament but a reminder that digital networks are owned by corporations and amplify their interests, spurring consumerism and giving people the illusion that their choices are more meaningful than they actually are. 

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