Technology can turn dry reporting into poetry and can revolutionize newsrooms, but it can drive us crazy — and make us less unproductive too. Evgeny Morozov says the trouble might not be in the technology itself, but how we think about it.
Evgeny Morozov looks at the moral consequences of solving social problems with digital technologies. In To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism he writes about how technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life, allowing us to solve problems in highly original ways. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency?
Evgeny Morozov argues that the Internet and social media are not as liberating and democratizing as some have claimed, and he shows how authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, and disseminate propaganda. In The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom Morozov shows how the Internet entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and how it can make it harder to promote democracy.
When Iranians demonstrated against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime in 2009, the U.S. government and media outlets identified the ultimate tool of the dissident masses to be Twitter. When insisting that nothing like the Rwandan genocide could ever happen again, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown explained: “information would come out far more quickly” and “public opinion would grow to the point where action would need to be taken.” All over the world, we see the power that the Internet has in mobilizing the masses. But at the same time, repressive governments are finding ways to launch "denial of service" attacks.