Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives

Phil Howard, 2020 (Yale) Artificially intelligent “bot” accounts attack politicians and public figures on social media. Conspiracy theorists publish junk news sites to promote their outlandish beliefs. Campaigners create fake dating profiles to attract young voters. We live in a world of technologies that misdirect our attention, poison our political conversations, and jeopardize our democracies. With massive amounts of social media and public polling data, and in-depth interviews with political consultants, bot writers, and journalists, Philip N. Howard offers ways to take these “lie machines” apart. Find out more at

Design Justice: Community-Led Practices To Build The Worlds We Need

Sasha Costanza-Chock, 2020

(MIT Press) This book explores the theory and practice of design justice, demonstrates how universalist design principles and practices erase certain groups of people —specifically, those who are intersectionally disadvantaged or multiply-burdened under the matrix of domination (white supremacist heteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and settler colonialism) — and invites readers to “build a better world, a world where many worlds fit; linked worlds of collective liberation and ecological sustainability.”

Find out more at ISBN-10: 0262043459This book is also free to read electronically at design justice.

Valuing data: foundations for data policy

Diane Coyle, Stephanie Diepeveen
Jeni Tennison, Peter Wells, Lawrence Kay, 2020

(Nuffield) a new report by Diane Coyle and colleagues for the Nuffield Foundation in the UK has examined the complex problem of how we put a value on the data that we create and exchange. See their literature review and the policy implications at

Find out more at

A Europe fit for the Digital Age

European Commission, 2020 (European Commission) The new European Commission has already marked out a strong focus on issues to do with digital technology, developing (and defining?) an EU fit for the digital age. For the EU’s Digital Strategy, see Find out more at

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir,

Anna Wiener, 2020

(Macmillan) Part coming-of-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Anna Wiener’s memoir is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. With wit, candor, and heart, Anna deftly charts the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment.

Find out more at