The Dark Side of Social Media: ISBN 978-1-6782-0078-7 / eBook: 978-1-6782-0079-4
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2021
Although young Americans are growing up steeped in social media, there are many disturbing aspects to its omnipresence.
This brief yet richly informative effort covers in four chapters the most serious issues with social media. First, it addresses the repetition of inaccurate or patently untrue information, which creates a large class of badly informed citizens, threatening democratic processes. Alarmingly, those ages 18 to 29 use it as their primary source of news even though information on social media generally lacks any traditional fact-checking. The second chapter covers social media as a virulent forum for hate that appears to inflame prejudice; violent racist shootings by those active on online forums where hate speech is promoted, the use of divisive bots on Twitter, and the rise of anti-Asian harassment during t! he Covid pandemic are covered. Next, the author moves to cyberbullying on social media, something that is difficult to control since many young users use social media without adult supervision. Stories from and about real people adversely affected by online bullying put a human face on the problem. Finally, the book addresses the fact that social media is addictive by design and looks at the toll this takes on people’s lives. Both rich in accurate information and engaging to read, this effort's only flaw is intrusive text boxes that merely repeat statements from the narrative. The text is enlivened with photographs and charts.
Addresses critical issues concisely and thoroughly. (source notes, resources, further research, index, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)