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Books in brief: #republic by Cass Sunstein

"When we are sealed off in 'information cocoons,' to use Sunstein’s phrase, our deliberative processes are stunted"

By Alex Dean   May 2017

#republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media, by Cass Sunstein (Princeton, £24.95)

The internet is a threat to democracy. That’s the central argument in #republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media, a new book by Harvard law professor and former Obama staffer Cass Sunstein.

According to Sunstein, new technology has resulted in people spending an unprecedented amount of time in echo chambers. Digital tools enable us to filter content with lightning speed, and thus avoid seeing it. Tech-users are therefore under-exposed to beliefs—notably political ones—which differ from their own.

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