Political Science

The Internet Trap: How the Digital Economy Builds Monopolies and Undermines Democracy

Why there is no such thing as a free audience in today's attention economy


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Published (US):
Nov 10, 2020
Published (UK):
Dec 3, 2020
6.13 x 9.25 in.
7 b/w illus. 5 tables.
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The internet was supposed to fragment audiences and make media monopolies impossible. Instead, behemoths like Google and Facebook now dominate the time we spend online—and grab all the profits. This provocative and timely book sheds light on the stunning rise of the digital giants and the online struggles of nearly everyone else, and reveals what small players can do to survive in a game that is rigged against them. Challenging some of the most enduring myths of digital life, Matthew Hindman explains why net neutrality alone is no guarantee of an open internet, and demonstrates what it really takes to grow a digital audience in today’s competitive online economy.

Awards and Recognition

  • Co-winner of the 2019 Goldsmith Book Prize for Academic Books, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School
  • Winner of the 2018 Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism and Mass Communication Research Award