An explosive new book’ Daily Mail
‘[A] careful, comprehensive interrogation of every major Facebook scandal. An Ugly Truth provides the kind of satisfaction you might get if you hired a private investigator to track a cheating spouse: it confirms your worst suspicions and then gives you all the dates and details you need to cut through the company’s spin’ New York Times
Award-winning New York Times reporters Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang unveil the tech story of our times in this riveting, behind-the-scenes expose that offers the definitive account of Facebook’s fall from grace. Once one of Silicon Valley’s greatest success stories, for the past five years Facebook has been under constant fire, roiled by controversies and crises. It turns out that while the tech giant was connecting the world, they were also mishandling users’ data, allowing the spread of fake news, and the amplification of dangerous, polarising hate speech. In a period of great upheaval, growth has remained the one constant under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Each has stood by as their technology is co-opted by hate-mongers, criminals and corrupt political regimes across the globe, with devastating consequences. In An Ugly Truth, they are at last held accountable.
‘Better sourced than all of its predecessors in the genre . . . makes for gripping as well as depressing reading. One of the book’s striking revelations is that there is more anxiety inside the company than we realised. Many Facebook employees have been anguished, frustrated or angry about what their employer has been doing in its relentless quest for growth. Some have tried to alert their superiors to their concerns. But time and again the bad news hasn’t persuaded those bosses because they didn’t sync with the overriding imperative of endless corporate growth . . . The problem of Facebook is Zuckerberg. And the question posed by this splendid book is: what are we going to do about him?’ Observer, Book of the Week
‘What marks this book out is how it gets under the corporate bonnet . . . to build a picture of astounding corporate arrogance and irresponsibility’ Sunday Times
‘A detailed dismantling of what happened at the highest levels of the company as it pursued a policy of deny, deflect and obfuscate’ New Statesman