In surrealist artist Paul Klee's The Twittering Machine, the bird-song of a diabolical machine acts as bait to lure humankind into a pit of damnation. Leading political writer and broadcast Richard Seymour argues that this is a chilling metaphor for relationships with social media.
Former social media executives tell us that the system is an addiction-machine. Like drug addicts, we are users, waiting for our next hit as we like, comment, and share. We write to the machine as individuals, but it responds by aggregating our fantasies, desires and frailties into dat, and returning them to us as a commodity experience.
Through journalism, psychoanalytic reflection and interviews with users, developers, security experts and others, Seymour probes the human side of this machine, asking what we're getting out of it, and what we're getting into.
'If you really want to set yourself free, you should read a book - preferably this one.' - Observer's Book of the Week 'Richard Seymour has a brilliant mind and a compelling style. Everything he writes is worth reading.' - Gary Younge, The Guardian