Move Fast and Break Things: Are Facebook, Amazon, and Google Hacking Our Democracy?

Jonathan Taplin Audio, Conversations, Perspectives, Politics, Science & Technology 3 Comments

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A hot topic in the 2016 election was the wealth disparity between the 1% and the rest of us ordinary Americans. One of the story points of this emergence is what the business and targeting practices of the tech giants Facebook, Google, and Amazon mean to us personally — one of the themes we will explore at the What NOW conference over New Years.

One of the excellent new books on this subject is Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things – How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. Jonathan’s book does a really great job tracing the motivations of their founders as they morphed from startup tech innovators to dominant tech monopolies.

One of the concerns being raised this week is the role that Facebook played in the Russian hacking of the 2016 election. At first, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook had nothing to do with the false advertising and fake news that targeted the electorate. But just this week, Facebook has admitted that they did have a problem with fake Russian accounts. Is this just the tip of the iceberg?

We are lucky enough to have caught Jonathan before he headed out on his much touted book tour. My 40 minute interview with Jonathan reveals important things you will want to know about if you are at all concerned about your personal data files being collected and targeted by these companies without your permission for marketing and political purposes.

-David Riordan

Click here to purchase Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy on — yep, you guessed it! — Amazon.


The What NOW Conference
December 29 - January 1

Welcome to the era of disruption.

It seems clear we are heading into one of the most disruptive periods of human history the world has ever known. And even now, what we currently see is just a hint of the incredibly disruptive forces that are waiting just behind the curtain — automation, genetics, artificial intelligence, etc. — ready to descend upon our civilization and force us to discover new strategies of coexistence.

But of course, in these times of rampant disruption there is also newfound opportunity for fresh ideas to emerge, to replace outmoded ideas that are generating an enormous amount of evolutionary friction, and to begin reshaping our notions of the world, our work, and our shared future.

This is why we are holding our What Now conference this New Year — to help you navigate and explore the era of massive worldwide disruption that we now find ourselves in, and to discover the inner resiliency and adaptability we need — not only to survive this breakneck era of transformation, but to thrive and actively participate in its unfolding.

Jonathan Taplin

About Jonathan Taplin

Jonathan Taplin is Director Emeritus at the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC, and the author of the book Move Fast and Break Things.

David Riordan

About David Riordan

David Riordan is Vice President of Media Development for Integral Life, Inc. David is responsible for managing Integral Life's media business development, including creating compelling and accessible stories in multiple mediums—including online, DVD and motion picture formats.


  1. Really Terrifying! And accurate. Jon gives a few roads out of the Digital Trap we’re in — but it looks pretty grim.

  2. Wow, there’s some creepy stats in this interview! Very interesting. I will say that on the other side of the coin, I benefit tremendously from Amazon because I’m home bound from an illness. Being able to shop for so much online gives me the ability to live on my own—a measure of independence.
    But thanks for the illuminating conversation regarding the ethics & pitfalls of that convenience!

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