A History of Fake Things on the Internet

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Product Details
$28.00  $26.04
Stanford University Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author
Walter J. Scheirer is the Dennis O. Doughty Collegiate Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.
"In this captivating book, Walter J. Scheirer artfully combines the skills of a cultural critic, historian, and computer scientist to explore the many facets of technological duplicity. Going beyond cliches, the book delves into an array of historical and contemporary cases involving computer hackers, digital artists, media forensics specialists, and AI researchers. By doing so, he unveils how exactly emergent media becomes the basis for myths, falsehoods, and trickery, and with what consequences."--Gabriella Coleman, author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous
"By historicizing fakeness online, Walter J. Scheirer helps readers understand the very real consequences, contexts, and stakes of digital participation. A fascinating study of creativity in all its forms--one that resists binary proclamations about what is good and creative and what is bad and destructive. Instead, the book says yes in many directions."--Whitney Phillips, coauthor of You Are Here: A Field Guide for Navigating Polarized Speech, Conspiracy Theories, and Our Polluted Media Landscape
"The Internet is awash in disinformation and conspiracy theories, with AI-generated 'deepfakes' looming on the horizon. A History of Fake Things on the Internet explains how fakes of all kinds have been a central part of Internet history and culture from the beginning. It is essential reading for understanding how we got here and where we are headed."--Sean Lawson, coauthor of Social Engineering: How Crowdmasters, Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls Created a New Form of Manipulative Communication
"There is something bold, perhaps reckless, in preaching serenity from the volcano's edge. But, as Scheirer points out, the doctored-evidence problem isn't new. Our oldest forms of recording--storytelling, writing, and painting--are laughably easy to hack. We've had to find ways to trust them nonetheless."--Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker
"Drawing on a framework developed by the pioneering anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss in the 1960s, Scheirer argues that humanity always occupies 'two parallel timelines: the physical world (i.e., the historical timeline) and the myth cycle (i.e., a fictional timeline).' Both are indispensable: We are confined to reality, but we cannot confront facts (or even make sense of them) without the salve of fiction."--Becca Rothfeld, Washington Post
"Scheirer chronicles the development of select categories of internet fakery using historical touchstones.... Recommended."--S. Clerc, CHOICE