Martin Gelin & Karin Pettersson

Martin Gelin is an award-winning author of six books on American politics and culture. Since 2010, he has been the U.S. correspondent for Dagens Nyheter, a national newspaper in Sweden. His writing and commentary on U.S. politics has been featured on BBC, CNN, The New York Times, NPR, Slate, and Granta magazine.

Karin Pettersson, a 2017 Nieman Fellow, is director of public policy at Schibsted Media Group and chairwoman of WAN-IFRA Media Freedom Board. Formerly she was political editor-in-chief at Aftonbladet, Scandinavia’s biggest daily newspaper. She is also the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Fokus, Sweden’s leading newsmagazine.

In 2018 they were nominated to the August Prize for best non-fiction title of the year for The Internet is Broken.

Photo: sofia runarsdotter

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The Internet is Broken: Silicon Valley and the Crisis of Democracy.


Silicon Valley's daydreaming visionaries were supposed to preserve democracy and save the world, but instead, their inventions paved the way for an anti-democratic revolution that now seems to threaten our entire human civilization. What happened?

The global wave of anti-democratic right-wing populism forces the Silicon Valley companies to ask themselves what role they have played in this development. Ten years ago, the world seemed to move in an unstoppable direction towards more democracy, openness and tolerance. Now, country by country seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

Martin Gelin and Karin Pettersson have visited the major tech companies in the United States - Facebook, Google, Twitter - and interviewed the leading experts in the American debate on media, democracy and new technologies, to gain a deeper understanding of the huge challenges that are now awaiting us. How can we make internet and social media tools that promote democracy?

Although the focal point is in Silicon Valley, the authors take us to Berlin, Oxford, Hong Kong, Hungary, Cambridge, Poland, Istanbul and Mexico City. They depict the chaos in India, Burma and Sri Lanka that arose when internet and social media reached places that previously lacked both internet access and functioning news media.


Original title:
Internet är trasigt

October 2018


Original publisher:
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final) and English sample

300 pages


"Highly topical and one of the most interesting perspectives on social media's influence on democracy."

Svenska Dagbladet

"It's gripping reading about the fate of democracy - how can technology strengthen democracy, instead of threatening it?"


 "This is not a moralistic book about screen time, not about filter bubbles, violence or porn. It is clearly and distinctly about putting social media in a broader context, about centralization of power, attention economy, newspaper death, information gaps."

Värmlands Folkblad