In the 1600s, self-proclaimed witch hunter Matthew Hopkins stirred public panic with his book "The Discovery of Witches," as competing Catholics and Protestants sought to attract new followers by demonstrating their power to expose and capture "witches."
The Russian social media disinformation campaign was particularly savvy in the lead-up to the 2016 election. But take a closer look and you might be surprised to learn that ads out of Russia only accounted for less than 1% of all political ads that year.
In the new network empire, there's only one commodity that counts: data. The more time you spend online, the more your data is collected, which, according to Niall Ferguson, is just as valuable as oil in our modern economy.
From the Reformation and 17th century witch-hunting, through the American Revolution and to the nightmare visions of Orwell’s 1984, Ferguson explores the intersection of social media, technology and the spread of cultural movements.