The Hype Machine. Aral, Sinan. New York, NY: Penguin Random House, 2020. 416 pp. $28.00 (hardcover). (ISBN 9780525574514)

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


The Hype Machine by Sinan Aral provides a very thorough view of social media, its varied impacts, and the ways in which it can be harnessed to promote the greater good. Before commenting on different aspects of this work, I would like to mention a few things about the approach that Sinan has taken in writing this monograph. His approach uses a significant body of empirical research, is thorough in the articulation of arguments, and is balanced in the viewpoints presented. The reader will find a large number of studies referenced throughout this book, providing support for Sinan's arguments. Furthermore, he also draws heavily on legal, economic, political, social, psychological, ethical, and moral undercurrents to theorize his overarching thesis about the “hype machine.” It is important to have a balanced viewpoint to help people to form well-informed opinions about any matter. We all have seen arguments that either overzealously promotes the use of the hype machine in everything that we do or can think of doing, and there are, conversely, arguments for completely shunning its use. Sinan's work, I believe, is a really important step toward building a balanced and, hence, healthy discussion around the hype machine, its uses, and its inherent risks and potentials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-754
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
Early online date09 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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