Jan 14, 2020 - Technology

YouTube is the next Big Tech company to get book treatment

Photo: Gregor Fischer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, Twitter and Uber have for some time been subjects of books, movies and long exposés—and now it's YouTube's turn, with a new book deal for Bloomberg journalist Mark Bergen's "Like, Comment, Subscribe."

Why it matters: “It’s a technical and cultural story that hasn’t been told in its entirety yet,” says Bergen when asked why he chose that particular star in Alphabet-Google’s constellation.

  • He adds that people are increasingly interested in understand the technologies that are deeply shaping their internet lives — making YouTube and its video recommendation algorithm prime subjects to dive into.
  • YouTube, like its peers, is wrestling with questions of free speech and governance of the internet.
  • YouTube is also a potential target of the growing antitrust probes into Big Tech, a topic Bergen says will be a "fun question" to explore through his reporting. (Though he adds he doesn't believe breaking YouTube off from Alphabet-Google would ever happen.)

The big picture: Bergen’s book is the latest in a long list of projects in the last year or so chronicling the tech industry’s bad behavior and reckoning with the dark side of its influence.

  • Others whose stories have become subjects of books include Uber, WeWork, Instagram, Tesla, and Facebook.
  • Bergen's book, which will be published by Viking, has no release date yet.

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