Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit – a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon – lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.
The dark net is an underworld that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the encrypted web. It is a world that frequently appears in newspaper headlines, but one that is little understood, and rarely explored. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures: trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes.
Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.
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A fascinating and disturbing journey through the furthest recesses of the Internet. Jamie Bartlett is an expert guide... he shines an invaluable light on a world that remains determinedly opaque. - Independent
A hell of an achievement... Buy it and read it. - The Times
Bartlett anatomises the usual bogeymen and demonstrates that they’re real.The Dark Net is, for anyone engaged with the web and the effects it is having on our culture, necessary reading... a flashlight in a dark, dark cellar. - Spectator
A fascinating and disturbing exploration of the outer edges of the internet and the human mind. - Josh Cohen
[A] thorough and assiduously researched account of the deviantly erotic, subversive and criminal aspects of web life. - Sunday Times
A confident and well-informed guide... By meeting the people behind the online activity, Bartlett humanises it. - New Scientist
The Dark Net offers smart, provoking reportage from the crooked crannies of digital culture, married to a quietly impressive analysis of how technology is amplifying both the best and the worst of us. Required reading for anyone looking to escape media hysteria and get to grips with the 21st century's most compelling, discomforting complexities. - Tom Chatfield
A judgement-free look at the mechanics of trolling and other internet bad behaviour and generates more light than heat. - New Statesman, Books of the Year
Reveals a hidden, seedy world where people lurk behind pseudonyms and dupe others into revealing their bodies on camera to be used against them in public shaming. If you’re shocked to discover that last year approximately 20 per cent of drug users bought their stash online, you’ll find this fascinating. Bartlett is an able guide on a journey through the margins of the web. - Independent, Books of the Year
A well-researched book, studded with enlightening interviews - Mail on Sunday
A gripping read, more thrilling and chilling than many a fictional tale of the digital could ever be. - Sciencebase
The book's great contribution is non-sensationalist reporting about very touchy subjects. If we're going to keep making laws about this stuff, we need this kind of sanity. - ZDNet
A timely and thought-provoking book - Sunday Sport
This book ticks all of my boxes: fascinating subcultural studies, a brave nosedive into often scary worlds, and a pacey writing style that makes you think you’re reading a good thriller. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what the depths of human depravity look like, but can’t get the time off work to find out for themselves. - Left Foot Forward
A meticulous, discomfiting account of the human stories behind each headline - Medium
About the Author
Jamie Bartlett is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos, where he specialises in online social movements and the impact of technology on society. He lives in London.