Use this video in your classes to explore how tech monopolies like Facebook are subverting democracy


As the 2020 presidential race heats up, questions about the power of internet giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have moved to center stage.

From Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren’s regulatory plan to break up tech monopolies to Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that Facebook will continue to run political ads containing lies and misinformation, one question keeps coming up: Is the internet doing more to embolden democracy or to subvert it?

This is precisely the question at the heart of our bestselling video Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, featuring bestselling author and media scholar Robert McChesney.

Taking dead aim at the contentious relationship between unchecked corporate power and the democratic need for a free and open media system, McChesney breaks down how internet giants like Google and Facebook have amassed huge profits by surreptitiously collecting personal data and selling it to advertisers; shows how telecom monopolies like Verizon have colluded with the national security state to advance covert mass surveillance programs online; and breaks down how a handful of powerful social media platforms continues to isolate people into ideological filter bubbles and elevate misinformation at the expense of real journalism.

We urge you to screen Digital Disconnect in your classes and communities as debates about the anti-democratic powers of business monopolies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon move into the mainstream like never before.


Digital Disconnect combines McChesney’s terrific explanatory skills with MEF’s wonderful production values and creativity, providing a one-stop ‘zero-to-60’ education in the most important topic of our times.”

— Larry Gross, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

“A brilliant exposé. Takes a deep dive into the fundamental question of telecommunications policy: whose interests do digital technologies and media platforms serve?”

— Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications, Penn State University

“I love this movie! It offers a crash course in the hidden history of the Internet and [shows] how this revolutionary platform capable of enhancing freedom and democracy is being transformed into a vehicle for monopoly, hypercommercialism, and surveillance.”

— Jeff Cohen, Associate Professor of Journalism, Ithaca College

“Masterful. Lays bare how unfettered capitalism and digital monopolies diminish the internet’s democratic potential. I loved this film and will definitely use it in my own classes!”

— Victor Pickard, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania