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Taylor Lorenz digs into social media's biggest failures and the rise of the influencer

When you look back at the history of social media, there are a lot of viral cats. There were alsosome songs that you couldn’t escape, like Tay Zonday’s “Chocolate Rain.” 

These viral moments are part of the storied history of the internet, but anonymous connections across the globe also drove some of society’s worst behavior.

The emergence of social media platforms allowed for the harassment of teenage girls, like the outpouring of hate for Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Some creators experienced targeted vitriol for years, sometimes for simply telling the public to leave Britney Spears alone

Washington Post tech columnist Taylor Lorenz digs through it all in her new book “Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet.” From mommy blogging to the behemoth of today’s TikTok, Lorenz traces social media’s history chronicling the moments that made the internet what it is today and what we can learn from its failures.

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Michelle Harven