Technically Wrong

Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech

Sara Wachter-Boettcher (Author)


“An entertaining romp that tells us where and why the tech industry, once America’s darling, went wrong, and what it might do to recover its good graces.” —Tim Wu, author of The Master Switch

Buying groceries, tracking our health, finding a date: whatever we want to do, odds are that we can now do it online. But few of us realize just how many oversights, biases, and downright ethical nightmares are baked inside the tech products we use every day. It’s time we change that.

In Technically Wrong, Sara Wachter-Boettcher demystifies the tech industry, leaving those of us on the other side of the screen better prepared to make informed choices about the services we use—and to demand more from the companies behind them.

A Wired Top Tech Book of the Year
A Fast Company Best Business and Leadership Book of the Year

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • October 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35604-5
  • 5.4 × 8 in / 240 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Just as the current political climate has inspired many to pick up a sign and head out into the street for the first time, I hope Technically Wrong will inspire newcomers to start thinking more critically about the apps and algorithms around them.” — Anna Lauren Hoffmann, Science

“If a book on design in the technology industry ever deserved a standing ovation, this one is it. Sara Wachter-Boettcher has laid out a concise case for digital product makers to work with a broader range of people. And that means working with people unlike themselves as both makers and consumers, and from start to finish.” — John Maeda, author of The Laws of Simplicity

“Sara Wachter-Boettcher is exactly the kind of sharp, informed and deeply compassionate critic of the tech industry that we need right now. Technically Wrong makes a strong case for adding basic humanity into the algorithms of the digital products that define the age. It's an invitation for all of us to think more deeply about our connections to others in any medium.” — Sarah Kaufman, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, author of The Art of Grace

“One of the deepest, most thoughtful views on exactly how today's tech is affecting us. Technically Wrong is an essential guide for people who care about ensuring today's tech is humane and ethical.” — Anil Dash, tech entrepreneur, activist, and writer

“No matter how we set the preferences, the results turn out the same.… For all of digital technology’s supposed configurability and customization, there’s a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all quality to the apps and platforms we use, pushing conformity over individuality, and acquiescence over identity. Sara Wachter-Boettcher reveals how none of us can, or should, live up to the image our technology has of us.” — Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

“The stories [Wachter-Boettcher] tells… are good, as are the examples she provides of corporate failure.” — Sunday Times (UK)

“In Technically Wrong, Wachter-Boettcher attacks the sort of techies whose ‘disruption’ seems aimed as much at common sense and decency as anything else.… She urges activism, not passivity: Know your products, demand the best, change brands if need be, complain until the Silicon boys get it right.” — David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express

“This is a powerful read reflecting on the prejudices that lurk within a powerful industry.” — IT Pro

“Recommended for all readers interested in the intersection of technology and social justice.” — Library Journal

“Wachter-Boettcher lays out a convincing and damning argument about the small daily failures and large systemic issues that stem from Silicon Valley’s diversity problem.… This engrossing volume is important for readers of all ages.” — School Library Journal

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