Economy & Decentralisation

Jamie Bartlett: Technology, Democracy & Power

Video with Jamie Barlett on Thursday 14th November 2019

Jamie Bartlett: Technology, Democracy & Power

Tech has radically changed the way we live our lives. Corporations have accumulated power in ways that existing regulatory and intellectual frameworks struggle to comprehend. A consensus is emerging that the power of these new digital monopolies is unprecedented, and that it has important implications for politics and society.


With our fragile political systems threatened by this digital revolution, the story of our time becomes dark and weird. Jamie argues that through our unquestioning embrace of big tech, the building blocks of democracy are slowly being removed. The middle class is being eroded, sovereign authority and civil society are weakened, and we citizens are losing our critical faculties, maybe even our free will.


About Jamie Barlett:
Jamie is a specialist in online culture and technology and author of The People Vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (2018), Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World (2017), and The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld (2014).

His current BBC podcast series Introducing The Missing Cryptoqueen uncovers a story of greed, deceit and herd madness. In the series we join him on the hunt for Dr Ruja Ignatova, the woman who promised to make millions rich through a cryptocurrency called OneCoin, and then disappeared.

Jamie founded 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 is also a regular commentator on national and international media outlets and in 2017 he presented the major BBC2 Series Secrets of Silicon Valley. His Ted Talk about the dark net has had over 3 million views.

Jamie unveils a shadowy world of Internet cultures and shares insights into key topics of our time such as cyber security, the impact of social media, and the evolution of new political movements. Jamie lights up the hidden corners of the internet to reveal the strange subcultures and protagonists that inhabit it – from Bitcoin miners to neo-Nazis.

As Head of the Violence and Extremism Programme at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, Jamie has researched and written extensively about radical political parties and movements across Europe, with a particular focus on the role of social media and modern technology. The Centre combines automated data extraction and sentiment analysis with social science statistics, analysis and ethics in order to produce insightful and robust policy research.

Jamie’s areas of expertise range from social media monitoring and analytics, Internet culture and ‘the dark net’, crypto-currencies, surveillance technology, machine learning, automated sentiment analysis, big data, cyber privacy and law, social media research ethics, and the reform to RIPA 2000. Jamie also co-authored #intelligence with Sir David Omand, which explores the use of internet intelligence by the security services and the police.

Jamie also writes on technology for the Spectator and regularly contributes to publications on how the internet is changing politics and society, including the New York Times, The Times, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, and Prospect.

Jamie Barlett #

Jamie is a specialist in online culture and technology and author of The People Vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (2018), Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World (2017), and The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld (2014).

Read Jamie Barlett’s profile