FRESH AIR: Andrew Marantz has spent the past three years reporting on the alt-right’s use of social media. He’s embedded with the people he describes as the trolls and bigots and propagandists who are experts at converting fanatical memes into policy. Marantz is a staff writer for The New Yorker and started this reporting project during the 2016 presidential campaign. He watched how extremist memes and lies were created and went viral, and he profiled the people creating the means. Marantz has also been reporting on social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, that claim they’re dedicated to free speech but have vulnerabilities that have allowed them to become the primary means for spreading disinformation. His latest articles are about what social media platforms have been doing and have declined to do to prevent purveyors of false news and smears from exploiting social media during the 2020 election. Andrew Marantz is the author of the new book Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, And The Hijacking Of The American Conversation.