The old idea of a wide-open web, where hyperlinks from site to site created a non-hierarchical and decentralised network of information, has been largely supplanted by platforms designed to maximise your time within their walls, generating a biased exposure to news. It is easier than ever to publish false information, which can be quickly shared and taken to be true. Social media companies have become overwhelmingly powerful in determining what we read, and enormously profitable from the monetisation of other people’s work. The armies of chat bots and virtual assistants, the e-commerce sites that show the right recommendations at the right time and the latest dating apps are all built to learn and create continuously improving experiences. Who is serving who in this information economy? Is there a future for genuine and real news in the post-digital era?