Film: The Social Dilemma

Netflix has made this film available for FREE on YouTube until the end of September.

Technology connects us to our friends, current news and events and information. For many of us – even more so during the lockdowns and restrictions of the Coronavirus era – social media acts as the intermediary between us and the world.

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, TikTok, YouTube and others have occupied powerful positions of influence, some for well over a decade. These platforms trap our attention and shape our views, while monitoring and monetising clicks and time. But what are the consequences? How do these platforms aid the spread of fake news, and increase the polarity of opinion and division of communities? How do they threaten democracy, and prevent appropriate action to face the challenges ahead, like climate change, public health, increasing social and economic instability?

  • Fake news spreads six times faster than accurate news on Twitter, and falsehoods are 70% more likely to be retweeted.
    – MIT study, 2018
  • The number of countries with political disinformation campaigns on social media doubled in the past 2 years.
    – New York Times, 2019
  • 64% of the people who joined extremist groups on Facebook did so because the algorithms steered them there.
    – Internal Facebook report, 2018
  • A 5,000 person study found that higher social media use correlated with self-reported declines in mental and physical health and life satisfaction.
    – American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017

This film was shot between 2018 and 2019. It was premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was re-edited in March-April 2020 with some extra materials as COVID-19 started to hit.

There is a great irony that you probably discovered this story and our group online through social media. And you are using YouTube to watch the film. Yes.

Film: The Social Dilemma
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