I am sure many of you have seen or at least heard of the popular Netflix documentary, Social Dilemma. To quickly sum it up, several ex-engineers and ex-executives of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, and other big tech companies are interviewed and give their take on the dangers and current state of social media in modern civilization. More specifically, the film sheds light on the immense data big tech companies are gathering through the use of their platforms and tracking technologies, and how they use this data to build personalized profiles on our lives to manipulate our interests for their own commercial interests and profit. It may be ironic promoting a documentary that is anti-tech per say, and goes against norms of the internet and social media apps, but I believe it is crucial that the majority of the population knows what goes on behind the scenes.
For me, this documentary evokes the feelings of concern, confusion and fear and has made me want to be a part of the change that is needed. I believe you should watch this film because it raises your awareness on how much data these companies really have on our lives and the little to no control we have on the way they monetize from our data. The film also focuses on how big tech companies promote misinformation through their algorithms and the consequences. More importantly, the film points out a staggering fact, that misinformation spreads six times faster than the truth and these big tech companies have no fiscal incentive to not collect all of our data. At the end of the film, there is a “Call to Action” with little things each and every one of us can do to prevent the collection of our data. Although the director of the film, Jeff Orlowski, and Netflix oversimplified important points in order to reach a broad audience, the film is still educating and questioning where society is headed.