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  • Just a reminder to the Netflix that using fake acting, suspicious background music and unrelated video clips DO NOT make documentaries more effective but cheapen them and make them less believable. Over-dramatizing the topic just puts the documentary into a storylike place where its unrealistic and undermines the seriousness of the topic. They all have cheapened the message. Next time, keep these in mind, please.

    Reminder: There is a clip of Hong Kong protesters pulling down a utility pole. The narration suggests this incident is related to 5G. It's not. The incident took place in the Kowloon Bay area, where a new traffic surveillance system was under test. The protesters believed the system was used to monitor protests. It's nothing to do with 5G.
  • spavaai9 September 2020
    It's partly unbelievable a documentary like this has not aired yet. Albeit not perfect in execution - the acted part is underwhelming - it is a definite eye opener and should be watched by teens, parents, entrepreneurs, politicians and everybody else.
  • Please do yourself a favor and watch it.

    Social media is not only scarring self esteem, making people question their self worth, causing dissatisfaction in life, increasing depression and suicides at an alarming rate but now has transcend past to more dangerous territory. It is now altering behaviour and changing the perception of how people perceive this world rigidly than ever at the expense of attention that is being sold.

    Democracy is being toppling around the world, political divide is higher and more extreme than ever, false news is spreading faster than the speed of light, citizens are on the verge of civil war.

    This is bad and I can see it, I just didn't knew social media is responsible for it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm in my 60's. I am at the age when I have seen this coming for years. Since the internet came along it was a marvel. Wow, we could buy things, sell things, look up things, communicate with others, amazing.

    Fast forward with social media. Everyone is a arm chair critic. We all scroll to the comments first. We like Twitter, Instagram, I got away from Facebook posting but, I still go on to see what others post, huh? As I have heard before, social media is the toilet of the internet, it is.

    This documentary is explaining what us old people have been seeing with younger people being totally obsessed with screens. Kids are growing up with phones attached to their hands not fully understanding what the meaning is behind likes, emojis, thumbs down and criticism. We sit back and watch as people are staring at, talking to and being totally engrossed with their devices. I use mine to get help if I brake down in my car.

    I right now have been cut off from a friend of 40 plus years because we don't agree on politics. He will not talk to me right now. My sister sends me daily emails of her point of view on who to vote for. My neighbors phone beeps constantly with notifications coming from everywhere, hard to talk to her.

    I have no children and I'm glad now because of the way the world is spinning out of control because of the media spoon feeding us whatever it is that we choose to watch, crazy. I feel for people out there that are trying to raise their children with ideals and morals that help them grow into responsible, humble, trust worthy adults.

    This documentary is very important for everyone to watch and wake up and realize that so much information out there is either fake or false and our personal information is being sold. Please look at what is happening in the world. We have come to far as humans to let the social media bring us to our knees. As Senator John Tester said, "I will be dead and gone by the time this all comes to fruition." I get that and I have said it many times.
  • A must see. Even these movie elements are important, becausevthey show exactly what happens, if you interfere with this system. You will overthink your personal social media habits completely and though be completely dazzled, because from now on you don't believe anybody anymore :D
  • First let me say I liked the messages conveyed in this documentary (not so much the dramatisations} and believe they are important and true, but ... Is that because it was a one sided documentary (which it was) which always makes for a much more persuasive argument? Also, did I only watch this because it appeared on my Netflix Home page, and is this just because Netflix knows that I like these types of documentaries? If so, then I feel like I may have been manipulated by the technology and that this could actually be fake news, however if that is true then the arguments contained in the documentary are true which makes it real news. My head is spinning, it is too much for my simple brain. I think I will just go and check my Facebook page to make sure that people still like me.
  • A documentary should be just that. This doc lost credit with the ridiculous acting scenes. They cheapened the message. Please take note future documentarians! No more stupid dramatizations in documentaries!
  • Enlightening, thought-provoking, disturbing and ultimately, a call to action, The Social Dilemma (and the group behind it), will, hopefully, prove to be a turning point in our interaction with technology... and technology's interaction with us.
  • I have been having the same conversation with myself asking why the world is so polarized today. What's fueling this endless hate... man this movie Nailed it !!
  • sriramthestranger10 September 2020
    Its not a documentary about the harmful effects of social media. Rather, its a much detailed insight on the business models of these companies. May be, some of the outputs are unintended consequences and interestingly, the documentary interviews the people who had designed and put such systems in place first. One of the best insightful documentary on Social Media. Must watch!!
  • After watching this (ironically after seeing it plastered all over twitter) I felt abit violated and felt like a break in social media was well overdue. I did just that but after 24 hours 'THEY' turned the dials just like how they explained they do for periods of non use by the user and just like that I was back in the game. The most disturbing bit for me was the phrase "there are only 2 industries that refer to their customers as users, the illegal drugs trade and tech companies" and I thought then that if you think about it, they both create addicts then profit from the addiction. A very clever and thought provoking film.
  • What do you call a "documentary" that takes a firm stance on one side of an issue, does not bother to interview a single person with a contrary opinion and then ends by asking you to do something?

    I have no love for social media companies. I don't even have a Twitter account. And there are legitimate social issues that need to be discussed, such as increased suicide rates amongst teenagers etc.

    But while this movie is claiming that social media companies are manipulating you into behaving differently than you otherwise would, the film itself sets out to scare the living daylights out of you immediately before ending with a request that you do something you otherwise would not have done. Rather hypocritical if you ask me.

    Don't trust film makers or Netflix any more than you trust Facebook or Instagram.

    Full disclosure: I work in tech (but not for any social media company), I hear these same claims on a daily basis and what the film does not tell you is that there are a lot of activist groups with different agendas trying to lobby the government into passing various laws at the moment. Not all of these groups are on the same page, or want the same things and they are not necessarily looking for the same results that you are. None the less, various individuals from these groups were featured in the documentary and edited such that it looks like they have a common goal and a common interest when they don't. For example: maybe you are concerned with the mental health of children as related to social media consumption, and an activist group - knowing that's something people care about - will give lip service to that issue while what they're really wanting to do is pass censorship laws because they want the power to control what can and can't be posted on social media.

    Just beware that this "documentary" was manipulative in itself, very one sided and does not accurately represent the disparate, nuanced and occasionally contradictory views of the various people represented.
  • Truly eye-opening piece about social media and its effects on our world. The only quibble I have with it is the scripted portion of the show, which was unnecessary and distracting.

    Show this to the Gen Z'ers in your family, which will, of course, cause eye-rolling and "Ok, boomer" to roll out of their mouths. Still, maybe it will hit home with them eventually.
  • I got off Facebook years ago! I never missed it. Shortly afterward I deleted all other social media platforms. I don't watch main stream media news either. I do my own research into EVERYTHING!! Social and MSM are huge problems in the world today. Lies lies LIES!! This documentary is just a peek into what they're really doing to our society. I applaud these men and women, who have been there from the beginning, now realizing the huge problem that is social media and doing what they can to educate us. They're pulling back the curtain begging us to see. So open your eyes and see!! Then tell everyone else. They only way to change, starts here. Thank you for an honest documentary!
  • spazmotica28 September 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    After hearing so many people speak so highly of this documentary I figured it must be revelatory. It isn't. If you know how social media is monetized, how the algorithms are used to manipulate your emotions, and how echo chambers works, then you will learn nothing new. Also the interwoven movie scenes were silly and juvenile. They seemed to mostly serve and filler to make this feature length because otherwise it would've been 45 minutes.
  • amitbhakar9 September 2020
    Its very deep.

    I think we all know postive side of social networking sites that why we all using them.

    This documentary reveal ugly side of social media in very deep manner.

    It's not like all the documentary that's show only surface level of information.

    Must watch. 100 % worth your time. You will going to shocked definitely.
  • To be honest I struggled to watch the entire documentary. While watching, I thought it was a commercial rather than what it should be. I'm not arguing documentary should in a way that it used to be. Taking a new step in production isn't bad but they were more focused on making it filmic or up to Netflix standard rather than focusing on the content. Here the documentary fails to impress persons like me because all those things they ere saying aren't new to me or at least to a person who know what is the worldwide web. The exaggerated cinematic visuals made it more like a staged performance rather than real facts and the funniest part is that they made fun of every other social media except themselves. If it's a genuine production, they should include a session about things inside Netflix too. after all its a social media platform!
  • This film explores the cultural changes in society created by social media, as told by experts in the field and often the actual creators of the platforms themselves.

    Both eye opening and unsettling, the film details the growing monetization of the human attention span. Remarkably unfiltered, the film is an absolute must watch for anyone who finds themselves at a loss with the direction the world is going.

    There are some dramatizations in the film which should have been left on the cutting room floor, as they detract from the essence of the interviews. But other than that, a great film.
  • This documentary:

    1) Selectively blames only technology/capitalism/profit business models/private initiatives etc.

    2) In parallel, it completely omits/ignores individual responsibility, which in fact is replaced by victimization. Individuals always are presented as "innocent victims" exploited by immoral monsters (point 1 above).

    3) And the cherry on the top: It proposes REGULATION as the main solution. In simple words, this documentary is based on the (unproven) belief that the solution is a gigantic Statism (more regulations, more interventions, more bureaucracy, more collectivism, more Man-in-the-middle, more liberty/freedom restrictions etc)... just because "individuals always are weak, always are victims, and always need the Big Brother (Statism) protection". Between hidden lines, it's like using North Korea or China as a model, where communism always is protecting the people (the weaker, the victims, the exploited, the common-good blah, blah, blah) by increasing the power of the government (in one hand), while regulating/controlling/manipulating Social Media and the whole internet traffic (in the other hand).

    4) In addition, the documentary totally ignores, for example, that Religion was/is/will be many times much worse than technology, Religion has existed for centuries causing colossal destruction and death, Religion always is tax-exempted enjoying countless fiscal benefits, Religion always is based on profit and power accumulation, and Religion is one of the worse exploiters of human mental weaknesses. In this same context, Statism for centuries has done (human brainwashing using political ideologies) the same as Religion did. But both Religion and Statism historically are culturally accepted, so both are never seen as enemies of humanity.

    Conclusion, I do not deny that Social Media/Networks are a problem. I just affirm that this documentary is selective and incomplete. The real problem is not Religion, nor Statism, nor Social Networks etc. The real problem is humanity, and their (our) tendency always to victimize themselves, never taking responsibility for their (our) actions and the consequences of their (our) actions.
  • I scroll twitter a lot.. after watching this documentary I went to my twitter feed and guess what, there was a Chinese state affiliated account on the top of my feed that was saying something bad about my Indian army.. and that actually provoked me to respond.. and I just saw the same thing in the documentary.. it's real.. the facts shown in the documentary are too damn real.. I just uninstalled twitter.. Now I realize that how many precious hours I've wasted just scrolling through the twitter feeds to trigger my reward centres in my brain.. I thought that I was a part of political narrative that will change my country but unknowingly I was dancing to the tunes of these big social media marketing tactics.. Seriously I'm done with social media.. and thanks netflix..
  • We all know the benefits of social media, and maybe we all have an idea about their issues.

    But a lot of people, are not aware how really big these issues.

    If it's up to me, I would even recommend it in schools, people must get their eyes open to the other side of the coin.
  • The Social Dilemma is an unlikely hit on Netflix. Most of the 94-minute documentary is simple interviews with worried former tech-industry executives. The interviews are interspersed with a dramatized story about Ben, a teenager whose life is controlled by personified AI algorithms. Rather than building up to a climax, the documentary examines several problems with social media one by one. The heavy focus on interview snippets and the laundry-list approach is a recipe for a boring movie, but The Social Dilemma has garnered nearly universal acclaim.

    Early in the The Social Dilemma, several of the former tech execs are asked by the interviewer to describe the problem with social media. The execs are momentarily tongue-tied. The impression the documentary wants to give is that there is so much wrong with social media that the experts don't know where to start. But maybe the answer is just hard to summarize. In the last decade, social media has been associated with scandal after scandal - Russian vote tampering, the livestreaming of the mosque shooting in New Zealand, the promotion of extremist conspiracy theories, etc. The documentary assumes that its viewers already agree that social media has a problem. Like the execs being interviewed, we just can't say exactly why.

    One recurring point in the documentary is that social media companies don't have the best interests of their users at heart. A text frame announces that 'if you don't pay for a product, you are the product.' In particular the user's attention is what can be sold to advertisers. (Another text frame quotes data visualization pioneer Edward Tufte: Only two industries refer to their customers as users, illegal drugs and software'.) Social media companies do whatever they can to attract and hold the attention of users. The companies employ powerful artificial intelligence to predict what will bring a user to the app, and keep them there.

    If we stop there, the way social media keeps us connected sounds dystopian. But companies never have the best interests of the customer at heart. 'It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest,' wrote Adam Smith. Even if social media companies are out to harvest our attention, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The outcome is what matters, not the motive. If social media companies keep our attention, it may be by giving us content that we find entertaining or informative. Maybe we go back to Youtube because we are addicted. Or maybe those dystopian algorithms suggest media we find worth watching. We all have choices about how we spend our time. The Social Dilemma suggests we don't have any choices to make.

    The word 'manipulated' came up again and again in the documentary. Users of social media are being manipulated to use the apps in a way that is not good for them. In fact, many users are 'addicted' to social media. This language reminded me of Marxist language about the 'exploitation' of workers. The word itself tells us how we are supposed to feel about the practice. If we instead said users are 'persuaded' to spend time on social media, the whole market sounds less ominous, but the meaning of the word isn't much different.

    As a little aside, I watched The Social Dilemma with Netflix closed captioning on. Closed captioning contains both subtitles, and also a description of non-dialogue sounds as well. When the discussion was related to suspicious practices of tech companies 'ominous music' was played. When a character in the dramatization suggests that we use less social media, 'energizing music' was played. The captioning parted the curtain a little bit so I could see behind the scenes how the film makers aimed to 'manipulate' or 'persuade' the audience into certain feelings by using musical cues.

    This isn't to say that there is nothing worrying about social media. The effect of social media on children emphasized by the The Social Dilemma is genuinely worrying. Children, especially pre-teen children, are not mature adults. Children are often gullible, and make poor decisions. We cannot expect them to make decisions which are in their own best interest. Social media for children should be regulated similarly to how children's television is regulated. Short of that, parents should limit their pre-teens' connections to social media, and regularly look through what they are doing online.

    The documentary ends with a short discussion of the existential risk of social media. That is, the chance that unregulated social media will lead to the end of humanity as we know it. This far-fetched idea is endorsed by a couple of the experts who appear repeatedly in the documentary. I am not sure I understand exactly the mechanism by which social media would end the human race, but I think the fact that several of the interviewees support it is telling. The former execs that are interviewed in The Social Dilemma all spent much of their careers thinking about social media. Since social media is their life's work, they might think it is more important than it really is.

    The Social Dilemma is a long diatribe, with some interesting ideas and observations thrown in along the way. I think it could have been cut down significantly, and I did not find the dramatization helpful. The mediocre documentary is boosted by plugging into the current widespread skepticism about the role of social media in our lives. If you enjoyed this review, don't forget to smash that like button.
  • Although there is some truth in its message, this film is extremely one sided. It would be much more believable if they included some people with different opinions. As is, it 'sounds like' an echo chamber of a bunch of social media haters. Yes! They have some good arguments, but most of them are plain nonsense. Some messages are: "Social media shows ads and manipulate people into buying stuff as well as some" Welcome to real world! Everything in your life has been manipulated by media and advertisement for decades (at least). How you dress, eat, talk, think. That's how media and advertisement work. Social media is just another tool. "Social media enables fake news and polarization". Really? How about the times before social media? We had two world wars in a decade and a decades long cold war. Who polarized people in 20th century?

    Before social media: 1 - Average people on the street did not have a platform to express their ideas. I don't understand how a progressive "intellectual" can have a problem with that. 2 - Average person did not have the chance to show their skills to the world. Media and Show business were controlled by a bunch of elites. Now, anybody can start a TV channel in youtube, or publish an independent movie on social media. Social media enabled people to share ideas, find like-minded people, hear different opinions and many other positives. So, instead of starting a war against internet companies, why let's start a dialogue. Try and educate people, make internet safe for vulnerable people. Cars are useful, and also super dangerous. But, we don't banish them, right? We have been trying to make them safer.
  • Hmmm. 🤔 Some good stuff ... and some very bad. The first half, and about the last five or ten minutes ... where practical (data-driven) advice is given in terms of identifying problematic issues, and managing kids' usage (particularly) ... is good. But I found most of the second half to be seriously condescending and propagandistic ... in respect of "conspiracy theories" etc. Which is hilariously ironic, because the whole doco is basically talking about the ACTUAL (massive!) conspiracy-theory which has played out over the last 20 years to mine our attention and make users a disposable product. LOL. 🙄 Obviously I wasn't expecting much (it being a Netflix production). But there are problematic issues, and at least they are raised in this doco ... even though the production comes with a bucket-load of stuff I think is assumptive, selectively judgmental, manipulative, fundamentally irrelevant to the main problems, and accordingly, unhelpful and a little irritating to sit through. Overall though, it is absolutely worth watching ... mainly for reasons of being able to unplug kids before they become completely useless human beings. For some though, it is already too late. 🙁
  • Under the control of Faecesbook, PooTube, Instascat, S*itter et al - these farmers of the digital age, the owners of the abattoirs, where your mind is removed, rewired and reset.

    Great documentary about your lack of self determination and what you can (must) do about it.
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