the social dilemma trailer

Shortly after the 2016 elections, a massive exposé revealed that Facebook had more of a part in the outcome of those elections than anyone anticipated. The invisible influence of Facebook’s algorithms were brought to light, and suddenly social media seemed way more sinister than the likes and hearts had made it appear. But that was just the beginning of the unearthing of how social media companies manipulate their users and contribute to our increasingly polarized cultural and political landscape. The Social Dilemma, a new documentary directed by Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral) attempts to further expose the evils of social media. Netflix has released The Social Dilemma trailer, which you can watch below.

The Social Dilemma Trailer

It’s time to delete your Facebook. Again. The new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma promises to give an in-depth, and probably disturbing, look at how social media platforms and its algorithms can manipulate its users and contribute to the spread of conspiracy theories, the degrading mental health of youths, and the political polarization that has taken hold of our current landscape.

Directed by Orlowski, The Social Dilemma interviews media experts and former social media engineers, including Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology; the co-inventor of the Facebook “Like” button, Justin Rosenstein; Tim Kendall, former President of Pinterest and former Director of Monetization at Facebook; Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction; and Rashida Richardson, Director of Policy at the AI Now Institute.

“The algorithms control what we see, when we see it, how we see it, with no regard for the truth or for humanity,” Orlowski said in a statement. “These platforms are driven by a business model that values attention above quality, and the algorithms will systematically push users to more and more polarized and extreme thinking in search of anything that will keep us engaged.”

It’s harrowing stuff that we’re all kind of vaguely aware of, especially in the wake of increased inquiries into Facebook’s wide-reaching influence in congressional anti-trust hearings with tech moguls. But to see it laid out in documentary form might just get you to finally delete all your social media apps on your phone.

Here is the synopsis for The Social Dilemma:

We tweet, we like, and we share — but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen.

The Social Dilemma premieres on Netflix on September 9, 2020.

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