‘The Social Dilemma’: What the Haunting Netflix Documentary Reveals About Social Media

The Social Dilemma Netflix

The new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma is — ironically — picking up a lot of traction on social media. While we need to be having conversations about the long-term effects on society of apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter — maybe it’s best we have those conversations in analog. The movie sheds light on the sneaky and manipulative ways these social media websites and apps keep us addicted — and divided. What does the haunting doc The Social Dilemma really reveal?

‘The Social Dilemma’, the documentary you can watch on Netflix, shares a harrowing version of the online experience

Skyler Gisondo as Ben in The Social Dilemma | Exposure Labs/Netflix

The Social Dilemma is a powerful call-to-action, directed mainly at Silicon Valley. Among interviews with multiple former executives of Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, and others, the disgruntled ex-employees reveal what’s really going on behind the scenes at these giant tech companies.

For example, we don’t pay for these social media apps. While that’s no doubt convenient, what does that really mean?

“Advertisers are the customers,” Aza Raskin, the inventor of “infinite scroll” and co-founder of the Center for Human Technology argues in The Social Dilemma. “We’re the thing being sold.” The data we rack up by using the app gets sold to other companies. The companies themselves also use this data to get us to stay hooked on the app longer.

Former tech executives review the ways they try to keep social media users addicted

As these former tech executives admit in The Social Dilemma, it is (or was, in this case) basically their goal to make you addicted to the app.

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Jeff Seibert, a former exec at Twitter, says that these companies track not only what images you look at but “for how long you look at it.” Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google and the co-founder of a company called Center for Humane Technology, says this means the AI behind the app knows what you like, and what kind of images and videos will keep you engaged on the platform.

The algorithm can “predict what kinds of emotions tend to trigger you” — the best way to keep you scrolling, or typing.

“We want to … figure out how to manipulate you as fast as possible” — Chmath Palihapitiya, the former VP of Growth at Facebook said an interview, “and then give you back that dopamine hit.” It’s using

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

      

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