Few mediums have had a larger impact on our global community in the last two decades than social media. Social media has undoubtedly connected us in ways few could have imagined, but this connection has not come without consequences.
The Social Dilemma is a new documentary film that blends documentary investigation and narrative drama to disrupt the disruptors, unveiling the hidden machinations behind everyone’s favorite social media and search platforms and revealing how social media is reprogramming civilization with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations.
- Virtual Screening on Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. EST
- Join members of the Gilman community for a screening of The Social Dilemma. Register today! Can't make the screening? If you have a Netflix account, you can watch the film on your own at any time.
- Virtual Conversation on Friday, November 20, 1:30 p.m. EST
- Join Jeff Seibert '04, founder of Digits and former Senior Director of Product at Twitter, who is featured in the film, for a conversation about making the movie, the issues at the heart of it, and possible long-term solutions.
More about The Social Dilemma:
The Social Dilemma explores the rise of social media and the damage it has caused to society, focusing on the exploitation of its users for financial gain through surveillance capitalism and data mining, how its design is meant to nurture an addiction, its use in politics, its effect on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates), and its role in spreading conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate and aiding groups such as flat-earthers.
The film features interviews with many individuals who give first-hand experiences of working in and around the tech industry. Interviewees state that the existence of social media platforms and big tech has been instrumental in providing positive change for society, however, some decisions and paradigms have caused consequences that are problematic. Throughout the documentary, many former employees, executives, and other professionals from top tech, social media, and research backgrounds give their input on the problems that can be found on a variety of online platforms. These interviews are cut together with dramatizations that tell the story of a teenager’s social media addiction interlaced with a representation of how a social media algorithm powered by artificial intelligence may work.
The Social Dilemma premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released on Netflix on September 9, 2020.