Netflix documentary double bill shines a spotlight on privacy, data, and the threat of social media
Netflix documentary double bill shines a spotlight on privacy, data, and the threat of social media: Facebook’s reputation as the world’s biggest espionage agency is in the spotlight again these days with the release of the Netflix documentary The Great Hack (watch, runtime: 1:54:13). The film does a pretty good job chronicling the 2017 Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the political consultancy firm gather data on Facebook users and use it to target swing voters in key states that helped Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential election. The film also highlights Cambridge Analytica’s role in Brexit and numerous other political campaigns in developing countries using data gathered from Facebook.
Check out Terms and Conditions May Apply for a more nuanced picture: The Great Hack falls slightly short by focusing on the Cambridge Analytica whistleblowers’ stories at the expense of addressing the wider system of “terms and conditions” that allows for the manipulation and monetization of private data. To get a more nuanced look at a world where the users of social media are the products in a USD tn industry, we recommend watching 2013’s Terms and Conditions May Apply (watch, runtime: 1:19:10). The tactics used by social media companies — from hard-to-read terms and conditions agreements to the hiring of casino consultants to help us get addicted to notifications — are explored at much greater length in this film. Taken together, we dare you take another one of those Facebook quizzes or try that Face app.