The Social Dilemma
The Social Dilemma is a 2020 Netflix docudrama that critiques social media silos, and their use of recommendation engines in algorithmic feeds to amplify addictive behaviors in their users to maximize advertising business models, though presented from the viewpoints of former silo employees who have since turned into critics, while neglecting long-standing critical activists.
- Roger McNamee (Author, Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe)
- Jeff Seibert (Co-founder, Digits)
- Cynthia Wong (Former Senior Internet Researcher, Human Rights Watch)
- Joe Toscano (Co-founder, BEACON)
- Sandy Parakilas (Formerly, Facebook and Uber)
- Randima Fernando (Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology)
- Cathy O’Neil (Author, Weapons of Math Destruction)
- Guillaume Chaslot (CEO, IntuitiveAI)
- Alex Roetter (Venture Partner, Moxxie Ventures)
- Bailey Richardson (Partner, People & Company)
- Jonathan Haidt (Professor, NYU Stern School of Business)
- Lynn Fox (Formerly, Apple and Google)
(this list needs to be analyzed and clustered by specific criticisms in subheadings)
- Criticism thread: https://twitter.com/Pranavmalhotra8/status/1305226355529797633 and Threadreader roll-up: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1305226355529797633.html
- "Okay, so I watched #TheSocialDilemma last night and some elements of it really annoyed me and I’m still thinking about them. So, here’s a thread. (1/12)" @Pranavmalhotra8 September 13, 2020
- Criticism thread https://twitter.com/lmesseri/status/1306962471685705730 and ThreadReaderApp roll up: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1306962471685705730.html
- "I watched The Social Dilemma last night. If anyone is curious why STS scholars could be so upset with a documentary that at its core espouses an agreeable and important critique of social media, here's a thread. 1/11" @lmesseri September 18, 2020
- factual criticism: https://twitter.com/beccalew/status/1306345676314308608
- "The reason careless errors like this are important is because, as science and technology scholars teach us, tech is not created in a social vacuum. It is built within, and often reifies, power structures. By ignoring that lesson, we keep those power structures in place" @beccalew September 16, 2020
- criticism/satire: https://twitter.com/RachelWenitsky/status/1308479842573332480
- "A former tech employee in a documentary about why social media is bad (social media is bad)" @RachelWenitsky September 22, 2020
- Criticism: 2020-09-16 The Verge: What ‘The Social Dilemma’ misunderstands about social networks
- Criticism: "but they mean well"
And yet a message that the film drives home again and again and again and again and again (and again), is that everyone meant well. Yes, it can now be seen that harm has been done, but nobody intended for that to happen! And this is a message that Harris made repeatedly in his testimony before Congress, [...]
Big tech can patiently sit through some zingers about their business model, as long as the person delivering those one-liners comes around to repeating big tech’s latest Sinophobic talking point while repeating the “they meant well” myth.
This late in the game it is unacceptable for critics to regurgitate big tech’s talking points for them. These companies do not mean well, and we should stop pretending that they do.
- 2020-09-30 Reading list: The Social DilemmaWhile we encourage people to watch the documentary with a critical eye — and discuss it with friends and family — we also share concerns others have raised. Perspectives need to be included from women and people of color who have been key thought leaders on these topics.
- The Social Dilemma and the Rise of the Clickbait Documentary: Why the Netflix movie falls short as a critique of Silicon Valley by Elizabeth Pankova