The Social Dilemma

From IndieWeb

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.



And also:

  • 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)

  • factual criticism:
    • "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: "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.

See Also