The Social Dilemma (Netflix Documentary)

DataDude

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Anyone else watch this? As a programmer I have been trying to tell people what is wrong with the way we consume social media and news these days but it's really hard for people to understand. People look at their internet like it's a book that everyone reads the same, but 70% of the internet is not like that at all, it's a personally curated space created just for you based on the things you have enjoyed and consumed in the past. The internet you see, no one else is seeing, just you. This has obvious troubling realities and can disconnect people from what is really true. I would encourage everyone to watch, but will warn some of the realities are uncomfortable to see.
 

DataDude

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I saw it. Scary to say the least. I am not on social media, but I wish it was blown up. I think it is the cause of a lot of the political and cultural issues right now.
Yeah, the curated to you part pushes people out to the edges and takes them away from truth. This is compounded by people thinking everyone is seeing the same things that they are being shown and not drawing the same conclusions so they think the others are stupid and delusional and in the worst cases evil. It's a lot easier to accept violence when you believe the others are evil. The scare part to me is not even the social media, it's Google. Google seems like it's a tool and it certainly can be used as one, but when you go to Google News it seems like that would be somewhat neutral, but that feed is curated just for you too. Google also customizes it's searches for you too. So me and person X could be looking for information about a conspiracy theory and because I often look for why it is fake those types of links will get kicked up to me while person X who often wants to know why they are really true will have those types of links fed to them. It's a self fulfilling feedback loop that will take me and person x in totally different directions.
 
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KEV

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I just watched this last night and it scared the crap out of me. I hate how much impact social media and things like Google can almost control us and how we think. It's done seriously scary stuff.

As a parent of a 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son it really concerned me how much impact social media can potentially make on my kids. Some of the data they presented was disturbing.

It just shows how great technology is and also how terrible it is.
 

NEhomer

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Yes, this is precisely what's wrong in our Country and add Television to the same mix.

In 1975, CBS, NBC and ABC news didn't look all that different from one another because accessing a wide appeal was the financial norm. Everyone saw mostly the same thing; drawing different perspectives from it of course but still, largely the same news. Now it's become fiscally prudent to go after an extreme so TV too presents opposite narratives. Hannity vs Maddow.

Frightening.
 
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NEhomer

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Let's face it folks, the internet was a really bad idea for mankind.
 

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Sounds like an interesting program. I avoid social media, and I used to be a news junkie, but have stayed away for almost six months now. In general, the news these days seems to be more about manipulating opinion and pushing a narrative than simply reporting.
 

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Sounds like an interesting program. I avoid social media, and I used to be a news junkie, but have stayed away for almost six months now. In general, the news these days seems to be more about manipulating opinion and pushing a narrative than simply reporting.
THP and My Fantasy Football has been my only Social Media. I quit watching the news as well. Not sure where all this is headed but I don’t have a great feeling about it.
 

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Haven't had the chance to view it yet, need to watch,
 

Duffer Seamus

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Let's face it folks, the internet was a really bad idea for mankind.
Others say the same about TV, firearms, the internal combustion engine, splitting the atom, etc. I'm sure there are people in this world that believe electricity, agriculture, and fire to have been bad for mankind :).

In the end it's not the inanimate thing that's bad, it's how the inanimate thing is used.

The only "social media" (see below) I'm on is Facebook, and that only because I've far-flung family and friends with whom it allows me to stay in daily contact. Most of them post little-to-no social or political stuff, and I do not, either That way we can stay on good terms, all of us :) (I have Parler and Gab accounts, but I don't use them. Twitter I abandoned two years ago. It became overwhelming.)

Re: "Social media": THP and other sites are a form of "social media," btw ;)
 

DataDude

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Let's face it folks, the internet was a really bad idea for mankind.
I think what they say is that the algorithm's that feed us content based on what we have liked in the past is the problem. Basically every website Google, Facebook, Twitter, whatever is constantly curating content all the time based on what we clicked on the last time. It just takes people down their own rabbit holes. Racists become more racist, socialists become more socialist, militia types become more militant, feminists become more feminist, Republicans become more Republican, Deomcrats become more Democrat, golfers become more golfy. The problem is that it normalizes extremes because we don't inherently understand we're only being shown one side of the story. We think we're seeing the whole story and the other people who feel opposite of us must be stupid or evil when in fact they never ever see the things we are seeing.

The most interesting comment in the whole movie:

"Humans are worried worried about when AI becomes so advanced that it can overcome our strengths, but I believe AI has already made computers exploit our weaknesses"
 

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I’m happy to say all three of our children(22, 20, and 15) have dramatically reduced their time spent on social media. They’ve discovered at a fairly young age how dangerous it can be for your mental health.

I only have a twitter account but spend less than 15 minutes a week there. My wife has a Facebook and instagram accounts but also limit her time to a reasonable amount - no more than 10 minutes a day.

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I did watch it - the whole model needs to be blown up, but nobody knows how to undo it. Depressing.

As far as the show itself, I thought some of the scenes with the men/actors behind the algorithm was so hokey and cringeworthy to watch. Could have been done a little better.
 

Duffer Seamus

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I did watch it - the whole model needs to be blown up, but nobody knows how to undo it. Depressing.
Oh, sure they do. They just won't.

The way to undo it is for people to realize too much time spent on social media is unhealthy and simply stop doing it. It's like anything else: If the cost is too high: Stop paying it. But people are unwilling to deprive themselves of their desires and amusements to do that.

It's not unlike a conversation about cord-cutting on another web forum in which I participate. Somebody asked "How did we ever let cable bills get so high?" (My first thought was "We?") Easy: People became addicted to an endless stream of entertainment on demand. Literally addicted. So, despite the cost of it rising to way beyond anything any sane person with any sense of fiscal responsibility would pay, people kept paying for it.

There are many, many things like that in our "modern" society.
 

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Others say the same about TV, firearms, the internal combustion engine, splitting the atom, etc. I'm sure there are people in this world that believe electricity, agriculture, and fire to have been bad for mankind :).

In the end it's not the inanimate thing that's bad, it's how the inanimate thing is used.

The only "social media" (see below) I'm on is Facebook, and that only because I've far-flung family and friends with whom it allows me to stay in daily contact. Most of them post little-to-no social or political stuff, and I do not, either That way we can stay on good terms, all of us :) (I have Parler and Gab accounts, but I don't use them. Twitter I abandoned two years ago. It became overwhelming.)

Re: "Social media": THP and other sites are a form of "social media," btw ;)
I f'ing hate electricity. ;)
 

NEhomer

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Others say the same about TV, firearms, the internal combustion engine, splitting the atom, etc. I'm sure there are people in this world that believe electricity, agriculture, and fire to have been bad for mankind :).

In the end it's not the inanimate thing that's bad, it's how the inanimate thing is used.

The only "social media" (see below) I'm on is Facebook, and that only because I've far-flung family and friends with whom it allows me to stay in daily contact. Most of them post little-to-no social or political stuff, and I do not, either That way we can stay on good terms, all of us :) (I have Parler and Gab accounts, but I don't use them. Twitter I abandoned two years ago. It became overwhelming.)

Re: "Social media": THP and other sites are a form of "social media," btw ;)
None of those things compare even remotely in their risk but go ahead and fail to bother to see where this thing is going.
 

DataDude

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...
Re: "Social media": THP and other sites are a form of "social media," btw ;)
They are, but there are no algorithms on this site selecting what we see. When I log in I don't get only Titleist is great content and you don't get only Callaway (not sure what you're favorite brand is, but this is a hypothetical) is great content. When we come here everything is presented to us in order of last thread that had a post in it. Things stay in site based on what the members of this site are having conversations about. I can do a search and find whatever I want. JB has also done a great job in keeping all the talk about a single release in one thread. For instance if I want to know about Callaway MAVRIK Drivers I go to the MAVRIK Drivers thread and there are thousands of posts with everyone talking about their driver good, bad, and indifferent. If this was Google and I had pretty consistently read things that were good about Callaway drivers when I entered that in the search bar it would bias positive Callaway feedback to the top of my search. After a while of continuing to click and stay on good Callaway sites I might only get good reviews for Callaway products (and where to buy them of course). At that point I may start believing that Callaway is the only company making good products because all I ever read is good stuff about Callaway. Even the stuff I get comparing Callaway to something else is always positive toward Callaway and negative toward the other stuff. Then I see people play Titleist out and about and I think "Boy they must be stupid, how can they see all the good stuff on Callaway that's out there and still be playing Titleist?" Put your favorite political party in there instead of golf brands and now see why we're being divided like never before in America.
Oh, sure they do. They just won't.

The way to undo it is for people to realize too much time spent on social media is unhealthy and simply stop doing it. It's like anything else: If the cost is too high: Stop paying it. But people are unwilling to deprive themselves of their desires and amusements to do that.

It's not unlike a conversation about cord-cutting on another web forum in which I participate. Somebody asked "How did we ever let cable bills get so high?" (My first thought was "We?") Easy: People became addicted to an endless stream of entertainment on demand. Literally addicted. So, despite the cost of it rising to way beyond anything any sane person with any sense of fiscal responsibility would pay, people kept paying for it.

There are many, many things like that in our "modern" society.
I don't think being on it is the problem that they are talking about. That may be annoying, but that's the same problem that TV had and TV never caused the divisiveness we see now. The problem now is the algorithms that determine what we see when we browse the internet.

Using COVID as an example a COVID skeptics news about COVID will almost entirely be articles being skeptical of the diseases severity and seriousness while someone who is very concerned about it will get articles talking about how terrible it is and how dire the consequences and deaths are. While we may believe that is based on how we first felt about COVID and the algoritims picked up on that, the most sinister part is that based on our past history we were probably already bucketed into receiving certain types of articles about COVID from the get go. A lot of people with very strong opinions may never have even made a single choice about the information and it's tilt that they received on COVID. Worse yet they assume everyone is seeing exactly the same information they are seeing and coming to totally different conclusions. Their inclination is then to assume that person is stupid or has a sinister goal in mind. Then they can start reducing that person's humanity and see them as a person to be reviled.

This is true of what you read about everything from the election, social justice issues, Healthcare, the economy, the stock market, etc, etc, etc. We are all only seeing what we already are inclined to believe. It's not healthy to never read or see information counter to what we think we know because we never grow or figure out what we are wrong about. It also extremizes our views which is pretty clearly where we're at when we have armed citizens attacking each other in the streets of some of our major cities.
 

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I watched it. It is pure marketing 101....Feed one what you want. But candidly that is not the scary part. What is scary is that these massive orgs manipulate the content and news allowance with specific outcomes desired. Being a conservative I am active on FB....I post stuff and have often had content removed. This management feature is not applicable to liberal content.
I run our HS reunion and something like FB with a private group works great....That is how/why I entered that space...But the manipulation advanced by FB is absolute crap.
 

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They are, but there are no algorithms on this site selecting what we see.
You are correct. We take safety and with that privacy very seriously.
 

DataDude

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You are correct. We take safety and with that privacy very seriously.
I love this place. It's the way the internet should be. Show me everything and let me decide. Don't decide what I like beforehand then show me that stuff. Also I appreciate you all guarding our personal info.
 
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squats

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I think that the movie described it best; social media companies, search engine companies, they're all businesses that are out to make money and increase their share value. They do not have the interest of the public in mind, only their wallets. I don't think that people understand that when they are using these services.

I mean, why else would they have a monetization director or that there would even be a thing like Google Shopping? As a social media manager and an SEO I've played very deeply in this world for a long time and it's all in how you use the tool, and I do say tool, because that's what you have to look at it as. If you look at it as a lifestyle enhancer or a news source you get too intertwined into the b.s. that you want to see as opposed to what's actually happening in the world.

Anyway, I thought the doc was great and eye opening. I don't think that anything will be done because of it, but hope that people will take a closer look at their time spent on these platforms as well as what their kids are doing. The only way to stop the machine from getting bigger is to stop the creation of new platforms and to stop using it yourself.
 

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I think that the movie described it best; social media companies, search engine companies, they're all businesses that are out to make money and increase their share value. They do not have the interest of the public in mind, only their wallets. I don't think that people understand that when they are using these services.

I mean, why else would they have a monetization director or that there would even be a thing like Google Shopping? As a social media manager and an SEO I've played very deeply in this world for a long time and it's all in how you use the tool, and I do say tool, because that's what you have to look at it as. If you look at it as a lifestyle enhancer or a news source you get too intertwined into the b.s. that you want to see as opposed to what's actually happening in the world.

Anyway, I thought the doc was great and eye opening. I don't think that anything will be done because of it, but hope that people will take a closer look at their time spent on these platforms as well as what their kids are doing. The only way to stop the machine from getting bigger is to stop the creation of new platforms and to stop using it yourself.
Isn't this the case with all of the large publicly traded corporations in the USA today? Profit and stock price seems to be what they care about more than anything. It's why large companies still send jobs offshore and do stock buybacks with their tax cut money instead of investing it in their employees. They do it under the guise of providing better service for their customers but customers are a necessary evil to getting profit.
 

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This was such a good documentary. After watching, I tried taking note of how much I felt like being on my phone. Which basically between other than eating, working, and exercise, I’m on my phone a lot. Even within 5 min of checking my phone I’m back on looking for something else. I took a break from it on Saturday while having some friends over which was great. I’m curious what the future is for all of us considering how fast technology is moving and how much more we can be pushed in the direction of consumption.
 

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Isn't this the case with all of the large publicly traded corporations in the USA today? Profit and stock price seems to be what they care about more than anything. It's why large companies still send jobs offshore and do stock buybacks with their tax cut money instead of investing it in their employees. They do it under the guise of providing better service for their customers but customers are a necessary evil to getting profit.
What do you think Google's product is? What is Facebook selling?
 

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What do you think Google's product is? What is Facebook selling?
I should preface this with I have not seen this doc.
But you are correct. Not all publicly traded companies make profits out of the guise of using collated information collected.
 

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