The Appreciating Diversity Film Series (diversityfilmseries.org) is proud to present the award-winning documentary, The Social Dilemma, followed by an online discussion with UC Berkeley Law Professor Rebecca Wexler on Thursday, May 13, 2021, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Please plan to view The Social Dilemma documentary first, at your convenience, either through your Netflix subscription or FREE by registering for both events on our ADFS website, diversityfilmseries.org, and using the “REGISTER for The Social Dilemma button” there.
Jeff Orlowski’s film, The Social Dilemma, documents the hidden practices that underlie the business of social media. The more we know about the lengths to which companies have gone to keep eyeballs on their sites, the more we understand.
“There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’…illegal drugs and software.”–Edward Tufte
We learn that the algorithms designed to capture our attention are also profoundly affecting our brains and our beliefs in ways that directly threaten our democracy.
“64% of the people who joined extremist groups on Facebook did so because the algorithms steered them there”.Sociologist Monica Lee, internal Facebook report
Other documentaries have raised concerns about the impact of social media on our privacy and even our democracy, but this film has a significant advantage: the speakers in The Social Dilemma are many of the people who got us here, including top executives from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and more.
The experts assure us their intentions were good — even the one whose job title at Facebook was head of “monetization”. Yet all are deeply concerned about what they’ve created, and one confesses that he worked all day on making his site irresistibly seductive and then found himself unable to resist the very algorithmic tricks he helped to create when he went home at night.
The most important lesson from The Social Dilemma is that we should question everything we read online, especially if it is presented to us in a way that reflects a detailed understanding of our inclinations and preferences. And we should resist the “attention extraction model” that makes social media seem friendly and reinforcing. As the New York Times advised, “Unplug and run”.
After you watch The Social Dilemma, please join us for a talk and Q & A with Rebecca Wexler, Assistant Professor of Law at UC Berkeley Law, and Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. Wexler teaches, researches, and writes on issues concerning data, technology, and criminal justice, and will help us to both understand the dilemma, and think about how to address it.
Watch The Social Dilemma on your Netflix account anytime or, if you are not a Netflix subscriber, watch for FREE through the link that will be sent to you when you register for the conversation with Rebecca Wexler at www.diversityfilmseries.org.
The Appreciating Diversity Film Series is co-sponsored by the Piedmont Unified School District, the City of Piedmont, the Oakland and Piedmont Leagues of Women Voters, and the Piedmont Anti-racism and Diversity Committee and viewers like you! ADFS screenings and conversations are ALWAYS FREE.