Netflix Doc: Social Dilemma (EP.16)

Updated: Oct 9


In this episode, Paul and Justin discuss the Netflix Documentary, Social Dilemma. In summary, you are the product if the service is free! [Explained in Episode 2 of DGP] The documentary covers how Facebook and other platforms use algorithms to keep you pulled in.



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[Talking Points]

The information in this episode comes from,, and Netflix.

So, Justin, you’ve watched The Social Dilemma, what did you think about it?

Justin and Paul go back and forth about the movie. They discuss the format of the movie.

The major takeaways from this documentary are:

  • Humans are the product being sold for profit on Social Media

  • Facebook makes money on what you are viewing, how often you view something, and what your interests are. They sell the advertising that is very personalized.

  • Memorable quote - “If you’re not paying for the product, then you’re the product.”

  • The impacts of AI

  • The algorithms of Facebook advertising are intended to keep your eyes on the app which is measured to see what you keep viewing. Then they suggest content with ads sprinkled in. We explained how this process works in Episode 2 if you want to check it out.

  • Memorable quote - “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

  • The real-life impact of polarization of Facebook users

  • Pizzagate, Global Warming, Genocide in Myanmar, Suicide rates in teenage girls

  • Memorable quote - “There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.”

Jeff Seibert, the author of the article, “The Mechanics and Psychology behind the Social Dilemma,” provides some thought-provoking questions:

  1. Should there be limits on the amount and types of data about an individual that can be collected and stored in a consumer product?

  2. Should there be limits on the maximum number of ads that can be shown to an individual, both in a given session and in a given time interval, whichever lasts longer? (We must restore everyone’s control over their own time.)

  3. Should personalized advertising even be legal at all? (When driving down the highway, we all see the same billboards, and we can have a shared conversation about them. Yet nobody knows what anyone else sees online—how can you possibly empathize?)

What can we do to make a difference?

If you visit they have toolkits, ways to start conversations, and tips to get you unhooked from social media. There are so many organizations that provide these tool kits for free and provide great questions that you can discuss with your family, friends, and co-workers.


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