Be afraid, be very afraid!
I suspect some of you think I am a bit of a drama queen or a wolf-crier. Maybe both – but I urge you to watch The Social Dilemma, it is currently on Netflix.
Especially if you have children.
This documentary presents the views of a number of people who were intricately involved in designing Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest and other mainstream social media.
Reviewers have said this film is the “single most lucid, succinct, and profoundly terrifying analysis of social media ever created”
“(it) carefully details the skyrocketing levels of depression among children and teenagers; the flat-earthers and white supremacists; the genocide in Myanmar; the Covid misinformation; [and] the imperilling of objective truth and social disintegration”.
Harvard University professor Shoshana Zuboff speaks quite clearly about the profit -making orientation of digital companies like Google and Amazon (which) represent a new form of capitalist accumulation that she calls “surveillance capitalism“
Surveillance Capitalism “unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data [which] are declared as a proprietary behavioural surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence’, and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon, and later.”
These new capitalist products “are traded in a new kind of marketplace – behavioural futures markets.
Through the lens of surveillance capitalism’s economic and social imperatives, she lists many issues that plague contemporary society including:
- the assault on privacy and the so-called ‘privacy paradox’,
- behavioral targeting
- fake news
- ubiquitous tracking
- legislative and regulatory failure
- algorithmic governance
- social media addiction
- abrogation of human rights
- democratic destabilization, and more are reinterpreted and explained
As I said: be afraid….