Engaging The Social Dilemma: Social Media and the Polarization of Politics and Pews
The 2020 documentary, The Social Dilemma, unveils the ugly capacities of the very social media platforms many of us spend hours on each day. Economic interests have commodified our social media use, incentivizing greater monetization through advertisements and the implementation of advanced algorithms to ensure that use only increases. But additional time results in additional exposure to the abundant misinformation that floods the platforms. The combination of use, misuse, and the manipulation of use has led the world's societies, including our own, toward extreme polarization. After viewing the documentary--with one such opportunity hosted by the Boisi Center--join us for a panel further exploring the influence of social media as it leads to the greater polarization of our society, our politics, and our religion.
· Orlowski, Jeff. “Social Media Puts Us All in Our Own Truman Shows, Threatening Our Democracy (Guest Column).” The Hollywood Reporter. January 12, 2021. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/social-media-put-us-all-in-our-own-truman-shows-threatening-our-democracy-guest-column.
· Naughton, John. “The Social Dilemma: a wake-up call for a world drunk on dopamine?” The Guardian. September 29, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/19/the-social-dilemma-a-wake-up-call-for-a-world-drunk-on-dopamine.
· Pankova, Elizabeth. “The Social Dilemma and the Rise of the Clickbait Documentary: Why the Netflix movie falls short as a critique of Silicon Valley.” Critical Mass. https://newrepublic.com/article/159657/social-dilemma-rise-clickbait-documentary.
· Newton, Casey. “What ‘The Social Dilemma’ misunderstands about social networks: The world is more complicated than filmmakers want to believe.” The Verge. September 16, 2020. https://www.theverge.com/interface/2020/9/16/21437942/social-dilemma-netflix-review-orlowski-sarah-zhang-memo-facebook-buzzfeed.
· Lanier, Jaron. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. New York: Picador, 2018.
· Persily, Nathaniel and Joshua A. Tucker, editors. Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
· Aral, Sinan. The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health—and How We Must Adapt. New York: Currency, 2020.
· Singer, P.W. and Emerson T. Brooking. Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2018.
In a recent interview with Deadline, the director of The Social Dilemma, Jeff Orlowski, reflects on the impact of social media on the January 6th attacks on the U.S. Capitol. He challenged readers to “reject a culture” that leads to such atrocities, a culture built upon algorithms that push us farther apart.