Netflix: The Social Dilemma

I started watching this last night, and wow, I can’t believe how many ex facebook and Google employees are coming out speaking about the manipulation these platforms do to their users.

I really hope someone builds a much more ethical platforms on SAFE which are only there as a great tool, and not to affect behaviour. In fact, they should have settings that easily restrict usage.


Apologies if it’s already been mentioned here. I couldn’t see it anywhere.

Of here is an idea, leave ethics out of it completely. People need to keep their nose out of other peoples business generally. All this SJW shit needs to go taking a running jump off a high bridge.


or that users are empowered with choice of what data they gift the platforms they use.

It’s fair perhaps to acknowledge that a lot of platforms are funded by the data they get from offering something for free and the advertising targeting to profit from it. Still, obviously they overreach because the users have no option to resist or control what occurs… and it’s a slippery slope for companies where profit motive outweighs consideration of what is best for the users. The middle ground would be good legislation or representation of user interests setting limits but we know that model does not work… because power and profit corrupts.


Are you both saying the same thing?

“more ethical” as in less manipulation and less/no data selling?

“leave ethics out of it” as in companies using ethics to justify the manipulation/censorship of their users? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” So they should stop the manipulation.

I started watching this last night, and wow, I can’t believe how many ex facebook and Google employees are coming out speaking about the manipulation these platforms do to their users

My thoughts exactly when I was watching it!


Big shocker :roll_eyes:

Netflix isn’t any better, lots of propaganda “documentaries” there. I’m sure what’s trending on Netflix is what they want to be trending. It’s all so obvious, but people generally don’t care.


Yeah, I think you are right.

Probably true. I was thinking about this, and the obvious difference is that Netflix users pay for the service, whereas Google and Facebook users don’t.

Of course this doesn’t stop Netflix manipulating the viewers to get them hooked.

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I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot since, and think it’s crazy that we allow these kind of engineered addictive platforms when people are driving cars.

I’ve often tutted at people looking at their phone whilst they were driving, but after watching this documentary it makes you understand how addicted everyone is. It’s like having an alcoholic drive a car whilst they have a bottle of beer and telling them not to drink it.


Getting people hooked on Netflix was the first part. Now that almost everyone has it they can push what they want you to see. Not just series or films, but documentaries that push a certain kind of view / theme. The Obama / Bill Gates propaganda comes to mind. Also a lot of recent controversy about that film Cuties that includes sexualized dancing of 11 year old girls that take pictures of their private parts. Makes you wonder why Netflix pushes that crap on people (yes it was advertised like crazy).


Watching this now. Interesting…

A lot of smart services don’t allow you to really opt out… leading to unwanted notifications and information.

I would though still like to be able to opt in to some services.

Big discussion on hackernews just now:

The thing that really got me was just before the closing credits: “When we were making the like button, our entire motivation was, ‘Can we spread positivity and love in the world?’ The idea that, fast-forward to today, and teens would be getting depressed when thy don’t have enough likes, or it could be leading to political polarization was nowhere on our radar”.

I feel this is incredibly applicable to Safe Network, those unintended side effects, the unknown unknowns; it’s funny cause I try to make a point when I talk about Safe to people right in the middle of my maximum enthusiasm to try and say ‘maybe it will be terrible’. And that always confuses people but really, we don’t know, and maybe it will be terrible.


Though, it wasn’t the original vision of the web that has caused these problems or the web itself but the companies that consolidated data and power for capital and continue to leverage that for more of the same. They just exist on the internet but they all either trap you in their ecosystem or rely on providing you a “free” service in exchange for your data and metrics to sell to advertisers.
I’m hoping that the first apps on Safe (hopefully of quality and setting an example) and the PtD reward mechanism will help push us away from the ad-based models that have been the poison in the well. It is who we are sold to so they can sell to us and that transaction has corrupted everyone. I don’t think media should be corporate or privately funded anyways but the advertisers are definitely in the passenger seat of that mess. So getting away from that and getting value directly from any content creator to the consumer should be helpful, imo.

Secondly though I believe there needs to be an effort to end tribalism. I don’t know exactly how that is done but ignoring opposing opinions and finding your echo chamber is one of the internets biggest seductive qualities that has massively negative effects on societies and our own personal growth.


Inverting all assumptions is useful.

If there is enough flexibility at the base level then users can adapt. I wonder more often problems arise from providers who know what they want. So, one button doesn’t cut it over time, where you want nuanced feedback.

Yet another driver for something that is generic, flexible and unassuming. To be expected that a large network catering for the world’s population over time, will stress every assumption to breaking point.

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Another method that might be useful is to take the politician (or anyone) you think as the worst kind of person and ask: “How is she / he going to use the technology we are making, to further his / hearse own ends?”

You could this do with phenomena instead of persons as well. Like for example “How would Safe Network further mass surveillance?” I could see this happening by making truly anonymous video / photo posting possible, combined with pay the provider.

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How does allowing anonymous posting further mass surveillance?

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Still, the solution to most all problems and especially those relative to politics, is distributing power - and providing tools to the people which ensure privacy; security; and freedom, is a key part of that.

Some inversions just prove the point but it’s a useful double check.

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Well, I could see people starting to film all kinds of things they think is somehow “juicy” and posting them online with lesser fear of getting caught. Combined with anonymous money it would lower the bar for many kinds of voyeurism.

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