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Three Documentaries that Will Expand Your View of Modern Technology

Three Documentaries that Will Expand Your View of Modern Technology

With the advent of streaming media, more people have access to entertainment than ever before. They watch real stories unfold right before their eyes through the lens of a documentary or biopic, offering perspectives that they might not have otherwise gotten had they engaged with the story through a different lens. These dramatized documentaries can be remarkable wellsprings of information, and you might be shocked by how much you can learn just by committing a couple of hours of your day to one.

Today, we’re highlighting three of our favorite technology documentaries out there that you can stream today through the requisite service.

The Social Dilemma (2020)
It’s no surprise that social media has taken the world by storm over the past couple of decades. Social media developers make their money by offering seemingly “free” services to their users, but individuals pay for these services in more ways than one. True to the saying repeated throughout this movie, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”

One method these filmmakers use is one-on-one interviews, as well as actors who represent the roles you might see in an average family using social media. These multiple perspectives all contribute to the documentary’s central theme: social media is a new market with a different business model called surveillance capitalism.

The documentary looks closely at how social media negatively impacts various factors such as personal value, society, and other issues that some users might not even be aware of. As of this writing, you can find The Social Dilemma on Netflix.

The Great Hack (2019)
While this documentary might not be about hackers, it is certainly about a notorious case that involved a company set up to literally mine data and manipulate people’s worldviews. The case in question is Cambridge Analytica, which you might remember seeing in the news around the time of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The documentary covers a pair of whistleblowers who share how the company unethically collected and distributed Facebook data to clients with enough power to influence public policy, showcasing just how valuable and dangerous social media data can be in the wrong hands.

In addition to the 2016 election, this scandal also involved the British exit from the European Union, commonly known as Brexit. The Great Hack showcases some of the ethical challenges that can arise surrounding data privacy, security breaches, and the dangers that could result. Throughout this documentary, you will see interviews with former employees, whistleblowers, journalists, and academics, all of which raise important questions surrounding how much power and influence technology companies and social media can play in public opinion, as well as how there is a serious need for transparency and regulation for large technology organizations that have this type of power at their disposal.

You can find The Great Hack on Netflix.

Deep Web (2015)
The Internet is massive, and the average user only sees a small part of it in their daily lives. This documentary by Alex Winter showcases the deep web in a fascinating way. It explores topics such as the ethical use of technology, the breakdown of the Silk Road, the online black market, and Bitcoin.

The film, in particular, looks at the events leading up to the trial of Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road, as well as his capture, trial, and the aftermath. It is a historical representation of what would eventually become part of everyday common knowledge.

You can watch Deep Web through an Amazon Prime account.

These documentaries provide an interesting perspective on today’s technology and how it has changed everyday life and public opinion. Please consider watching them, as they can inform your opinions and technology-related choices throughout your business and personal life.

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