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Oct 9, 2020 – Director Jeff Orlowski (“Chasing Ice,” “Chasing Coral”) devotes much interview time to Tristan Harris, formerly a Google design ethicist and now head of the Center for Humane Technology, a nonprofit whose mission is to “reverse human downgrading by realigning technology with our humanity.”

Harris clarifies how and why social media’s manipulation is so malevolent – addicting and isolating users while harvesting their personal data – explaining, “If the service is free, then you are the product.”

That’s why the algorithms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, etc. have the ability to encourage division, radicalizing users, influencing their actions. That’s echoed by Justin Rosenstein, the engineering manager who invented Facebook’s “like” button. tanford University “addiction expert” Anna Lembke explains how social media exploits the brain’s evolutionary need for interpersonal connections, while Facebook investor Roger McNamee, alleges that Russia didn’t hack Facebook; it simply utilized that popular platform.

There’s also a fictional re-enactment of a suburban family’s battle against social media addiction, focusing on the daughter’s obsession with her looks and the son’s tendency to withdraw and become anxious/depressed. It’s contrived but effective.

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