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The Social Dilemma on Netflix


LongHaul
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I just watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix and would highly recommend it.

 

There is too much to list here but it was highly informative and revealing. 

At the least it will have one questioning much of what one is doing with their time and how social networks might be manipulating us all and wasting our lives away.

 

https://www.thesocialdilemma.com/

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It's a completely one-sided documentary that commits the same sin it accuses tech companies of: it's manipulating the viewers and selling them FUD (and products) pushed by selected "experts". There are huge gross exaggerations and completely unproven claims all over the place.

 

In short, it's crap.

 

2/10.

 

BTW, what are you doing on CoBF after watching this documentary? CoBF is Social Media too. Please delete asap.

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It's a completely one-sided documentary that commits the same sin it accuses tech companies of: it's manipulating the viewers and selling them FUD (and products) pushed by selected "experts". There are huge gross exaggerations and completely unproven claims all over the place.

 

Can you provide some examples of what you viewed as gross exaggerations and unproven claims all over the place?

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It's a completely one-sided documentary that commits the same sin it accuses tech companies of: it's manipulating the viewers and selling them FUD (and products) pushed by selected "experts". There are huge gross exaggerations and completely unproven claims all over the place.

 

In short, it's crap.

 

2/10.

 

BTW, what are you doing on CoBF after watching this documentary? CoBF is Social Media too. Please delete asap.

 

With all do respect, this board is a tool that is available for people to utilize as they wish. There's no different homepage, news feed, story line, etc - its the same for each user.

 

The documentary was typically spot on in that there's absolutely no regulation on how our data is managed, and they take no responsibility for who uses the platform to advance their own interests, as long as they "play by the rules and pay up."

 

The COVID pandemic has resulted in millions of people reuniting with the outdoors, going on adventures, and spending time with loved ones. The flipside is divorce rates, domestic violence, anxiety and depression are also way up.

 

Social media brings some positive things to it as well, but the spready between the positive and negative extremes is too much and it needs to be refined.

 

 

 

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It's a completely one-sided documentary that commits the same sin it accuses tech companies of: it's manipulating the viewers and selling them FUD (and products) pushed by selected "experts". There are huge gross exaggerations and completely unproven claims all over the place.

 

Can you provide some examples of what you viewed as gross exaggerations and unproven claims all over the place?

 

Social media is the ultimate evil which will lead to collapse of human civilization.

AI too.

Social media is responsible for genocide, polarization, suicide rise, populism, etc.

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It's a completely one-sided documentary that commits the same sin it accuses tech companies of: it's manipulating the viewers and selling them FUD (and products) pushed by selected "experts". There are huge gross exaggerations and completely unproven claims all over the place.

 

In short, it's crap.

 

2/10.

 

BTW, what are you doing on CoBF after watching this documentary? CoBF is Social Media too. Please delete asap.

 

With all do respect, this board is a tool that is available for people to utilize as they wish. There's no different homepage, news feed, story line, etc - its the same for each user.

 

And?

 

The fact is that CoBF as written and presented (by open source, non-profit software mostly) is more addictive to some of us than the "evil" social media run by superhuman AI.

 

Which shows how much the documentary claims are exaggerated.

 

I spend about 10 minutes a week on Twitter. I look at Facebook maybe for ~1-2 hours a month. I spend X hours a week on CoBF. There's pretty zero addictiveness in Twitter or FB for me. So nice that Sanjeev perfected the evil AI to make me addicted to CoBF. I'm gonna sue him for using me as a product for $$Millions. (sarcasm intended).

 

BTW, Facebook curated timeline is complete crap. I don't look at it anymore. I do what I do with Twitter: I just go to person's page (whatever it's called) and look at what they posted unfiltered. That's it. So for all the evil effort, FB is doing a lousy job if they think their timeline "manipulation" works.

 

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Didn't Ted Kaczynski  pretty much predict all of this? Whenever someone with a high IQ does something completely insane to point something out I think it's worth paying attention to. Even if it's handled in the complete wrong way.

 

Has anyone ever looked at getting one of these?

https://huckberry.com/store/light/category/p/62691-light-phone-ii-distraction-free-cell-phone?htm_adsource=search&htm_admedium=googlep&htm_adcampaign=search-dsa-acquisition&htm_adcontent=acquisition&gclid=CjwKCAjwiOv7BRBREiwAXHbv3FLER4L71Qf04ZiKN0ftQI8OPFcSpnCOyY2YFr9yPcIWGnyrnZDAvxoCIFEQAvD_BwE

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I signed up for Netflix this month & watched this show.

 

It rings very true & it's unfortunate that the people who need to see it most won't give it a glance.

 

The NYT writeup by minesafetydisclosures bodes well for journalism.

 

I just signed up for a subscription.

 

Media by consent gets a finger in the eye.

Journalists thumb their noses at advertisers.

Who knew there was a market for truth?

Hopefully this trend will gain traction.

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And?

 

The fact is that CoBF as written and presented (by open source, non-profit software mostly) is more addictive to some of us than the "evil" social media run by superhuman AI.

 

The difference between COBF and the major social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is that COBF was not deliberately designed in consultation with behavioral scientists and UI experts to target your brain's reward circuitry. There are no strategically utilized flashing lights, bright colors, pop-up notifications, or "likes" on the site; there's no employment of peer pressure to create network effects ("Friend X joined!"), and most importantly, there are no algorithms working over millions and millions of iterations to identify the types of posts that will keep you hooked.

 

The difference between COBF and Instagram/TikTok is the difference between an ice cream shop and a heroin dealer.

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It's pretty hilarious because Netflix is as guilty as anybody else.  If they actually were trying to fill my feed with my preferences they wouldn't be force feeding me all of these liberal propaganda documentaries.  It's gotten pretty bad.  I know I'm not the only one. Either that or I'm a socialist and didn't realize it.

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It's pretty hilarious because Netflix is as guilty as anybody else.  If they actually were trying to fill my feed with my preferences they wouldn't be force feeding me all of these liberal propaganda documentaries.  It's gotten pretty bad.  I know I'm not the only one. Either that or I'm a socialist and didn't realize it.

 

Who else is using your account? ???

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And?

 

The fact is that CoBF as written and presented (by open source, non-profit software mostly) is more addictive to some of us than the "evil" social media run by superhuman AI.

 

The difference between COBF and the major social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is that COBF was not deliberately designed in consultation with behavioral scientists and UI experts to target your brain's reward circuitry. There are no strategically utilized flashing lights, bright colors, pop-up notifications, or "likes" on the site; there's no employment of peer pressure to create network effects ("Friend X joined!"), and most importantly, there are no algorithms working over millions and millions of iterations to identify the types of posts that will keep you hooked.

 

The difference between COBF and Instagram/TikTok is the difference between an ice cream shop and a heroin dealer.

 

This is exactly what documentary claims. And it is as enormously exaggerated as you just did. So hey you bought their product. Congrats.  ::)

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And?

 

The fact is that CoBF as written and presented (by open source, non-profit software mostly) is more addictive to some of us than the "evil" social media run by superhuman AI.

 

The difference between COBF and the major social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is that COBF was not deliberately designed in consultation with behavioral scientists and UI experts to target your brain's reward circuitry. There are no strategically utilized flashing lights, bright colors, pop-up notifications, or "likes" on the site; there's no employment of peer pressure to create network effects ("Friend X joined!"), and most importantly, there are no algorithms working over millions and millions of iterations to identify the types of posts that will keep you hooked.

 

The difference between COBF and Instagram/TikTok is the difference between an ice cream shop and a heroin dealer.

 

I see Jurgis' points, and some of the exaggerations of AI and social media are quite high - there are other factors like globalization and the lack of appropriate safety nets that have led to populism rising again - but forums are old school Internet - it can get heated, debates go on and on, and some forums do tend to self-identify for certain beliefs or products, what have you. But that's reasonable, imo.

 

The flip side is CoBF, after I read/publish a post, is not recommending another post or topic that is directly or similar in nature to be read next, creating a rabbit hole effect. If I just debated Tesla, there's no message or webpage after my post that continues the topic to keep me glued. Rather, I'm shown the home screen and the newest post could be a tpoic about Kellogg and I lose interest and move on.

 

 

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The flip side is CoBF, after I read/publish a post, is not recommending another post or topic that is directly or similar in nature to be read next, creating a rabbit hole effect. If I just debated Tesla, there's no message or webpage after my post that continues the topic to keep me glued. Rather, I'm shown the home screen and the newest post could be a tpoic about Kellogg and I lose interest and move on.

 

Sure. There are things that FB/Twitter/GoogleNews/Netflix/AnyMediaOrganization do that CoBF does not. You can look at these things and judge them on positive or negative:

 

1. Notifications. Positive: if you are waiting for friend to show up and they are late, you want to be notified that they messaged you. Negative: constant attention hog. (BTW, CoBF has notifications too, just less invasive perhaps). Solution: you can set notifications to whatever you want, including turning them off.

2. Recommendations. Positive: You just read about Model 3, you want to read more about Model 3 Autopilot. You just watched "Sleepless in Seattle", you want to watch "You've Got Mail" or "Big". Negative: Rabbit hole, splurging, etc. Solutions: I'm not sure you can turn off recommendations in most places. Maybe there are knobs in some apps. I'd argue that recommendations is not a huge issue, but maybe they are for some people.

3. Ads. Personalized ads. Positive: get relevant ads. Negative: privacy, pushing you to buy crap. Solution: just fricking adblock everything. Harder on phones... Overall ads are crap. If you ever looked at "personalized" ads, you'd despair on how bad ad targeting is and not about how powerful AI is.

4. Curated timelines/posts. Positive: you see what you want to see. Negative: you see what company thinks you want to see. Echo chambers. Crappy feeds. Maybe addictive feeds. Solution: Personally I think the curated feeds are just crap, so just don't use them. It's not that they are evil-great and addictive. It's that they are just crappy selection. So don't use them. Pretty much every platform allows you to avoid curated feeds.

 

It's possible to have a discussion about all these issues. But not if documentary authors turn the documentary into echo chamber that they themselves condemn. Basically zero opposing or even moderate opinions. And the fake "real story about teenager who got radicalized and missed on love and foodball practice due to evil AI" is just a mind manipulation porn.

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And?

 

The fact is that CoBF as written and presented (by open source, non-profit software mostly) is more addictive to some of us than the "evil" social media run by superhuman AI.

 

The difference between COBF and the major social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is that COBF was not deliberately designed in consultation with behavioral scientists and UI experts to target your brain's reward circuitry. There are no strategically utilized flashing lights, bright colors, pop-up notifications, or "likes" on the site; there's no employment of peer pressure to create network effects ("Friend X joined!"), and most importantly, there are no algorithms working over millions and millions of iterations to identify the types of posts that will keep you hooked.

 

The difference between COBF and Instagram/TikTok is the difference between an ice cream shop and a heroin dealer.

 

This is exactly what documentary claims. And it is as enormously exaggerated as you just did. So hey you bought their product. Congrats.  ::)

 

What product is the documentary selling, specifically? Leaving aside the dramatization of the teenage boy's life, what specifically did the documentary exaggerate? Most of the film is just interviews with the software engineers who helped create the products themselves. Are you disputing their accounts? Whose?

 

Point out specific examples, otherwise you're just blowing hot air.

 

 

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And?

 

The fact is that CoBF as written and presented (by open source, non-profit software mostly) is more addictive to some of us than the "evil" social media run by superhuman AI.

 

The difference between COBF and the major social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is that COBF was not deliberately designed in consultation with behavioral scientists and UI experts to target your brain's reward circuitry. There are no strategically utilized flashing lights, bright colors, pop-up notifications, or "likes" on the site; there's no employment of peer pressure to create network effects ("Friend X joined!"), and most importantly, there are no algorithms working over millions and millions of iterations to identify the types of posts that will keep you hooked.

 

The difference between COBF and Instagram/TikTok is the difference between an ice cream shop and a heroin dealer.

 

This is exactly what documentary claims. And it is as enormously exaggerated as you just did. So hey you bought their product. Congrats.  ::)

 

What product is the documentary selling, specifically? Leaving aside the dramatization of the teenage boy's life, what specifically did the documentary exaggerate? Most of the film is just interviews with the software engineers who helped create the products themselves. Are you disputing their accounts? Whose?

 

Point out specific examples, otherwise you're just blowing hot air.

 

I have already answered what was exaggerated above thread. Please read.  ::)

 

Documentary is selling FUD. Plus books by couple interviewees. Plus (non-profit?) organization of one interviewee. But mostly FUD.

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The flip side is CoBF, after I read/publish a post, is not recommending another post or topic that is directly or similar in nature to be read next, creating a rabbit hole effect. If I just debated Tesla, there's no message or webpage after my post that continues the topic to keep me glued. Rather, I'm shown the home screen and the newest post could be a tpoic about Kellogg and I lose interest and move on.

 

Sure. There are things that FB/Twitter/GoogleNews/Netflix/AnyMediaOrganization do that CoBF does not. You can look at these things and judge them on positive or negative:

 

1. Notifications. Positive: if you are waiting for friend to show up and they are late, you want to be notified that they messaged you. Negative: constant attention hog. (BTW, CoBF has notifications too, just less invasive perhaps). Solution: you can set notifications to whatever you want, including turning them off.

2. Recommendations. Positive: You just read about Model 3, you want to read more about Model 3 Autopilot. You just watched "Sleepless in Seattle", you want to watch "You've Got Mail" or "Big". Negative: Rabbit hole, splurging, etc. Solutions: I'm not sure you can turn off recommendations in most places. Maybe there are knobs in some apps. I'd argue that recommendations is not a huge issue, but maybe they are for some people.

3. Ads. Personalized ads. Positive: get relevant ads. Negative: privacy, pushing you to buy crap. Solution: just fricking adblock everything. Harder on phones... Overall ads are crap. If you ever looked at "personalized" ads, you'd despair on how bad ad targeting is and not about how powerful AI is.

4. Curated timelines/posts. Positive: you see what you want to see. Negative: you see what company thinks you want to see. Echo chambers. Crappy feeds. Maybe addictive feeds. Solution: Personally I think the curated feeds are just crap, so just don't use them. It's not that they are evil-great and addictive. It's that they are just crappy selection. So don't use them. Pretty much every platform allows you to avoid curated feeds.

 

It's possible to have a discussion about all these issues. But not if documentary authors turn the documentary into echo chamber that they themselves condemn. Basically zero opposing or even moderate opinions. And the fake "real story about teenager who got radicalized and missed on love and foodball practice due to evil AI" is just a mind manipulation porn.

 

 

I think what the documentary authors tried to convey is that when there is a direct and proportional exchange of $ for your attention, the companies will do everything in their power to shift individuals to the "negative" while making it seem innocuous. It's easy to make it innocuous because we, humans, are really easy to trick. It's even easier to trick us when some of these services get so deeply entrenched into the fabric of our lives (e.g., Whatsapp/WeChat for communication with loved ones). The ease with which we get tricked is well captured by Kahneman's "Thinking fast and slow." Nonwithstanding the cheesy side story (or as you call it, manipulation porn), the authors did a pretty good job highlighting how our fallibility got weaponized against us. The "Solution" that you are bringing forward, that's the slow, rational brain. Sure, it makes sense, but we just don't slow down enough to think it through.

 

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The flip side is CoBF, after I read/publish a post, is not recommending another post or topic that is directly or similar in nature to be read next, creating a rabbit hole effect. If I just debated Tesla, there's no message or webpage after my post that continues the topic to keep me glued. Rather, I'm shown the home screen and the newest post could be a tpoic about Kellogg and I lose interest and move on.

 

Sure. There are things that FB/Twitter/GoogleNews/Netflix/AnyMediaOrganization do that CoBF does not. You can look at these things and judge them on positive or negative:

 

1. Notifications. Positive: if you are waiting for friend to show up and they are late, you want to be notified that they messaged you. Negative: constant attention hog. (BTW, CoBF has notifications too, just less invasive perhaps). Solution: you can set notifications to whatever you want, including turning them off.

2. Recommendations. Positive: You just read about Model 3, you want to read more about Model 3 Autopilot. You just watched "Sleepless in Seattle", you want to watch "You've Got Mail" or "Big". Negative: Rabbit hole, splurging, etc. Solutions: I'm not sure you can turn off recommendations in most places. Maybe there are knobs in some apps. I'd argue that recommendations is not a huge issue, but maybe they are for some people.

3. Ads. Personalized ads. Positive: get relevant ads. Negative: privacy, pushing you to buy crap. Solution: just fricking adblock everything. Harder on phones... Overall ads are crap. If you ever looked at "personalized" ads, you'd despair on how bad ad targeting is and not about how powerful AI is.

4. Curated timelines/posts. Positive: you see what you want to see. Negative: you see what company thinks you want to see. Echo chambers. Crappy feeds. Maybe addictive feeds. Solution: Personally I think the curated feeds are just crap, so just don't use them. It's not that they are evil-great and addictive. It's that they are just crappy selection. So don't use them. Pretty much every platform allows you to avoid curated feeds.

 

It's possible to have a discussion about all these issues. But not if documentary authors turn the documentary into echo chamber that they themselves condemn. Basically zero opposing or even moderate opinions. And the fake "real story about teenager who got radicalized and missed on love and foodball practice due to evil AI" is just a mind manipulation porn.

 

 

I think what the documentary authors tried to convey is that when there is a direct and proportional exchange of $ for your attention, the companies will do everything in their power to shift individuals to the "negative" while making it seem innocuous. It's easy to make it innocuous because we, humans, are really easy to trick. It's even easier to trick us when some of these services get so deeply entrenched into the fabric of our lives (e.g., Whatsapp/WeChat for communication with loved ones). The ease with which we get tricked is well captured by Kahneman's "Thinking fast and slow." Nonwithstanding the cheesy side story (or as you call it, manipulation porn), the authors did a pretty good job highlighting how our fallibility got weaponized against us. The "Solution" that you are bringing forward, that's the slow, rational brain. Sure, it makes sense, but we just don't slow down enough to think it through.

 

I disagree with the characterization "weaponized". I tried to illustrate that the features you and documentary authors call trickery are actually useful features. Yes, they have negative sides. But they also have positive sides.

 

Would you use/prefer a system that has no (automatic) recommendations?

Would you use/prefer a system that has no (automatic) notifications?

Would you use a system with no (personalized) ads? OK, everyone would use a system with no ads, viva la free/open source products! ;D (Nobody's gonna pay for such system though... so we have a tricky situation here).

Would you use a system with no curated output? OK, I'm against curated output but I'd probably say that positives outweigh negatives.

 

In toto, I might agree that automatic notifications by default should be disallowed. Even though I'm sure that I'd have to help a bunch of my not-computer/phone-savvy relatives to turn them on again, since they'd prefer to get notifications.

 

The rest are not so one-sided. Or in case of ads - one-sided but not easily solvable.

 

Anyway, that's my opinion.

 

I'm also totally for the alternative products. From what I saw, they did not have a single person building alternative product (maybe there was one, I did not know the company he's currently working for). OK, you could argue that it's tough to compete with heroin dealers. Fine. I'm also for a moderately sensible legislation. But moderately sensible legislation requires a dialogue that should IMO be much more balanced than the documentary was.

 

Ah, BTW, another example of exaggeration: one of the interviewees claimed Gmail was addictive.  ::) Well, I agree that email could be addictive. But how on Earth Gmail is any more addictive than any other email?  ::)

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I think Jurgis brings up some good points that the documentary was one sided and until the end PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY was not really mentioned.

 

Still - the points remains that:

1.  You are likely to learn a lot from the documentary about Social Media, human psychology, etc.  Social Media was much more manipulative than I realized.

2.  It is a great exploration into the negative effects (likely suicide, waste of your life, high cost (not $), worse REAL relationships,  of Social Media and will make some people have the Question: "Why the Fuck am I on this thing?"

3.  Public policy concerns

 

Watch is for your self to decide.

 

The reality is that we can all be addicted to anything and it is a human vulnerability and there are a lot of people that get sucked into this and it's mostly not good in many ways IMO.

 

Personally I hate Facebook, etc.  I view it as a bunch of crap and barely look at it.  All notifications are off on my phone and if someone really wants me they can call.

The old timers with wisdom of many years say "They can wait."

 

"Deep Work" by Cal Newport was great FYI.

https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Work-Focused-Success-Distracted/dp/1455586692

 

 

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