The Social Dilemma: obscure object of manipulation

Last week, we recommended this great documentary that will open your eyes and your mind to how technology and social media are checkmating humankind. That’s why we have decided to dig a little further on this subject and devote this post to it.

“We created a system that biases towards false information. Not because we want to but because false information makes the companies more money than the truth. The truth is boring.” Sandy Parakilas, ex Operations head for Facebook between 2011 and 2012.

The documentary was directed by Jeff Orlowski. Through different interviews with the key players in the initiation of this technological process, who worked in all these great corporations: Facebook, Pinterest, Google, etc…, the director shows us how the current world is subject to the consequences that technological changes such as social media have on us.

The thing is that, although initially, new technologies resolved many of humankind’s problems and their creators did not envisage such a fateful ending, reality has shown us its worst side and making it obvious that unfortunately, these technologies have truly become a tool for manipulation and for many people, a great threat.

“We’ve moved away from a tools-based technology environment, to an addiction and manipulation used technology environment.” Tristan Harris, who worked as an Ethicist in Google Design.

As you can see, the protagonists of this documentary tell us about their experiences and above all, emphasize the system’s serious problems and how they are affecting us and may end up dramatically harming us in the near future if we don’t do anything….

“We can affect real-world behaviour and emotions without ever triggering the user’s awareness. They are completely clueless.” Shoshana Zuboff, sociologist specializing in Technology.

The truth is that it is terrifying, but at the same time we need to be aware that we are all victims, almost without our knowledge, of the risks and seriously harmful effects that derive from this world manipulated through new technologies and social media.

“We created a world in which online connection has become primary, especially for younger generations. And yet, in that world, any time two people connect, the only way it’s financed, is through a sneaky third person who’s paying to manipulate those two people.” Jaron Lanier, Virtual Reality pioneer.

Without wanting to reveal anything else, and in spite of how critical the situation is, we like the position that the documentary has adopted regarding finding solutions that will help us to somehow reverse this mess that affects us all, to a lesser or greater extent. Don’t miss it! Food for thought.

(**) The translation of this article has been done by OXINITY. The best online school to learn and speak English.


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