"The Social Dilemma" Netflix film co-directed by Tristan Harris has gone viral!

A new major motion picture is coming out next week starring the Center for Humane Technology personalities and other Silicon Valley Insiders. “Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media platforms are reprogramming society by exposing the other side of your screen.” Watch the trailer here:


The Center for Humane Technology has released a bonus episode as a podcast to The Social Dilemma documentary. Featuring Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin. Check it out:

Podcast: Bonus - The Social Dilemma

A new documentary, The Social Dilemma comes out on Netflix today, September 9, 2020. We hope that this film, full of interviews with tech insiders, will be a catalyst and tool for exposing how technology has been distorting our perception of the world, and will help us reach the shared ground we need to solve big problems together.


The documentary is having an impact. I see the link and good reviews being shared everywhere.

Currently there is a thread on Hacker News asking for the tech-savvy people about their impression. Check out: Ask HN: What do you think about “The Social Dilemma”?

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This is MY opinion. Other opinions (I hope more optimistic ones) are appreciated and respected.


Oww Sergio, here you hit exactly the right spot, and a point I’ve argued multiple times on this forum since I joined the community in 2018: We do not focus on the root causes!!

Same with climate change activism for the most parts, for that matter.

In the case of CHT, is it intentional? Could well be. They would loose a lot of strategic lobbying power if they went from that angle. And frankly I think if they would have addressed it, it wouldn’t make the documentary stronger in terms of public impact (note: I haven’t seen it… no Netflix).

I liked the article, and you have a nice writing style, @swanderl

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The text is very interesting! I had also thought about it. At this point, social networks are an extension of real life … A system that reflects another system.

The question is not whether we use social media as an extension of real life, but social media itself is an extension of the capitalist pattern reproducing it digitally and with even fewer regulations or ethical concerns.

But just like offline, nobody wants to think about it, so talking where it hits in microscales can be easier

sorry about my english!!


Hi @aschrijver!

Thank you for the praise. I use writing as a way of expressing my feelings and sharing my thoughts with a small group of people.

And I also agree with you on the reason for that strategy. CHT’s mission is strongly related to politics.So, it makes sense not to address the problem directly because that would certainly “close some doors” diplomatically speaking.

But there’s a deeper discussion I would like to raise here. You mentioned global warming. I believe it’s a perfect example. And for anyone who’s into digging deeper into the WHYs, I strongly recommend listening to the following Invisibilia Podcast episode:

It’s a beautiful story and tells us so much about how humans psycho work, and it makes you think about how could we create better awareness campaigns.

@brunawing, YES, I agree with you that social media acts as an amplifier for the good and bad of society, capitalism included. The problem is there seems to be an unbalance, and social media is creating more harm than good nowadays, IMO.

And @brunawing, please don’t appologize for your English. You clearly communicated your thoughts. That’s the goal.

There’s going to be a panel 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) with the director Jeff Orlowski. You can register for the event using this link:

Quick update: I just tried to ask Jeff about why didn’t the doc covered the root-cause we were discussing.

My question was ignored.

I’m interested. But my time as community facilitator here has made me a bit of a strange fellow that avoids Google links if possible. Do you have some background reading besides the podcast?

Delightful news :smiley:


You can check Tristan’s twitter and the hashtags #TheSocialDilemma and #socialdilemma

:point_right: View the Trailer

Many many interesting discussion going on everywhere. So nice to see. And also rightful and/or discutable points of criticism towards the film. For instance in this 12-part tweet by Pranav Malhotra:

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Sure. You can listen using this link.

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I have created a separate topic for WHY are we inactive discussion: Systemic Change vs. The Engagement Problem: Inaction in the face of big problems

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I just saw the documentary myself. Though for me there were no things that I did not already know about, I really liked the documentary and would recommend it to anyone. Especially for those who are not that informed about the issues surrounding social media and IT in general I consider the film a MUST SEE.

Beforehand I read raving reviews, but also a bunch of criticism by various people. I have to say that while these critics may be right, most of critical voices boil down to saying that important stuff was not properly or only very briefly addressed. Given the enormous scope of the problem, I think the Center of Humane Technology did a good job of cramming just enough content into the documentary. It is not overly long (about 70 mins.) and not overly information-dense or too technical (though for true a-technical people it may be a bit hard to follow now and then).

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It’s been a minute since I’ve been in here. I have really mixed feelings about the movie. And here is what I’m seeing amongst regular folxs: they watch it, agree with it, but it doesn’t change their behavior. I had a middle schooler rave about this movie to me, explain how she cried during it, then immediately after go watch Youtube for 2 hours with headphones in a room full of people. Is that irony? I don’t know. I watched it with my family and we fought about our screen time so I guess it did do something :-))

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I think the positive thing that is caused by this, is that it is yet another small - but probably bigger than others - contribution to a shift in culture. This is a slow gradual process. Our problem with tech (similar to climate change) constitutes a so-called wicked problem. One that doesn’t let itself be fixed with a single solution, and not even necessarily with a range of solutions. I think in that regard and with hindsight we were a bit naive when CHT was founded with the vision of “triggering a cultural awakening” in thinking they would unroll a comprehensive program that - with viral growth - would put things right again.

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I agree. That is kind of why I rebranded Mindful Digital Native into Nu Digital Native. So I could focus on more than one solution. Glad to be BACK!


According to the Fogg Behavior Model, for a behavior to occur, three things are required: motivation, ability, and a prompt. To create a new behavior, you need to provide conditions for the three to manifest together aligned to the new response you want to create on people. It’s a difficult task.

Our brain is very conservative when using energy and it will do everything possible to reuse the same neuron connections over and over again. This is why sometimes people only change after traumatic events (and I’ve seen people that didn’t).

Also we have to acknowledge that there are people who are just fine using technology, even though they spend a lot of time on screens. They don’t see a problem with that and they don’t want to be “helped.”

I really liked ‘The Social Dilemma’, but I also think it missed out on something big.

As a FOSS and Fediverse advocate myself, I somewhat agree on that point. But the Center for Humane Technology is very focused on the regulation side of things, raising awareness, and improving the practices in the existing (big) tech business world.

(Note too, that this community, the HTC, is independent of the CHT, where we take a grassroots, solution oriented approach, and FOSS alternatives very much part of that).