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Wick's Review

Created Jan 23, 2021 07:20PM PST • Edited Jan 23, 2021 10:37PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Much of the commentary in The Social Dilemma goes to stupid extremes, yet this Netflix produced docudrama is packed with powerful insights. Vividly visualized, expounded upon and dramatized, it vivifies the effect that YouTwitFace has on people. It goes wrong when it goes political, falling prey to a pronounced lefty bias, leading to the Left’s inevitable cul-de-sac of regulation and property destruction.

    Its correct insights include the need to ignore alerts. Better yet, turn them off.

    As often in political diatribes, TSD paints the bad actors as operating from bad faith, their entire operation optimized for societal destruction. Ironically, TSD points at social networking’s ability to promote conspiracy theories as one of its evil superpowers. While true, it’s also true that the documentary’s erudite commentators themselves fall prey to a conspiracy theory: that the social media companies are evil actors who knowingly manipulate society by pulling strings, a classic conspiracy theory if ever there was one.

  3. Great 4.0
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0
  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    The Hall of Mirrors effect gets a 21st century makeover by The Social Dilemma’s sleek use of visual metaphors, both live action and digital.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.0
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Gentle 1.0
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.0
  18. Glib 1.6

    Neither the dramatic or documentary sections of The Social Dilemma hew to reality, the former by inventing social networking features that don’t actually exist, the latter because the remedies proposed by the erudite cCons in the documentary are doomed aforehand. Some are impossible, the rest dysfunctional.

    Those proposed remedies include the destruction of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, et. al. That’s impossible. The rest of the remedies are heavy regulation of social media companies and social media content, inevitably including enforced conformity to a centrally controlled thesaurus of right-speak and wrong-speak, a remedy that is unconstitutional for good reasons and dysfunctional for most stakeholders.

    Sure, The Social Dilemma is an epochal societal dilemma that defies easy remedy. However, one core improvement that will decentralize control away from Big Tech is for people to be able to sue them.

    Sue Twitter. Sue Facebook. Sue YouTube, sue them all when they violate users’ natural rights.

    Social media companies operate from imperious aeries today, invulnerable to the harm their businesses cause. This is because they can claim safe harbor under The Communications Decency Act of 1996, stretched well beyond its original intent. It “has been interpreted to say that operators of Internet services are not to be construed as publishers (and thus not legally liable for the words of third parties who use their services).”1 Therefore they can’t be sued. Trial lawyers are a pox on society, but could do some good here.

    1 Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.7
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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