The Social Dilemma: A conversation with Joe Toscano
What’s so wrong with social media?
The irony about social media platforms is that they’re needed to help us ‘function’ in modern-day society, even though they’re consistently damaging society by manipulating and changing users’ behaviours. While this may be old news for technologists and people working with new media, the new Netflix documentary, ‘The Social Dilemma’ is positioned as a rough ‘wake up call’ for those who do not regularly question what happens behind their screens. Or how our online behaviour and daily interactions on social platforms are being exploited and gamed for financial gain by a handful of companies in Silicon Valley through data mining and surveillance capitalism. We think it’s an important film at this particular moment in history, when people are being asked to socially distance – further increasing our dependence on social media platforms for ‘human and social interactions’.
About the Conversation
One of the technologists featured in ‘The Social Dilemma’ is Joe Toscano, a former Google Experience Design Consultant and founder of Better Ethics and Consumer Outcomes Network (BEACON). In this informal chat with our Director Alex Grech, Joe answers the following questions:
- Could ‘The Social Dilemma’ be seen as an education project?
- How can the younger generation’s attention be captured when they’re always in front of a screen?
- What can we say to 18-year-olds that will be understood and remembered?
- Is social media regulation an issue and is it needed?
- How can digital literacy go mainstream?
- How do we transition into building ethical online solutions for use by the masses?
- What are the possible solutions for combating the dangers of social media platforms?
- How can you get involved in this movement?
Key takeaways on ‘The Social Dilemma’
- Social media platforms are a national security threat because they run sentimental analysis to change users’ behaviours.
- We are in a transition period of building a future to protect individuals’ privacy.
- New companies need to be created for the incumbent social media platforms to lose their hold on the market place.
- Data and digital literacy are essential components of basic education for citizens.
Watch the Video
Watch Joe Toscano explain how the social media game needs to be played in order for it to break in this conversation with Alex Grech.