Documentary Analysis (up to 1%) – Part 1
You can earn 1% of your course grade in extra credit by completing the following reflection questions based upon the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. It is your responsibility to secure access to Netflix for this optional extra credit opportunity.
This exercise is intended to encourage critical thinking about a current social issue related to marketing and allow you an opportunity to reflect on your own attitudes and behaviors.
Put away all devices for a minimum of two hours (enough time to watch the documentary and complete the assigned questions). Watch the documentary closely. Take time to reflect on the issues raised and submit a thorough analysis that answers the following questions:
1. How would you define the problem?
2. What are the benefits of social media use? What are the problems? Do the benefits of social media outweigh the negative issues?
3. Name some of the negative effects of social media to which you have a personal connection. When or where have you (or someone you know) experienced these effects?
4. From what sources do you and your friends typically get news and information? Do these feel trustworthy? How do you know that this is the case?
5. Should all – or any – ideas be amplified by algorithms? Should the same standards be used for individuals as for public figures or advertisers? Who should decide?
6. As film subject Shoshana Zuboff points out, extractive technology has made internet companies, “the richest companies in the history of humanity.” How would you define their business model? What are they selling? Have you (or someone you know) experienced negative consequences as a result?
7. Online advertisers have the ability to target and influence the masses to an unprecedented degree. Do you believe advertisers should have that kind of power?
8. What role can advertisers play in prioritizing humane ad solutions and pushing platforms and publishers to make change?
9. Who do you think is responsible for solving “the social dilemma”? What should they do? Is there anything you can do?
10. After watching the film, do you plan to change any of your privacy settings on social media? Which ones, and why or why not?