The Social Dilemma


The Social Dilemma is an American Documentary drama released on Netflix in September 2020 and directed by Jeff Orlowski. Jeff Orlowski is an American filmmaker, and he is best known for producing two documentaries that won the Emmy awards. He was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Comment by Sarah H.: Titles of films should be capitalized and italicized

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Film thesis

The film argues that social media will benefit companies rather than people because the corporations are not limited in how much the business is profitable by mining our attention.

My essay thesis

To discuss whether social media causes mental illness. Comment by Sarah H.: I would recommend making this a complete sentence. It might not be required by your professor for this specific exercise, but I tend to rather be safe than sorry.


The documentary focuses on addressing how social media’s design nurture addiction and spreads theories of conspiracy and disinformation in order for them to maximize profit. The film uses several interviewees, such as former workers from top tech companies and social media platforms such as Google, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Mozilla. The people being interviewed in the film share their main experiences at their respective companies and discuss how these platforms have caused negative social, political, and cultural consequences. Though some of the interviewees try to show some positive impacts that these big tech companies have provided, there is less importance attached to the positive side. Through the interview of various people, the film presents how social media platforms have influenced the spreading of fake news over the years. Comment by Sarah H.: At this point in this section, you haven’t named who would be maximizing the profit, so I don’t know who this pronoun is referring to. I recommend specifying there who exactly you think will maximize profit from social media. Comment by Sarah H.: Can you give some additional details about this? How does this happen? Is it because the documentary dedicates less time to these stories? Are the interviewees the ones who attach less importance to these stories or is it done by the producer?

There are scripted dramatizations of addiction among teenagers caused by social media. The dramatization shown in the film draws attention to the concerns that have been raised of the radicalization of the youth on the internet. Different actors are used to portraying what is dramatized in the film. Ben is a teenager who slowly falls for the manipulation tactics as he gets deeper into the addiction to social media. Tristan, who used to work in one of the big tech companies, states that there are risks of artificial intelligence and fake news as he sees it as a profit business model that benefits from disinformation. Those being interviewed expressed their fear about the artificial intelligence role in social media and the impacts the platforms have on society. Comment by Sarah H.: What are these dramatization based off of? Are the completely fictional or are they based off real events? Comment by Sarah H.: What does “it” refer to here? Pronouns refer to a previously mentioned subject. Since you have mentioned several subjects leading up to this word, such as artificial intelligence, fake news, and big tech companies, I’m not sure which one “it” refers to.

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