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An intentionally disturbing examination of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it both explains and offers a warning shot about the misuse of personal data and how that influenced past elections and might well do so in the future.
I think it's worth watching just so people know what happened and what's going on, but I didn't find it to be as shocking/scary as some reviewers have made it out to be. The amount of information that was gathered, the unethical means of "bouncing" through FB friends to gather data, and the compilation of profiles were the most interesting things. I am curious if the profiles are accurate or if they are akin to zodiac signs.
That being said, I feel like a lot of it was exaggerated, dramatized, and focuses too much on 2-3 peoples' opinions and not enough on the facts. A few documentaries have done long shot scenes of watching people's reactions to testimonies, tweets, and news releases. It's not interesting. I'm not as shocked as they are. It honestly feels like filler in between legitimate facts and events.
Claiming the feeds of memes and catchy headlines are "military grade weaponized psyops tools" is a bit of a stretch. I think there's an argument to be made that many recent election results are a consequence of poor policies and politicians that have focused on the wrong things. Using racial tensions and blaming "the other" when a large part of the citizenry is dissatisfied is a tactic as old as time to sway elections. That it has become more sophisticated was inevitable. There's also a huge emphasis on portraying right wing politicians as the ones doing this, but I think it is only that they have been much more successful at it.
The only thing that really surprised me is that people are actually getting persuaded by the memes. I always thought they were exaggerated jokes with a grain of truth, but apparently people were pushed from being centrist/undecided voters to fanatics according to these folks. However, I think it is more likely that the fanatical people on the right and left today already felt the way they do long ago and the tribal nature of politics has pushed them further. I think people are too obsessed with being on the "good" side and let themselves get persuaded and pushed.
If anything I hope people learn to be more skeptical of everything, even if they tend to agree with it.
You can also watch the documentary online for free from here.
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