I watched The Great Hack, ostensiblly a “documentary” which was released & trending on Netflix the same day as Mueller Hearing (not a coincidence). It’s clearly one-sided FOR Liberal/Left-leaning politics & AGAINST Conservative/Right-leaning politics, focusing mainly on the Trump 2016 Election and BREXIT votes, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
It paints a picture of propaganda and fake news being employed to STEAL the Trump 2016 & Brexit elections, along with the mention of a few other political races that Cambridge Analytica was involved in prior to Brexit and the U.S. 2016 elections.
It claims that the use of Big Data as responsible for “authoritarian” governments rising. It used that word at least 3 times, and each time connected with “darkness”, “hate”, and “fear” (there’s a dark undercurrent of hate and fear being used to divide us, and give rise to “far right” “authoritarian” governments, etc.).
It bemoans the “impossibility” of “free and fair democratic elections” in an era of big data. One thing I found interesting is the decision to focus almost exclusively on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. It mentions Google’s access to your data via being the worlds largest search engine (by far), but it doesn’t discuss any big data or privacy implications of this at all. It’s doesn’t address the data on us owned by any other Big Tech companies, like Amazon, Apple, Samsung; just Facebook and Cambridge Analtyica …because “far right” authoritianism and ‘Orange Man Bad’.
More worrisome is it wholly ignores the DAILY deluge of propaganda and fakes news from Mainstream Media, and the impossibility of “fair and free” elections when Traditional Media is actively and deliberately trying to shape how people think (see Mika Brzezinski, “it’s our job” to control what people think). Selectively cherry-picking which details they want to highlight and which to leave out, purposefully framing how they present any given story (“Trump claims, without citing facts”, for example). Worse, it presumes and implies that only now in the era of Big Data are whole populations being manipulated by “weapons grade communication” tactics.
In point of FACT, Traditional organizations, like the New York Times, Washington Post, and MSNBC, are propaganda organizations, with predetermined political agendas, decidedly anti-Trump, regardless of the facts of any given story, to the point, where even famous News personalities, like Ted Koppel, have publicly declared there is NO “journalist”/news integrity in those publication outlets. They are, in essence, PR arms of the DNC.
As far as the documentary (propaganda piece?) itself, I was initially intrigued thinking they were possibly going down the road of data privacy in all facets of life, still a worthy topic. But I lost interest in their clear agenda once I saw what it was. The documentary ends on the question “Can I be manipulated? Can you?”, with pensive, haunting music playing behind it, in it’s own way, an attempt to manipulate the audience. To manipulate you, the viewer.
I have to conclude that though it could have asked broad, important questions on digital privacy, it settled for partisan hackery, and attempted less sophisticated manipulation that it denounces throughout it’s entirety. On the whole, a fail, except to foster more #OrangeManBad division, and hate for “the far right”, which is likely defined for them as anyone right of Bernie Sanders.
Liberals will love it. It says what they already wanted to hear.