Information Warfare

(Above source: YouTube video)

The Great Hack, a documentary about the surreptitious use of personal Facebook data to manipulate voters, debuts tomorrow, July 24, on Netflix and in select theaters.

The film, which was screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and now includes additional footage, deals with a major political scandal – the harvesting of data from millions of Facebook profiles for political advertising.

The scandal broke in 2018 with revelations that the Trump and Brexit campaigns, among others, with the help of the digital consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, used personal data collected on Facebook to sway voters online. The film profiles key players, including Cambridge Analytica executive and whistleblower Brittany Kaiser, who publicly testified: “We targeted those whose minds we thought we could change until they saw the world the way we wanted them to.”

As voters get swept up in the rancorous information warfare of the 2020 US presidential campaign, directors Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim raise the question: “What do we give up when we tap that phone or keyboard and share ourselves in the digital age?”

And how are we all being emotionally played by unseen actors with unknown agendas?

Sounds like The Great Hack could be good medicine for an ailing democracy.

For more information, visit Netflix.

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About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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