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FRONTLINE: THE FACEBOOK DILEMMA

What to know: Fascinating and much needed critical look at the influence and effects of Facebook.
Recommended age 12-18
106 minutes
Video and DVD
PBS DISTRIBUTION
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This two-hour Frontline episode offers a fascinating and much-needed critical look at the influence and effects of Facebook. From its gathering of users' data to the website's open forum being manipulated by propagandists, the fast-paced program portrays the dangers inherent when a company does little to verify the information being disseminated on its platform. Emphasis is placed on Facebook leaders identifying the company as a technology provider, rather than a media organization, which led to a focus on growth and profitability and little attention given to controlling the content being posted. The result was a proliferation of misinformation and "fake news," used insidiously by foreign governments to sow discontent and influencing the 2016 Presidential election. The hard-hitting program includes frank interviews with former Facebook staff who describe the failure of the company's leadership to take action when faced with the reality of the weaponization of the site as well as current high-level staff who defend their response as "slow." The issues raised here affect every user of social media and should be required viewing for anyone using Facebook. Recommended for ages 14 to 18, as well as adults. 5 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Mike F. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror
Early warnings about Facebook's impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world. Dozens of original interviews and rare footage show how the company faced claims of misuse while becoming an unprecedented global power.
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