“[Author] George R.R. Martin tweeted that The Social Dilemma was the scariest movie he’s seen in 20 years,” Orlowski tells Deadline. “That was one of my favorite little moments.”
The Netflix documentary has alarmed Martin and many other viewers with its chilling depiction of the influence of social media companies, arguing that they have debilitated democracy at home and abroad, sown discord at the community and national level and negatively impacted the mental health of users.
“This is like a dystopian matrix that we’re already living in,” Orlowski maintains, “and it’s nonfiction.”
The film, an Oscar contender this year, attempts to reframe how we understand the function of companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and more. It’s not, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed in a 2019 speech at Georgetown University,