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Netflix movie 'The Social Dilemma' features Omahan

Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 07, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We tweet, we like, we share. But what are the consequences of our growing dependency on social media?

In the upcoming movie "The Social Dilemma," we learn social media platforms are tracking us more than we ever thought possible and the possible dangers of having too much information in the hands of others.

Omaha native Joe Toscano walked away from a six figure salary at Google due to the morality issues he says he faced doing his job. He is featured in the film.

Social media keeps us all connected. Top tech whistleblowers come forward to warn us about the very devices they created that keeps us communicating but is also being used to control us.

Toscano, a former Google consultant, warns "There are much bigger problems with how our data is being used. This film really reveals that in a way that is relatable. It humanizes the algorithm and reveals it as this huge manipulative thing and humanizes it and you can see it as if the algorithm was a human and what it would be like."

The movie is filled with accounts from Silicon Valley insiders from Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

"It is a national security threat. It's not just about people watching video of people dancing. These are platforms that have so much data on us that they can do what is called sentiment analysis. They can analyze the population of that application for how they are emotionally feeling and they can create propaganda that changes the way those people feel. If for example they want to distract our nation with disinformation or misinformation they can do that because they have analyzed what makes us mad, what makes us happy, what changes our opinions. They know all this because we posted all about it. We gave them everything," adds Toscano.

With all of the possible dangers, he also says there is a lot of good with social media. They want to keep the good and eliminate the risks.

"One step further, they have access to our GPS data. You might not think this is a big deal and I am not special. But it's not about you, it is about all of us. When they can track hundreds of millions of people at once, they can see how we move through cities, they can see what our inroads are, what our outroads are, what the weak points in our nation are. They can do this because it is like they have a heat map on our society," continues Toscano.

He says we should all rethink privacy settings and there are laws in the works to help solve the problem.

"Social Dilemma" starts airing this Wednesday, September 9th on Netflix.