Specialisation: The Great Hack

Deconstructing Digital Realities: The Landscape of Fake News, Data Privacy, Social Media Impact

Social media reigns in the current era of the virtual world, and its impact cannot be denied. This entangled territory raises profound issues of fake information, diminished privacy, user rights, and mental well-being. These issues are vividly portrayed in “The Social Dilemma” and “The Great Hack'”. On the contrary, a more thorough investigation based on information that is available in the public domain, as well as sources online, will shed light on the underlying psychological, ethical, and socio-economic aspects of the challenges caused by social media users.

Unraveling the Psychology of Fake News Belief

Fake news or “belief in lies” is a complex phenomenon under different psychological and social factors. Confirmation bias and selective exposure are cognitive biases through which people develop their worldviews. People look for information supporting their prejudices and create echo chambers in which misinformation grows (Pennycook and David 388). Besides, societal effects, including peer pressure and social acceptance, also play a significant role in spreading and adopting myths. With the advent of the internet and the many ways information can be sourced, amplifying these dynamics is even more straightforward, and misleading information is readily accepted.

Balancing Act: Targeted Ads vs. Personal Privacy

The issue of balancing targeted ads against the rights to personal privacy lies at the core of modern digital concerns. Targeted marketing enables organizations to approach specific populations, increasing the relevancy of adverts to consumers. While it may be a good business practice to collect the personal information of users, there are ethical issues regarding whether the privacy of users has been sacrificed for a more significant benefit to companies (Ullah et al. 1). Ensuring fair practice and robust security means that it is essential to develop transparency around the use of personal information to provide personalized content without breaching personal privacy.

Empowering Users: Social Media Realms and Rights

Social networking with social media has become quite a complex interplay of power between users and sites. Thus, questions need to be raised about the rights and agency they are entitled to in these digital environments where their participation contributes to the content that fuels engagements and profits. Transparency, user control, and empowerment represent an effective response to the idea of users as the product (Ullah et al. 1). It entails a right to understand and control the person’s information as well as customizing one’s digital experience and measures applied by the platforms in case of unethical behavior. Social Media firms must balance their profit motives and protect users’ rights to nurture a fairer digital environment.

The Battle Against Fake News: Social Media Companies’ Role

The spread of fake news through social media companies is among the most significant means of disseminating information. These algorithms intended for user engagement tend to exaggerate sensation, and misinformation spreads quickly (Iosifidis and Nicholas 64). Firms can solve this problem by considering multiple approaches, such as good algorithm design, fact-checking, and user training. It is high time social media platforms realize that they are members of society and have a duty to build an accurate rather than viral community. Preventing the spread of falsehood while pursuing profitability is a crucial consideration involving ethical considerations and working with regulatory bodies.

Safeguarding Mental Health: Social Media’s Responsibility

Mental health effects associated with social media have received more recent and considerable interest. Such algorithms are developed to manipulate negative feelings such as anger and annoyance, which may cause anxiety or depression in users. Hence, social media companies should take responsibility for users’ social behavior as it may lead to unwanted damage. It entails reassessing algorithmic frameworks, introducing users’ well-being in product development, and giving mental health support facilities (Kelly 60). User engagement metrics must strike a balance with users’ mental well-being by shifting priorities and committing to ethical practices. As a result, having a multidimensional view of fake news, the disintegration of privacy, users’ rights, and challenges associated with mental health about social media is imperative and calls for striking the right balance.

Analysis of “The Social Dilemma” and “The Great Hack”

The Social Dilemma

“The Social Dilemma” briefly examines social media’s negative consequences, particularly algorithmic effects on user actions. The documentary shows that such platforms are addictive to making money for the owners; hence, algorithm manipulations in such platforms are a big ethical challenge (Preston 77). The documentary points out how these algorithms unwittingly amplify disinformation, polarization, and mental illness. One of the film’s strengths is its ability to present abstract ideas in familiar ways. Getting insiders to talk about interviews adds credence, giving an insider look into the moral crises that prevail in technology (Preston 78). Critics argue that it is shortsighted of the film to pin down society’s dysfunction as solely the fault of technology without considering more fundamental factors such as polarization and misinformation. “The Social Dilemma,” however, effectively highlights individuals’ concerns arising from using social media. Viewers are provoked into rediscovering their relationship with technology and how much an algorithm could change one’s life. Personal stories of various tech insiders humanize the narrative by creating feelings that engage audience support.

The Great Hack

“The Great Hack” targets data privacy, political manipulation, and selling personal information for targeting advertisements. The narrative in this documentary is woven through crucial figures within the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It explains how users’ data were utilized to gain political milestones (Nashiroh et al. 53). It shows this conveniently through live-action movie scenes and interviews with people who have felt its effects. One of the most significant pros is that it can interlink different factors like data privacy. Data misuse is a generalized term related to the personal accounts of those whose lives have been discontinued through these illegal practices (Nashiroh et al. 54). These critics suggest that the movie might be too dramatic despite offering a simplified picture. Notwithstanding criticisms, “The Great Hack” highlights the urgency for effective data protection regulations. These calls include public and private bodies’ proposals on regulating social media and their consequences.

Comparative Analysis

Although both documentaries look at the social implications of technology, they do so differently. “The Social Dilemma” has psychological and social implications of algorithmic control, while “The Great Hack” concerns political and data security. It is done by effectively utilizing the emotional appeal in driving home their emergency messages. The Social Dilemma is mainly about addiction to social media and its effect on mental health, while in The Great Hack, there are data manipulation issues during the elections. As a set, the documentary emphasizes the commercial motifs of the tech firms and the likely damage from untamed algorithmic might.


In conclusion, all social media risks can be identified by analyzing fake news believability, the fine line between customized commercials and personal privacy, cyber rights, and social networks’ role in stopping misinformation and ensuring mental health. The solution to these problems necessitates striking a delicate balance between technological advancement and morality. The impact of online entertainment is an impression of society’s qualities and obligations. Associations create an innovative, moral, computerized worldview that focuses on client government assistance and opportunity by distinguishing and tending to such hardships.

Works Cited

Iosifidis, Petros, and Nicholas Nicoli. “The Battle to End Fake News: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Facebook Announcements on How it Combats Disinformation.” International Communication Gazette, vol. 82, no. 1, 2020, pp. 60-81.

Kelly, Yvonne, et al. “Social Media Use and Adolescent Mental Health: Findings from the UK Millennium Cohort Study.” EClinicalMedicine, vol. 6, 2018, pp. 59-68.

Nashiroh, Tsalist Syafaatun, and Ribut Wahyudi. “Language of Propaganda in The Great Hack Movie.” Rainbow: Journal of Literature, Linguistics and Culture Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2023, pp. 48-60.

Pennycook, Gordon, and David G. Rand. “The Psychology of Fake News.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 25, no. 5, 2021, pp. 388-402.

Preston, Paschal. “Introduction: The Social Dilemma: Partial Insights Amidst Fuzzy Frames.” The Political Economy of Communication, vol. 8, no. 2, 2021, pp.76-103.

Ullah, Imdad, Roksana Boreli, and Salil S. Kanhere. “Privacy in Targeted Advertising: A Survey.” IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, 2020, pp. 1-28.