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The Social Dilemma: What is the Social Dilemma?

The Social Dilemma Readings


Further reading on our shared social dilemma:


Our Brains Are No Match for Our Technology

Tristan Harris

New York Times


The Dark Psychology of Social Networks

Jonathan Haidt

The Atlantic


Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff

Harvard Business Review


The Truth About Algorithms

Cathy O’Neill



Want to Work for Google? You Already Do.

Joe Toscano

TEDx Talks


Free Speech Is Not The Same As Free Reach

Renée DiResta


The Dilemmas

The Dilemma

The problem beneath all other problems

Technology’s promise to keep us connected has given rise to a host of unintended consequences that are catching up with us. If we can’t address our broken information ecosystem, we’ll never be able to address the challenges that plague humanity.

A 5,000 person study found that higher social media use correlated with self-reported declines in mental and physical health and life satisfaction.

American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017

Persuasive design techniques like push notifications and the endless scroll of your newsfeed have created a feedback loop that keeps us glued to our devices.

The # of countries with political disinformation campaigns on social media doubled in the past 2 years.

New York Times

Social media advertising gives anyone the opportunity to reach huge numbers of people with phenomenal ease, giving bad actors the tools to sow unrest and fuel political divisions.

64% of the people who joined extremist groups on Facebook did so because the algorithms steered them there.

Internal Facebook report, 2018

Algorithms promote content that sparks outrage, hate, and amplifies biases within the data that we feed them.

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