FRONTLINE Presents "The Facebook Dilemma"
The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation in the U.S. and across the world, mounting crises have raised the question: How has Facebook’s historic success as a social network brought about real-world harm?
Just days before the midterm elections, FRONTLINE presents The Facebook Dilemma — U.S. television’s most in-depth investigation of the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world. CET and ThinkTV will air the documentary Monday, October 29, and Tuesday, October 30, at 10pm on both nights.
Drawing on dozens of original interviews and rare footage, this major, two-night television event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. Producers James Jacoby and Anya Bourg (War on the EPA) and Dana Priest, a Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post reporter and professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill School of Journalism, trace how the company failed to respond effectively to warnings from both inside and outside Facebook about everything from potential privacy violations, to “fake news,” to fomenting division and violence across the globe.
From how Russia weaponized Facebook to spread “fake news” in the Ukraine years before the term was popularized, to data breaches that would expose the accounts of millions of users, to Facebook’s role in disseminating misinformation in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, The Facebook Dilemma reveals how a platform initially aimed at uniting us has often instead divided us — and how Facebook has responded to challenges ranging from hate speech to election interference.
As the midterms approach, this two-part special is a timely and eye-opening look at the warnings, denials and unintended consequences that have accompanied Facebook’s growth into both a global superpower — and a player in social movements and elections around the world.