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Parents' Guide to

The Great Hack

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Docu traces exploitation of personal data on the internet.

Movie NR 2019 113 minutes
The Great Hack Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

Essential digital citizenship viewing

I loved this two hour doc, because it really hones in on the dangers of having our every click and online data point collected. We see how this data can be used by ill -ntentioned individuals to change the outcome of elections. We learn a lot more about Cambridge Analytica than what I'd heard in the news. The fact they used to be a military sector provider before being rebranded by Bannon explains a lot. Its chilling to watch! Mature 13 year olds should enjoy it, with their parents or other adults in the family. It should make a great discussion starter on the traces they ( and we) leave online.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

Ends up being another political jab. Not really "groundbreaking" info here.

There's not much here we didn't already know. They try to tie this into some grand conspiracy against certain political figures. But honestly, if you didn't know people gather and store data on individuals, then you're basically a moron at this point. But for most of us this is redundant and somewhat skewed in it's presentation.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

In this eye-opening, well-executed documentary, the filmmakers meet the challenge of blending complex tech information with heightening drama. Plus, there's plenty of "rooting interest." The thing is, in The Great Hack we end up rooting for ourselves, and the long odds of not being one of the fooled, the foiled, and the exploited, unmindful victims of "psy-ops" warfare. The villains here are those who believe it's okay to call their business model "a behavior change agency" and the people who hire them. The protagonists are the people fighting back.

Could the film be called partisan? It is and it isn't. In this piece, conservative ideologues are the bad guys. One fact revealed here is that there were 5.9 million visual ads on Facebook on behalf of Donald Trump's election, and 66,000 for Hillary Clinton. That won't always be the case. The internet -- originally envisioned as the means to a wonderful, connected world -- is suffering from growing pains, and until the same folks who dreamed it up and developed it can find a way to control its excesses and abuses, we're all in danger of becoming what this film and these companies call "the persuadables."

Movie Details

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