A lot or a little?
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trust Me is a documentary about digital misinformation and the need for media literacy. References include the suicides of students from cyberbullying, a journalist’s assassination, and an alleged child-sex trafficking case. Featured images include a bag of cocaine, kids fighting, and Ku Klux Klan and ISIS members. Anti-vaccine posters are shown, and mention of the deaths of kids who reportedly could have been saved with vaccines. Claims are made that the Twitter retweet button is like handing a 4-year-old a loaded weapon. Reference to allegations of the appearance of Russian propaganda on the internet. Images include an illustration of a nude man, scantily-clad anorexic individuals, and a child bathing in a tub. Swear words include “ass," "bulls--t," and “f--ked up." Slurs include "bitches," “incest babies," and "savages." Trust Me includes the powerful themes of communication, compassion, and teamwork.
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What's the story?
TRUST ME is a documentary that explores with its expert contributors the timely topics of misinformation and the importance of media literacy in the digital age. Director Roko Belic’s film notes that more than one billion people seek news and information on the internet daily. The movie also asserts that online misinformation tends to spread faster than true information.
Is it any good?
Documentarian Belic presents a powerful picture about the escalating use of digital misinformation and need for media literacy. The movie mentions that misinformation spreads surprisingly at a quicker speed than true information. Tech insiders proclaim that platforms aren't designed to offer readers reliable information, but help create an addiction among its users who then seek more. The film also addresses the issue of divisive narratives that are giving rise to an "us against them" culture, says Maria Ressa, Co-Founder & CEO of the news website Rappler. "The world is getting pushed and pulled apart, and yet people don’t know they’re being manipulated." Belic hopes that the film "will stimulate public debate so we can fix these problems." Impressively, Trust Me lives up to that task for viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about digital misinformation and the role of media literacy in Trust Me. What is media literacy and its possible impact on misinformation? What are the consequences of misinformation?
What amount of teamwork may be involved in writing a news story? What steps are involved in fact checking it? What may be reputable resources to determine if a story is real or fake?
What is native advertising? What are the distinct differences between internet ads that look like legitimate stories versus actual ones?
How do the graphic images and language help or hurt the movie’s message? What does the director’s choice of title convey to viewers?
- On DVD or streaming: February 16, 2021
- Cast: Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, Aaron Sharockman, James Steyer
- Director: Roko Belic
- Studio: New Day Films
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Activism, STEM
- Character strengths: Communication, Compassion, Teamwork
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 5, 2021
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