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Parents' Guide to

Agents of Chaos

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Insightful docu about foreign meddling in the 2016 election.

TV HBO Reality TV 2020
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This thoughtful and well-organized series offers a comprehensive look into the political machinations of Russia and the United States that led the systematic efforts to create disinformation campaigns. , Co-directed by award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, Agents of Chaos highlights how these events didn't "fix" the 2016 election, but helped destabilize and create divisiveness within the electorate by distorting information that people were using to think about the political issues most relevant to them. In doing so, it points to how vulnerable Americans were, and continue to be, when exposed to things like distorted memes, conspiracy theories, and information campaigns disseminated throughout the online public discourse in order to motivate doubt, fear, and outrage.

It's packed with information, and there are moments when it gets a little slow. Nonetheless, Agents of Chaos competently guides viewers through the complicated aspects of foreign interference, including the infamous release of Democratic leaders' emails by WikiLeaks, and the Mueller investigation. It also makes an attempt at presenting facts objectively while explaining the various ways these events connect. Overall, it's a documentary that raises some important, but harrowing, questions about the power of disinformation, and the U.S. electorate's inability to recognize it, which makes it well-worth pushing through.

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