A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Reveals how the Internet has made it easier for people to cause harm to others. Underscores the need to be careful about the information you send online, and who you interact with.
Positive Role Models
Those who are committing crimes using the Internet disassociate what they are doing online with the real-world harm they are causing. There are law enforcement officials, investigators, families, and others who have worked hard to find those culpable, and to proactively fight to change laws and policies so that the crimes committed against them and their loved ones don't happen again.
The online criminals profiled are mostly White men. Those they victimize are from all walks of life.
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Violence & Scariness
People are hurt, abused, killed, and driven to commit suicide as a result of people's online behavior, which includes filing false criminal reports against innocent people, spreading false information and hate speech, and sexual stalking and extortion. There's some blurred images and reenactments of violent moments, including shootings, but most of it comes in the form of first-hand accounts and archive images of police footage, news programming, tweets, and other social media messaging.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One episode contains descriptions of flirtations, sending nude pictures to people online, and sex-related paraphernalia.
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Words like "bitch" and curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are audible. Crude sexual language is also featured in some episodes.
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Products & Purchases
Games like Halo and social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook are featured within the context of the crimes discussed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs and drug smuggling are featured in one installment.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet is a docuseries that features mature topics about disturbing online behaviors, which range from filing false criminal complaints against people and supporting extremism, to drugs, sexual violence, suicide, and death at the hands of law enforcement. It features lots of firsthand accounts that describe these events, and some violent imagery. Cursing is audible, drug smuggling is shown, and there's some discussion about online sexual behavior (including willingly sharing nude photographs via social media) and sex-related paraphernalia. Social media like Facebook and Twitter are featured. Games like Halo and social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook are featured within the context of the crimes discussed. The overall series highlights the importance of navigating the Internet and using social media safely.
Is It Any Good?
The troubling docuseries details stories about extreme online behaviors that caused significant -- and in some cases deadly -- harm. It highlights how individuals can get so caught up in their virtual lives that they lose sight of, or dismiss, the fact that what they're doing will have far-reaching negative consequences on their and other people's lives. But Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet makes clear that it's not the internet itself causing these problems. Instead, it reveals how digital technology has made it easier for people to act out against others, often to satisfy their sexual and violent needs. Viewers not as familiar with these online trends will find it both interesting and harrowing. Meanwhile, it also offers some important safety reminders for those who are actively engaging with others online.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.