Facebook Follies

Facebook Follies

Directed by Geoff D’eon

Film Review

This gushy 10-year-old film is essentially a Facebook informational. The narrator is a breathless female filled with adolescent awe at the the thought of connecting millions of global strangers at the click of a mouse.

While this so-called documentary is clearly geared to adolescent Facebook users (who have since migrated to Instagram, Whatsapp, and Tik Tok), it also features a 60-year-old Welsh farmer who was banned from Facebook six times (and kept coming back with new identities) for arranging sexual encounters with 350 women.

To its credit, the film provides clear warnings (mainly addressed to young adult users) about Facebook posts becoming a permanent record hindering your future ability to run for office and even your employability. It also warns about the high potential for identify theft (based on all the personal information people post on Facebook), as well as for your fabulous vacation pics advertising to thieves that your home is vacant. In addition, according to filmmakers, a number of users have been duped by the Facebook version of the Spanish Prisoner* scam.

Surprisingly (given its 2011 release), the film also features a warning about the dangers of allowing any corporation to collect massive amounts of data about your life. It presciently warns that Facebook only gives the illusion of being free – that every Facebook user pays for the service with the vast amount of personal data they provide Mark Zuckerberg.

*The Spanish Prisoner is a confidence trick originating in the late 19th century. In its original form, the confidence trickster writes to his victim informing him that he is a wealthy person of high estate who has been imprisoned in Spain under a false identity.

Anyone with a public library card can view the film free via Kanopy. Type Kanopy and the name of your library into your search engine.


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