The Great Hack: Big Tech and the Post-Truth World

The Great Hack (2019) - pictured: David Carroll

We live under the spell of big data. We give the big tech firms access to our personal data and they shape our lives without us even knowing it. This includes how we choose our leaders.  

Award-winning directors and producers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer join us to discuss their film The Great Hack, released by Netflix last year. The Great Hack observes the actors in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal surrounding the 2016 US presidential election. 

Jehane and Karim discuss how data has become a commodity, more valuable than oil, making big tech firms the richest companies of all time. In the process, we now all live public lives in a post-truth world. 

Would world-changing events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in 2016 have been possible without big tech and big data? The Great Hack lets you be the judge. 

“There’s 5,000 data points on me, but who owns that information?” – Jehane Noujaim

Time Stamps:

03:33 – The new challenges involved in raising kids in these times of smart devices.
07:20 – A brief synopsis of the The Great Hack.
11:00 – How filming The Square led them onto this story, and how the story changed over time.
17:30 – The film’s roots in searching for ‘wreckage sites’ where technology clashes with society.
19:15 – Meeting Carol Cadwalladr, who opened the doors to understanding Trump and Brexit.
25:01 – The unreliability of some sources and the right we have to our data.
27:57 – How they found out about Brittany Kaiser and got in contact with her.
35:06 – Brittany as protagonist and why she made such an interesting subject.
39:44 – The post-truth era and how it stops us having conversations around real facts.
41:18 – What Karim thinks about the few big tech companies that dominate the market.
49:43 – Jehane’s interest in hacking the mind and their sex cult documentary The Vow.
52:20 – The problem with the way the media treats whistleblowers. 


The Great Hack (2019)
The Vow TV Series
The Square (2013)
Control Room (2014)
The Orgasm Cult Podcast
Alamo Pictures

Connect with Jehane Noujaim:

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