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In this era of Facebook privacy breaches, "fake news" and filter bubbles, the essential film DIGITAL DISCONNECT trains its sights on the relationship between the internet and democracy. Tracing the internet's history as a publicly funded government project in the 1960s to its full-scale commercialization today, the film traces how the revolutionary, democratizing potential of the internet has been radically compromised by the growing and unaccountable power of a handful of telecom and tech monopolies.

Based on the acclaimed book by media scholar Robert McChesney, DIGITAL DISCONNECT examines the ongoing attack on net neutrality and the concept of an open internet by telecom monopolies like Comcast and Verizon; explores how internet giants like Facebook and Google have amassed huge profits by surreptitiously collecting our personal data and selling it to advertisers; and shows how these tech and telecom monopolies have routinely colluded with the national security state to advance covert mass surveillance programs.

While most debates about the internet continue to focus on issues like the personal impact of internet addiction or the questionable data-mining practices of a few isolated companies like Facebook, DIGITAL DISCONNECT digs deeper to show how capitalism itself has turned the internet against democracy.

Comments (6)

Anonymous picture

I read an article called "Agnotology and Epistemological Fragmentation" by Danah Boyd and highly recommend reading because of the connections between this documentary and this article - both excellent sources of what we are as a world are up against.

Anonymous picture

Yes! Truly historically accurate and thought provoking - moves along succinctly from 1960's to 2019 with imporant monopoly information. Fantastic.

Anonymous picture

Very well-developed arguments with a wealth of carefully selected specifics. Ultimately the salvation of both democracy and capitalism depends on who takes charge. It's already happening with Facebook and "fake news." As Chesney points out, now 31% of the public trust what they read on ...Read more

Chase avatar

McChesney must be given credit for boiling his treatise on the horrors of our contemporary surveillance state into a concise hour and five minutes. Rarely do I encounter documentaries with such cogent and and historically grounded arguments, leading me to conclude that more documentarians ...Read more

Anonymous picture

I had the chance to hear McChesney discuss this documentary with Sut Jhally, the producer. That was a true delight. Though I do not agree with McChesney in all accounts, his critique of the current media scape is important and timely

Adriaan avatar

I hadn't realized Facebook is a news site. I was washed out to social media after MySpace...

What is the solution to fake news? I image it will become more sophisticated as production tools evolve. Something like B movies except imitation news legally justified as satirical dry humor. ...Read more