Democracy and ‘The Great Hack’

The Great Hack

The new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, is an eye-opening account of how voter and social media profile data, particularly from Facebook, combined with a sophisticated, incendiary digital media campaign, can undermine democracy, as we saw happen with Brexit and the 2016 presidential campaign.

As Vice writes, the fundamental issue is the surveillance capitalism business model, where the users — and their personal data — are the product. It’s also the general public’s willingness to forgo their privacy to engage with others online, as well as its ignorance of how their political opinions can be swayed or inflamed. It’s becoming more difficult to escape unfavorable terms and conditions, but the willingness for social media users to provide their data — via polls, likes, shares — is alarming and ripe for political opportunists to target them during elections or active social movements.

The Great Hack is a must-watch for anyone active on social media or cares about how democracy can be influenced by foreign interference, especially those who expect to vote in the next elections.

As The Great Hack gets at, data rights is the new human rights.


About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.