Entertainment

The Alarming Issues Raised In ‘The Great Hack’ Will Keep You Up At Night

It’s become so common to see Facebook and Instagram ads pop-up after doing a Google search for a pair of shoes, a restaurant or headphones, that there are memes around the lack of privacy we face for being online. It doesn’t bother us. There’s an underlying attitude of “this is the price we pay for the convenience of an interconnected world.” “The Great Hack,” a documentary on the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal, takes a sledgehammer to this passive way of thinking. 

The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was recently added to Netflix’s streaming service.

It opens with a scene of Brittany Kaiser at what is implied to be Burning Man, a weeklong festival held in the middle of the Nevada desert and founded on the principles of sustainability, civil responsibility, and inclusion. The voiceover introduces Kaiser as a former Obama intern who went on to become a director at Cambridge Analytica—a company working exclusively with Conservatives and linked to the success of Trump, Brexit, and other far-right political parties. 

Kaiser is a complicated figure. Her resume begins with positions associated with idealism and the Democratic Party, who ended up working to undermine democracy. She turned whistleblower—a label former colleagues scoff at—under a cloud of suspicion. Most people asked, “what’s in it for her?” When she’s asked outright about her evolution she says “None of them [referring to Obama and Hillary Clinto] ever wanted to offer to pay me…you have to work for people who pay you.” She references her family’s financial troubles as the trigger for accepting a job with Cambridge Analytica.

Next comes David Carroll, a media professor at Parsons School of Design.

Carroll filed a legal claim against the London-based data company to gain access to the information they collected on him. To date, Cambridge Analytica has refused to comply.

Carole Cadwalladr is another player introduced in the film.

Credit: thegreathack / Instagram

She is a British investigative journalist who began to unravel the relationship between the tech giant and consulting company. When she raised the alarm around the alarming connection between Cambridge Analytica and Brexit, similar fake-news harassment was turned on her. The movie runs a video featuring a scene from Airplane! where a line of slap and beat a woman who has Cadwalladr’s face superimposed. The last person in line is shown with a gun.

The movie explains how a one-click personality test with questions like “I prefer to be left alone,” and “I have a rich inner world,” built a psychological profile of the user, and allowed them to be manipulated for political gains. The test was designed by University of Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan, and its findings were sold to Cambridge Analytica. 

They complied to delete the data at the request of Facebook, but the movie captures Kaiser going through old emails and finding data sets weeks after Cambridge Analytica said they had erased them.

How did we get here?

Credit: Credit: @katdaddddy / Twitter

The film repeatedly asks how the dream of a connected world tore us apart and has created a world where people like Carroll are fighting to make data rights, a human right. To better understand what went down in the 2016 election and how digital is affecting our democracy, it’s worth the watch. Knowing what is being collected about us shouldn’t be a secret—especially when other businesses profit off that intel. 

In the meantime, here’s a cheat sheet.

Giving Up Access To Your Data Isn’t Entirely Your Fault—Or In Your Control

Credit: @JohnSlavin9 / Twitter

Kogan offered Cambridge Analytica data from apps that were given special permission to harvest information. The film highlights how simply being Facebook friends with someone, who granted a third-party vendor access to their profile, could have caused your data to leak. These apps pulled from the person granting access, and in the process created an entry point for the data company to harvest from their friend’s network. If you were friends with someone using this app, data could be pulled without your permission or realization. It wasn’t just public information—they also mine from private messages to build data profiles on users. 

Cambridge Analytica Bombarded “Persuables” With Content They Couldn’t Ignore

Credit: @ishcontent / Twitter

In order to mobilize swing voters, and ground the opposition, Cambridge Analytica took the data they found and focused on a small population who could be persuaded to back their clients. They called this population the “persuadables.” People like Kaiser talk about “pulling levers” to activate their base. These people were pummeled with inflammatory content on Facebook, YouTube, Google, and WhatsApp. The images, videos, and language used positioned Hillary Clinton as an evil crook, said a Cambridge Analytica exec who admitted on-camera in an undercover expose by a British news outlet. 

It wasn’t just all right-wing content. People labeled as liberals received the same treatment with Black Lives Matter content and stories focused on police brutality. The deception happened both ways.

Oil is No Longer the Most Lucrative Industry

Credit: @AndreaLoken / Twitter

According to Carroll, data mining has become a trillion-dollar industry. Kaiser says data has surpassed oil as the most valuable commodity and industry. They both make a case for protecting the information out there. Kaiser even argues it should be treated and protected like real estate. 

“This is not a partisan issue,” Cadwalladr argues. 

It’s Still Unclear What Data Was Collected And Who Was Targeted

Credit: @BrasilMagic / Twitter

At the film’s close, Carroll still hasn’t been given the information Cambridge Analytica collected on him. Speaking at the European Parliament, Carroll testifies that the pool of people targeted, who they were and the extent to which their data was used for is still unknown. What is clear is that the vendor’s business model works and has the ability to impact a mass population. 

“In the U.S. only about 70,000 voters in three different states decided the [2016] election,” he says. 

Kaiser Admits Data Targeting is a ‘Weapons Grade Communications Tactic’

Credit: @dens / Twitter

At the British Parliament, Kaiser offers testimony classifying Cambridge Analytica’s work as an industry regulated by the British government due to the severity of consequences associated with its use.

READ: Ted Cruz Couldn’t Have Been Expecting This When He Showed Up For His Flight At LAX

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All Of The October- Released Movies And Shows You Won’t Have To Rent But Can Stream If You Have Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+

Entertainment

All Of The October- Released Movies And Shows You Won’t Have To Rent But Can Stream If You Have Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+

Netflix

With October comes (yes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes) chilly weather, tons of spookiness, and a whole heck of a lot of Halloween media content! Part of the month also includes celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month, a time for Latinos to pat themselves on the back for their contributions to the culture and history of the United States. Fortunately, today’s Big Streamers are including new movies and TV shows that celebrate both Halloween and Latinidad with new seasons of “Carmen Sandiego” and “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (Shudder).”

We scoured the streaming sites for all of their upcoming October shows and movies and listed all of the ones you might enjoy this season from the 2011 film Colombiana starring Zoe Saldana to the Mexican-American favorite “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

Check out the full list of movies and TV shows coming to your favorite streamers this month below!

Oct. 1

Netflix

A.M.I.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

Along Came a Spider

Bakugan: Armored Alliance: Season 2

Bom Dia, Verônica / Good Morning, Verônica

Basic Instinct

Black ’47

Cape Fear

Carmen Sandiego: Season 3

Fargo

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma: The Second Plate

Free State of Jones

Ghost Rider

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Gran Torino

I’m Leaving Now

The Longest Yard (1974)

The Parkers: Seasons 1-5

Pasal Kau / All Because of You

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire

The Prince & Me

Poseidon (2006)

The Outpost

Yogi Bear

You Cannot Hide: Season 1

Amazon

30 Days Of Night (2007)

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

Battlefield Earth (2000)

Blood Ties (2014)

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

Kindred Spirits (2020)

La Sucursal (2019)

Madea’s Big Happy Family (2011)

Mud (2013)

National Security (2003)

Next Level (2019)

Noose For A Gunman (1960)

Nurse (2014)

Quantum Of Solace (2008)

Raging Bull (1980)

Señorita Justice (2004)

1992: Berlusconi Rising: Season 1 (Topic)

40 & Single: Season 1 (Urban Movie Channel)

America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump: Season 1 (PBS Documentaries)

Cisco Kid: Season (Best Westerns Ever)

Cities of the Underworld: Season 1 (HISTORY Vault)

Cold Case Files Classic: Season 1 (A&E Crime Central)

Get Shorty: Seasons 1-3

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (Shudder)

Liar: Season 1 (Sundance Now)

Mrs. Wilson: Season 1 (PBS Masterpiece)

Mystery Road: Season 1 (Acorn TV)

PNS Kids: Spooky Stories!: Season 1 (PBS Kids)

Tales of Tomorrow: Season 1 (Best TV Ever)

The Great British Baking Show: Season 1 (PBS Living)

The Loudest Voice: Season 1 (Showtime)

Thou Shalt Not Kill: Season 1 (PBS Masterpiece)

Disney

Maleficent

Oct. 2

Netflix

A Go! Go! Cory Carson Halloween

Ahí te encargo / You’ve Got This

The Binding

Dick Johnson Is Dead

Emily in Paris

Òlòtūré

Serious Men

Song Exploder

Vampires vs. the Bronx

Amazon

Bug Diaries Halloween Special – Amazon Original Special

Savage X Fenty Show. Vol. 2 – Amazon Original Special

Disney

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Mr. Holland’s Opus

Secrets of the Zoo: Down Under (s1)

The Simpsons (s31)

Zenimation Extended Edition Premiere

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Episode 102 – “Happy Birthday, Gino!”

One Day at Disney Episode 144 – “Pablo Tufino: Ride Show Technician”

Weird But True Episode 308 – “Our Solar System”

Oct. 4

Netflix

Colombiana

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

Oct. 6

Netflix

Dolly Parton: Here I Am

Saturday Church

StarBeam: Halloween Hero

Walk Away from Love

Oct. 7

Netflix

Hubie Halloween

Schitt’s Creek: Season 6

To the Lake

Oct. 9

Netflix

Deaf U

Fast & Furious Spy Racers: Season 2: Rio

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Ginny Weds Sunny

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Super Monsters: Dia de los Monsters

Oct. 12

Netflix

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Season 3

Oct. 13

Netflix

The Cabin with Bert Kreischer

Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef

Oct. 14

Netflix

Alice Junior

BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky

Moneyball

Oct. 15

Netflix

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting

Batman: The Killing Joke

Half & Half: Seasons 1-4

Love Like the Falling Rain

One on One: Seasons 1-5

Power Rangers Beast Morphers: Season 2, Part 1

Rooting for Roona

Social Distance

Amazon

Halal Love Story (2020)

Playing With Fire (2019)

Oct. 16

Netflix

Alguien tiene que morir / Someone Has to Die

Dream Home Makeover

Grand Army

In a Valley of Violence

La Révolution

The Last Kids on Earth: Book 3

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Unfriended

Oct. 18

Netflix

ParaNorman

Oct. 19

Netflix

Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 2

Oct. 20

Netflix

Carol

The Magic School Bus Rides Again The Frizz Connection

Oct. 21

Netflix

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Season 3

Rebecca

Oct. 22

Netflix

Bending the Arc

Cadaver

The Hummingbird Project

Yes, God, Yes

Oct. 23

Netflix

Barbarians

Move

Over the Moon

Perdida

The Queen’s Gambit

Amazon

Mirzapur – Amazon Original Series: Season 2

Oct. 27

Netflix

Blood of Zeus

Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt: Season 4

Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine

Vilas: Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada / Guillermo Vilas: Settling the Score

Oct. 28

Netflix

Holidate

Metallica Through The Never

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight

Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb

Oct. 29

Amazon

Movies

Soorarai Pottru (2020)

Oct. 30

Netflix

Bronx 

The Day of the Lord

His House

Somebody Feed Phil: Season 4

Suburra: Season 3

Amazon

Truth Seekers – Amazon Original Series: Season 1

Disney

Disney the Owl House (s1)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

X-Ray Earth (s1)

The Mandalorian Season Premiere “Chapter 9”

Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Episode 106 – “Peri’s Prickly Pregnancy”

The Right Stuff Episode 105 – “The Kona Kai Seance”

Weird But True Episode 312 – “Camping”

One Day At Disney Episode 148 – “Dana Amendola: Disney Theatrical Productions”

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Oct. 31

Netflix

The 12th Man

Amazon

I’ll See You In My Dreams (2015)

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

Entertainment

Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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