A man looks at his phone

The Social Dilemma review: How big tech companies use us for profit

“If you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product,” goes a saying that has been around in some form or another since the 1970s. When applied to internet companies, the adage says that even though some services appear free, they make money by selling their users’ data.

It is an idea discussed at length in the new Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma. The film examines the ways in which big tech companies manipulate human attention for profit.

Nothing in the film will be particularly eye-opening to anyone with even a passing interest in …