“I think we’re on the cusp of massive societal change,” Todd Sampson, writer and creator of Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate, told Mumbrella. “We’re reaching a kind of wake-up phase where people are seeing the correlation between mental health, suicide, and ADHD, and all of these things are now linked and funded around our internet use.”
“I also think there’s going to be a corporate revolution, not a societal shift,” Sampson explained, adding “but a corporate revolution, with corporate responsibility, especially around privacy , which was a very loosely negotiated thing”.
There is no doubt that the Internet is the most powerful and mind-altering thing in the world. The World Wide Web certainly affects our relationships with each other, our love and our hate, but what impact will this have on our future and what does this mean for advertisers?
Over two nights, in a Baltimore Films production for Network 10, Sampson explores how the internet is changing us and what we can do about it. But, the question remains, are we too late?
“In Mirror Mirror we focused primarily on the influence of the internet and how it changes our children, our attitudes and our minds,” he said. “At the heart of it is advertising, the attention-based advertising model, where these companies will do just about anything to hold our attention long enough to have advertising in front of us. And that comes at a cost. And only now are we realizing and the research is coming in to explain what that cost is.
“I’m not anti-tech, and I’m certainly not anti-ad. This has been my career for most of my life. But what is the cost of all this? Sampson said. “There was a stage where Mark Zuckerberg came out and said 80% of all new ad dollars are spent on Facebook. Okay, what’s the cost? And you could say we’re potentially wasting a generation of children in the name of profit, and it’s a monopoly.
Sampson explained that a company’s trust will become increasingly important as consumers look to it to drive change and regulation.
“As consumers, we will turn to companies that will maintain our trust, and we will turn to companies that know when and how to draw the lines and say, ‘Okay, we’re not going to sell your data to Facebook. or “We are not going to allow you to advertise just to fans while your programmatic is just slapping you,” he said. “We’re not just going to follow the machines, we’re not just going to follow the algorithm.” I think we’re going to find another generation of digital savvy companies that are going to be accountable on behalf of customers. And I think those companies will have a reputation as a business that people will be drawn to.
Looking back, Sampson noted that internet regulation is a priority after his months of research for the making of the film.
“I believe regulation is on the way and I want regulation when it comes to the internet,” Sampson said. “I’m not pro-regulation in general, because I’m not pro-government in general, because I don’t think they’re necessarily the best regulators on the planet. But, when it comes to the internet, 4.6 billion people are now locked into a social experiment controlled by a handful of white American men. They are totally under section 230, unregulated. They are considered neutral media.
In the second episode, Sampson explores the world of the metaverse, in particular the main motivations for its creation.
“Right now, Google primarily controls Facebook, because that’s the channel in question. Google and Apple, in particular, are arguably the two most powerful forces out there from a technology perspective. And those, especially Apple now , and you can see Apple just went public with all of their privacy advertising, so smart,” he admitted. “And so Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and all of social media love to avoid the mobile phone because the biggest impact the mobile phone could have on Facebook is ad blocking.
Sampson said if they did, “Facebook is in huge trouble.”
“So what Facebook wants to do is move us out of the mobile device and into the metaverse,” he said, adding, “that’s why they bought Oculus, a company that makes virtual reality headsets”.
“Metaverse issues, as we cover in the movie, one of the developers and creators of the metaverse entered the metaverse in one of their lawsuits and was gang raped within 20 minutes because now you imagine the issues of anonymity, anonymity and invisibility,” he said.
From personal experience, Sampson said virtual sites are uncomfortably addictive and scary. “I went to one of these virtual sites, chat sites, one of their models, and it was crazy, and first of all, it was incredibly addictive. But, also, again, in few minutes I saw these people following these kids around, and it’s going to take what we know and amplify the negatives. And it’s scary.
To begin the two-part series, Sampson said the opening scene confronts and will shock viewers, but feels it was necessary to show him how it is, unfiltered, to warn parents of the dangers lurking on Internet.
“The opening scene of Monday’s episode is huge, it’s shocking. We barely got it on commercial TV at 7:30 p.m., but we thought it was so important to show parents the world they live in, even if it means people are shocked by it,” Sampson said. “There are two different worlds going on. There’s a whole generation of kids, including my daughter, who live online. That’s it for them. And then there’s us, another generation who had a choice, you know, we were before the internet, or before the mobile internet, and we know the world without it. My kids no And my biggest worry is that that’s one of the driving forces of the show, are we wasting a generation of kids? Are we wasting a generation of kids?
“There are a lot of things we can do. In the series, we have implemented many techniques and many things that we could use, ”he added. “And I think the companies and those who advertise in these mediums are also going to put pressure on these companies. They are going to pressure these companies to do the right thing.
Mirror Mirror: Love & Hate begins Monday, October 10 and continues Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. on Ten and 10 Play.