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GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2016 - 15.24 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2016

Facebook demands that its citizens are open and connected, yet Facebook as a company is far from open and transparent. With 1.4 billion users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media space and the company stores personal data on an unprecedented scale. Facebook is perhaps the most visible symptom of an increasingly closed and centralized internet, but is also a social revolution with great democratic potential. FACEBOOKISTAN takes a close look at Facebook, exploring how several individuals and organizations are hit hard by Facebook’s policies and by their working conditions. The film examines through case examples, how Facebook as a business challenges two of democracy’s basic principles: the right to free speech and the right to privacy.

Original Title Facebookistan
Category Official Competition
Section GEx Doc
Tipology Documentary, Feature Film
Duration 59'
Production Year 2015
Nationality Denmark
Directed by Jakob Gottschau
Editor Jens Pedersen
Music Edmund Jolliffe, Julian Hamlin
Featuring Mark Zuckerberg
Max Schrems
Peter Øvig Knudsen
Produced by Jacob Gottschau, Felicity Willettss

Facebookistan. Portrait of director Jakob GottschauJakob Gottschau
Jakob Gottschau has for the last 18 years produced numerous award-winning documentary series, which have been shown in more than 50 countries. These include: Late Lessons from Early Warnings, which examined the history of the global environment and Bringing Life to Space, a documentary exploring man’s desire to settle in outer space. Jakob Gottschau has also produced and directed DR's ambitious series 100 years of immigration which won a TV Oscar as the year’s best Danish documentary production. His latest productions are Cyberwar - which explores social media in repressive countries, Facebookistan and When the Ice Disappears, a three part series about the Arctic.

Director's statement

“My intention with this film is to give a new and refreshing understanding on how Facebook governs the biggest public space for discourse in the world, against a backdrop of openness and transparency. For almost two years I worked on a three part series of half-hour documentaries exploring how social media and Facebook gave a democratic voice to people in repressive countries. It was a kind of ode to the new media which had opened up horizontal communication amongst people on a scale never seen before. But whilst making these films I began to question the mechanisms behind some of the US IT giants, in particular Facebook. At the same time, a good friend of mine had his Facebook account shut down because he had posted a 50 year old picture of some happy nude hippies. He had great difficulty in getting any explanation from Facebook; the company basically didn’t communicate with their users at all. This sparked the beginning of my research into Facebook’s censorship of its users, exploring how the company handles core democratic values, like freedom of expression and privacy. I wanted to find out whether the company behaves in a transparent and accountable way”.

Free entrance up to capacity, Elements +6 parents have priority