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8 films about social media (and what to learn from them)

With social media impacting almost every aspect of day-to-day life it’s understandable there are many stories to tell about social media itself. Some good and some, well, downright disturbing.

We may spend a lot of time producing incredible campaigns and content for our beloved clients, but the team here at Smoking Gun is also partial to a movie binge or two once the work has been done. Hence coming up with the following list of 8 films about social media, and what we can all learn from them…


A Simple Favour (2018)

Badass mum Stephanie befriends painfully-nice parenting vlogger Emily, before disappearing, causing the latter to play private detective in this darkly comic mystery.

Message: Never underestimate the initiative and hard work it takes to become an influencer.

The Cleaners (2018)

This hard-hitting documentary focusses on the specialist teams tasked by the likes of YouTube and Facebook to ‘clean’ (censor) content, from extremism to child abuse.

Message: The major tech giants choose what we see, but who decides what is appropriate?

Inside (2011)

This is what happens when Intel and Toshiba create a ‘segmented feature’ where viewers help a protagonist escape from a room by engaging with her on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Message: The process of storytelling can be as creative as the story itself

The Internship (2013)

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson win Google apprenticeships (Noogle in the movie), assimilating themselves with a company half their age and eventually delivering a standout sales presentation.

Message: There’s no upper age to digital innovation, on and offline business works together.  

Fyre (2019)

Go behind the scenes of Fyre Festival, the greatest party that never was, whereby an influencer campaign promoting a luxury party landed thousands of revellers in a tropical nightmare.

Message: We really, really need more accountability when it comes to influencer marketing.  

People You May Know (2017)

Jed is in his mid-30s, has no online presence and prefers real life. Then a chance meeting with a social executive launches a campaign to change him from digital exile to global influencer. 

Message: Even in an online world packed with editing options, the truth will always out.

The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher’s acclaimed biopic charts the rise of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, from arrogant college kid to, err, even more arrogant entrepreneur.

Message: Money can’t buy friendship, and success creates enemies.

Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013)

An insightful investigation into the erosion of online privacy over the last decade, which has made corporations billions and given governments an endless supply of personal information.  

Message: We love social media, but our freedoms rely on the morality of those in charge


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