Review: The Antisocial Network – Memes to Mayhem (SXSW 2024)

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Title: The Antisocial Network: Memes to Mayhem
MPA Rating: TV-MA
Director: Giorgio Angelini, Arthur Jones
Starring: Fuxnet, Aubrey Cottie, Anonymous
Runtime: 1 hr 25 mins

What It Is: 4Chan is a place where those shunned by society can congregate anonymously to do whatever they want. Laugh, cry, vent and even cause a little mayhem. What happens when it all goes too far? The documentary uncovers the true story of 4Chan and to some extent 8Chan and how they have changed and shaped the digital world. All in the name of anonymity. Arthur Jones again returns to directed a film based on another piece of digital importance.

What We Think: As mentioned above documentaries on online culture seem to be Arthur Jones’ bag. He is once again in it. His previous film (Feels Good Man) explored the online meme “Pepe the Frog”. Here he’s presenting a cultural phenomenon I didn’t quite understand. The raw, unfiltered truth about things is a hallmark of Jones’ style. Another hallmark is really interesting looking cutaways. This like the previous film works really well. It also all tells it’s story in such a way that the clear criminality of it all isn’t glorified. That is a delicate balance but one well done.

Our Grade: B+, This film being on Netflix makes it an easy watch. It is one you should check out if you aren’t familiar with the subject matter. It’s a subject I think everyone needs to be aware of as the digital age expands. The seriousness with which these hackers and chronically online people take the forums and communities they’ve helped “build” is concerning. It gets taken to the extreme and the consequences as we can see here…can often be dire. A uniquely edited and interestingly framed documentary that stand on it’s own but also as a fantastic companion to Jones’ other documentary. One of the best parts of this doc is that it’s just right there on Netflix. Check this one out! Also Arthur you’re welcomed on the podcast at any time dude!

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