Is ‘Clickbait’ Based On A True Story?

Netflix’s new crime thriller Clickbait delves into a well-recognized worry: the precarity of the web. Premiering on Aug. 25, the drama sequence stars Entourage’s Adrien Grenier as Nick Brewer, a seemingly modest household man who’s kidnapped and held captive in an unorthodox method. Following his disappearance, a video emerges on-line by which he admits to abusing girls earlier than revealing that if the video reaches 5 million views, he’ll be killed. Within the aftermath, his spouse Sophie (Betty Gabriel) and sister Pia (Zoe Kazan) are compelled to reckon with who they thought Nick was and the surprising accusations they arrive to study him whereas racing to determine the reality.

Which will all sound actual sufficient to be a ripped-from-the-headlines Lifetime film, however the present doesn’t seem like primarily based on any true occasions. As a substitute, it makes an attempt to interrogate how we have interaction with the web. Is Nick responsible, and in that case, is his punishment warranted? What accountability do others should step in, and the way complicit are we within the anguish of strangers on-line? Are we responsible for our indifference, or for our participation?

These questions have been probed by many exhibits and flicks concerning the digital age. Movies like 2014’s Unfriended or its 2018 sequel, Unfriended: Darkish Internet (additionally staring Betty Gabriel), equally discover the darkish horrors that lurk on-line and the dehumanizing impact that anonymity affords folks. Clickbait may call to mind earlier episodes of Black Mirrror — particularly 2011’s “The National Anthem” and 2016’s “Shut Up and Dance.” Within the former, Britain’s Prime Minster is compelled to have intercourse with a pig on nationwide tv or else a member of the royal household shall be murdered; within the latter, a teen is blackmailed right into a harmful goose chase after hackers file him masturbating on his pc. Clickbait toes the road between the 2, each questioning our accountability as onlookers and the way a lot privateness the web actually permits (although how effectively the show does this is up for debate).

“There are every kind of mischievous behaviors on-line however behind this veil of anonymity there are very actual and harmful penalties,” creator and showrunner Tony Ayres informed Forbes. “The irony is that nothing is de facto nameless. Every little thing we do within the privateness of our bedrooms on our computer systems is de facto traceable.” | Is ‘Clickbait’ Primarily based On A True Story?


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