Showing the invisible influence of online aggro-rithms


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The Rise of the Aggro-rithm

One in 10 boys are seeing dangerous content in as little as 60 seconds. Seemingly harmless searches that are turned into harmful content by online algorithms. To mark Safer Internet Day, we partnered with Vodafone, Global Action Plan, NSPCC and Tin Man Comms to create a film about the terrifying impact of powerful online algorithms on Britain’s tween and teen boys.

Seemingly harmless searches

Within 60 seconds of being online, 1 in 10 boys are served harmful content by AI algorithms pushing content promoting misogyny or violence following innocent and unrelated searches. These seemingly harmless searches twisted into harmful videos and more. The influence of this content may not be obvious at first, but over time children easily fall prey to their control — changing what they believe and how they behave.

But we have the power to petition and prevent this. To demand a safer internet.

Teaming up with NSPCC, Global Action Plan and Tin Man Communications, Vodafone needed a campaign film that shed a light on the harmful impact of powerful online algorithms on Britain’s tween and teen boys.

Personifying the invisible influence

While the film explores harmful online AI algorithms, it was really important to make the film feel ‘human’ as, ultimately, it’s people’s lives that are affected by them. We decided not to show any to phone or computer screens in the film. Instead, we portrayed toxic online content as a human being, taking the form of our antihero.

As the narrative unfolds, we begin to see the AI character's negative influence on Olly, changing the way the teenager thinks and the way he acts towards the people around him - creating a powerful reminder of the influence and control online content has on children. However, these influences are not always easy to spot, and that makes them even more terrifying