Aaron Sorkin on January 6 Movie Focused on Facebook


Aaron Sorkin

Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Writer and director Aaron Sorkin accidentally revealed on The Town podcast that he’s working on a movie about the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection.

In the new episode of The Town hosted by Puck’s Matt Belloni and Pete Hamby, Sorkin joined them live for a discussion of several topics, including the news, media, and politics (as usual, or unusual). Inevitably, since one of Sorkin’s greatest hits was The Social Network, about Mark Zuckerberg and the rise of Facebook, the current state of social media and its runaway stream of misinformation came up, which led to an inadvertent revelation about what Sorkin was working on at the moment:

Sorkin: [C]learly, an effort is being made to not repeat the mistakes of 2016 and 2020, that you don’t have to cover every move he makes, that you should fact check the statements that he’s making. I appreciate that any time there is a story about the 2020 election and Trump or a Trump acolyte saying that it was stolen, it was rigged that, you know, CNN isn’t saying “alleged,” they’re saying, “That’s not true. That’s a lie. It… It wasn’t.”

Belloni: Yeah. And the fact does it… I’m trying to trace this back to something that you have written about, which is Facebook, and the algorithm, and the fact that we are all now in our own news ecosystem. That, in many ways, can be traced back to the stuff that was going on at Facebook in the mid 2000s, late 2000s that you did write about. How much of a role do you think Facebook and the other social media companies should play in responsibly moderating our news media and thus our democracy?

Hamby: Except for Snap, which does responsibly moderate news content. But other than Snap, go on.

Sorkin: What you just saw me do was glance over at Jodie Oriol, who is my publicist. I was asking permission, she went —

Belloni: Oh, that means “yes.” That actually means “yes.”

Sorkin: Look, yeah, I’ll be writing about this. I blame Facebook for January 6th.

Belloni: You do?

Sorkin: Yeah, I do.

Belloni: Okay, but explain, why?

Sorkin: You’re going to need to buy a movie ticket.

Belloni: Oh, you’re going to write a movie about this?

Sorkin: I’m trying.

Belloni and Hamby: Ohhhhhhhhh!!

After that revelation, Sorkin explained his approach to the thing he’s not really allowed to talk about yet:

Sorkin: Facebook has been, among other things, tuning its algorithm and tuning its algorithm to promote the most divisive material possible, because that is what will increase engagement. That is what will get you to what they call inside the hallways of Facebook the “infinite scroll.”

Belloni: But whose responsibility is that?

Sorkin: Mark Zuckerberg.

Belloni: You think so? You think if Mark Zuckerberg stopped it tomorrow, that all the problems in this country will go away?

Sorkin: There is supposed to be a constant tension at Facebook between growth and integrity. There isn’t. It’s just growth. So if Mark Zuckerberg woke up tomorrow morning and realized that there is nothing you can buy for $120 billion that you can’t buy for $119 billion… So how about if I make a little bit less money? I will tune up integrity, tune down growth. Yes, you can do that by honestly switching a one to a zero and a 0 to 1.

Hamby: Have you, in the last 10 or 12 years, had a conversation with Zuckerberg?

Sorkin: Only through the op-ed pages of The New York Times.

Belloni: As one does, yeah, as one does. But so getting back to just this project for a second, do you intend this to be a sequel of sorts to The Social Network?

Sorkin: I’m going to give Jodie a break, and not talk about it anymore.

You can listen to the full conversation on Spotify.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Source link

Leave a comment