How dare it present me with films that are supposedly the “top picks for William”. Only I can decide what my brain will enjoy, and I protest against this evil A.I. trying to decipher the inner workings of my mind. I can only describe it as a gross extension of human opinion. Late one night with my fingers hovering above the Netflix search engine I may have clumsily clicked on an episode of Sexy Beasts… accidentally. Now I’m subjected to various reality TV shows which Netflix forces down my throat every time I open the app. It’s not right.
Looking down the list of Netflix’s recommended films for my dad, I see war films, films about war, war documentaries, and TV shows set during war… I was stunned. How had I not seen this before? My eyes were opened as a very clear pattern started to emerge. The same was true for my brother's recommended section as I cycled through hundreds of similar anime films. Something about it felt wrong to me. I was awakened to the horrifying reality. The Netflix algorithm recommends the content which forces its viewers deeper and deeper into inescapable comfort zones. Therefore, victims of this algorithm will never experience anything new or exciting. As a consequence, we may face growing up stunted and introverted as we struggle to fit in with anything in this big world that isn’t contained in the evil recommended section of Netflix.
Don’t panic. I have a solution. One in which I’m not afraid to take directly to the Netflix headquarters. I propose an overhaul of the current recommended section in favour of one I have come up with. I believe Netflix should recommend content which is unlike anything you have ever watched before. The recommended section should be a place with a variety of new content you have never heard of and would have otherwise never dreamed of watching. This would allow its viewers to broaden the type of content they consume and expand their likes and dislikes, inspirations, tastes, information…etc. You can take YouTube as an example of this. The recommended videos there are seemingly random. There has been many a night where I have fallen asleep to an episode of Would I Lie to You? and have been awoken at 3am to a video of whales mating or a remix of a giant panda sneezing. These are the kind of completely different recommendations Netflix needs to make.
The recommended section needs to be a place where you can find what you truly enjoy instead of a place where the same kinds of content are repeated. I truly believe the world will be a better place if this is changed.