This page is a constant Work in Progress!

Resources are grouped by format, ordered by perceived ease of content.

Infotainment/Awareness Videos about Social Media Issues

ZDF Magazin Royale – How Social Media is Destroying Democracies Worldwide
Satire/Infotainment program with investigative journalistic touch, German with English subtitles, 30:36.
Additions: ZDF Magazin Royale Interview with Frances Haugen.

The PewDiePipeline: how edgy humor leads to violence
Non-scientific critical analysis of edgelord humor online, 30:40 + follow-up video linked in description.
Note: although the video advocates a leftist point of view, most of the informations in it are factual, and sources are listed.

The Alt-Right Playbook
Non-scientific but well-researched video series about the online manifestation of right-wing extremism describing their tactics, behaviours and other phenomena.
Starting recommendation: The last video is a Study on Gamergate (50:08) that illuminates it as the precursor of the alt-right online.

Podcasts and Podcast Episodes

The Happiness Lab Episode “Social Media and our Brains with CNN’s Chasing Life”
In the podcast The Happiness Lab, Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos usually talks to scientists and others trying to understand what makes us happy and what we can do to be happy. This episode hosts an episode from another podcast (CNN’s Chasing Life) that is all about why social media makes us happy or unhappy.

Websites and r/darkpatterns
The first link is a website dedicated to cataloguing, explaining and raising awareness about dark patterns. The second link is better if looking for examples: a subreddit dedicated to collecting and discussing dark patterns.

Social Media Test Drive
An educational program created by Cornell University’s Social Media Lab offers practical digital citizenship education on themes such as privacy settings, self-presentation, cyberbullying, or news literacy.


The Century of the Self(Link to watch on Youtube)
A 4-Episode BBC documentary about how Freud’s psychological theories were applied by Edward Bernays and others, first in politics, then in marketing, putting desire first. Basically a history of public relations and consumerism.
Note: a must-watch for all Advertising enthusiasts – the terrifying “freedom torches” story is included, among others.


Wut (German) / The Rage (English)
By Julia Ebner
A study in online rage as manifested by islamist and far-right extremists as two sides of the same coin.

Die große Gereiztheit (German)
By Bernhard Pörksen
A perspective from media studies on the emotionalisation of information and communication on social media.

It’s Complicated – The Social Lives of Networked Teens
By danah boyd
Slightly outdated but relevant and comprehensive portrayal of how (the first generation of) teenagers use social media.

Algorithms of Oppression
By Safiya Umoja Noble
Less to do with social media, but an important introduction to algorithmic bias, which does play a role in social media.

Scientific Publications (Selection)

“I Don’t Even Remember What I Read”: How Design Influences Dissociation on Social Media
Baughan et al., 2022

Addictive Features of Social Media/Messenger Platforms and Freemium Games against the Background of Psychological and Economic Theories
Montag et al., 2019

Social Media: Defining, Developing and Divining
Carr & Hayes, 2014

Behavioural study on unfair commercial practices in the digital environment: Dark patterns and manipulative personalisation: final report
European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, Lupiáñez-Villanueva, F., Boluda, A., Bogliacino, F., et al., 2022

Reconsidering Tweets: Intervening during Tweet Creation Decreases Offensive Content
Katsaros, Yang & Fratamico, 2022

How Twitter gamifies communication
C. Thi Nguyen, 2021


Moonshot institute