Maker's Intent

Intent Behind Black Mirror

Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker, is a series of variable length television episodes exploring the darker side of society’s connections with technology. Each episode is independent of the others, set in the “alternative present or near future”, with a different story and intent. Brooker describes the “black mirror” referenced to in the title as “the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone”. One reviewer (for a different episode) described the show as a whole as showcasing that “Technology is exciting, but people are awful…”. Brooker also states that in a way, if technology is a drug, Black Mirror explains the side effects of that drug.

Intent Behind Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation

Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation explores many different relationships with technology, although the primary focus is society’s use of social media. When asked in an interview whether he believes policing twitter is a solution, Brooker responded with hesitancy, stating that “social media is an amazing invention” and that he supports free speech, while noting that there is a fine line between free speech and “targeted abuse” (source). Brooker also says that the punishment for social media users in the episode is too extreme (source). Ultimately he said that “people should be accountable for what they say” (source). Brooker also stated that Hated in the Nation was inspired in part by his own experience with being publically shamed online after writing a satire piece about George W. Bush (source).

Overall, the intent behind the episode is to get people thinking about actions they take behind the “black mirror”. Even if you can’t see them, when communicating via social media there’s a human on the other end and we should take that into consideration. The episode doesn’t provide any answers; its purpose is to point out the problem, because there is likely no single answer.

Written by:Sam