The Circle

The Circle is a movie made by James Ponsoldt in the year 2017. The movie deals with transparency and a dystopian world without privacy. Mae Holland is the protagonist and works for the circle, which is a mighty digital company that sells data of the users and makes all private information public. The company shows Mae all positive effects of being omniscient so that nobody would commit crimes, because they are watched. Being convinced of this, Mae becomes a supporter of the new no privacy policy. The circle is good and supportive to its supporters and workers but gets rid of politicians of the opposition and puts everybody who does not use their service publicly under pressure. One of the opponents even commits suicide, because he was chased by supporters of the circle. At last Mae is not as supportive as before because one of her old friends committed suicide and sees the dark side of the circle and tries to stop the circle from becoming omniscient. 

Privacy (sold data)

In the dystopian world of the Circle there are three main mottos: “sharing is caring”, “secrets are lies” and “privacy is theft”. Privacy is for most people in the globalized and digital world very important. Because of globalization there are many multinational companies which collect the private data of internet users and sell this information. The Circle sold and published the private data too and gained money. In our world those things happen too, as an example one could use “Alexa” a product by amazon, which not only helps one by memorizing someone’s shopping list or controlling everything digital in a house.  It also listens to private conversations to get valuable private information to sell. The data can be used to send someone personalized advertisements which fit more to the user and will get clicked at. Not only companies steal data for earning money, with the right information elections and politicians can be manipulated or changed. E-Mails or phone calls from politicians, which contain illegal, disturbing content can be used to kick them out of an election or blackmail them.

Privacy (fake news)

Information about someone is not always stolen it can be fake news to ruin someone´s reputation for private or political reasons. As an example, one could take president Trump and his tweets because for some time even Twitter warned underneath his tweets that these information in the tweets are not correct (fake news). Trump influences people all around the world with his tweets and destroys the reputation of all politicians who disagree with him and makes them powerless against him. The Trump in our world is the Circle in the dystopian world. One Senator in the US wants to take action against the no privacy policy and after a few days there are suddenly proofs that she made illegal businesses, which made her unable to do anything against the Circle. Nobody else would try to go against the Circle, because of the fake news about them.


Novel by George Orwell

  • What is the `Big Brother´ effect?

All telescreens are always present and even have the capacity to analyze thoughts.

  • Why do they call it ´Big Brother´/ What does ´Big Brother´ stand for?

It is a fictional character and symbol and also the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state where he governs/rules over the inhabitants. The slogans of the party are:

-War is Peace

-Freedom is Slavery

-Ignorance is Strength

  • What does `Big Brother´ symbolize in  1984?

He represents the government of Oceania, wich is controlled by one party. He is not literally a real person, but an invention created by this exact party, focused on the peoples feelings such as reverence and fear

  • Is `Big Brother´ good or bad in 1984?

Due to his many devices of surveillance he is able to control the people and therefore manages to stay on top of his party. So he only wants the best for himself and his party (power and influence) which leads to the suppression and total control of the people living in Oceania.

  • Why is 1984 a banned book?

It was banned and censored for being offensive and vulgar due to its language. The author has repeatedly been banned and challenged in the past for ist social and political themes.

  • Is the show ´Big Brother´ based on the book 1984?

It simply took one aspect of the whole storyline, the idea that ´someone is watching you´which means that the viewers are watching the inhabitants of the show who voluntarily take part in this surveillance operation.

The TV show is an opportunity for talentless, self obsessed nobodies to complain about their hair..

  • Is ´Big Brother` really watching us?

George Orwell wrote ´´ It was one of those pictures wich are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move´´ wich later on appears on posters and television cds as an political slogan

China’s social credit system

  • Cameras record the chinese people in public, zooming in on their face and shaming them in public
  • Things that are tracked: jaywalking, smoking on the train, buying too many video games, …
  • If the credit score is too low: banned from buying plane tickets, renting a house, getting a loan, their kids aren’t allowed to go to private school
  • No way to clear your credit score

The controversy of surveillance

-Improve public safety
-Reduce crime rate
-Help catch criminals
-Provide evidence and gather clues
-Brings convenience for everyday life People feel more save with cameras around them    
-Permanent control
-They are easily abused
-Public camera surveillance is expensive