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Top 5 Things from Black Mirror that Came True


Script written by Laura Keating

Life imitating art, or art imitating life? From hashtag targeting, to cyber sextortion, to recording implants, Black Mirror predicted some pretty terrifying technologies and plotlines. WatchMojo counts down 5 things from Black Mirror that came true.


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Script written by Laura Keating

Top 5 Things from Black Mirror that Came True

Life imitating art, or art imitating life? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 5 Things from Black Mirror that Came True.

For this list, we’re looking at technologies or plotlines from episodes of “Black Mirror” that have in some form become a reality. They don't need to literally be identical to the “Black Mirror” episode, but eerily similar in some way.

#5: Hashtag Targeting

“Hated in the Nation”
In the episode “Hated in the Nation,” police investigate a string of murders, carried out by robot bees, in which victims are targeted via a hashtag spread on social media. In real life, targeted attacks have been sent in similar fashion. In 2016, Kurt Eichenwald, an American journalist who suffers from epilepsy, was sent a flashing GIF from a Twitter follower with the message “YOU DESERVE A SEIZURE FOR YOUR POSTS”. John Rayne Rivello sent the GIF after Eichenwald made political remarks Rivello did not like. The journalist suffered a massive seizure from viewing the tweet, and was taken to hospital. Rivello was charged, and the GIF was considered by authorities to be a “deadly weapon.”

#4: Cyber Sextortion

“Shut Up and Dance”
In the episode entitled “Shut Up and Dance,” a teen named Kenny is filmed masturbating, via the webcam on his computer, by a hacker. The hacker makes it clear that he is now blackmailing him and will release the video if Kenny doesn’t do what the blackmailer orders him to. In October 2017, it was reported that the FBI was in the midst of an investigation in Washington state involving a 16-year-old who was using nude photos of his classmates and other victims for similar extortion. The unnamed suspect was arrested, with charges not just centered on the blackmail, but also for owning child pornography because of the victims’ ages.

#3: Recording Implants

“The Entire History of You”
In “The Entire History of You” episode, we see a relationship quickly spiral out of control when a jealous husband insists on digging deeper into his wife’s past relationships. In this Black Mirror-verse, everyone has small recording devices called “grains” implanted in their heads. That way, they can replay, or “re-do” any moments from their lives. This leads to agonizing and obsessing over past events. Let’s hope this isn’t the case for Rob Spence, the so-called “Eyeborg.” Spence, a Canadian filmmaker, lost one of his eyes in childhood. Not satisfied with a prosthetic, he collaborated with an engineer and designer to create a camera eye. It’s not currently connected to his optic nerve, but there’s always tomorrow...

#2: Social Ratings

Your personal value is based off a rating system in the “Black Mirror” episode “Nosedive”. You earn ratings from others based on your interactions. But if you lose points, you lose status, which means a much harder time accessing anything in life, from plane tickets to friendships. Which is why China’s actual 2014 plan to introduce a similar Social Credit System seems like a disastrous idea. A government-monitored trust score that rates the kind of citizen you are? Day-to-day activities monitored and scored to deem a person’s societal worth? What could go wrong?

#1: Trump's Rise to Power

“The Waldo Moment”
Many pundits thought it was a joke when a brash yet oddly-popular TV star entered the political arena. Later, neither the public nor broadcasters took his rise in popularity seriously, ignoring any groundswell of support for the ideas that emerged from his garishly-tinted head. If you can’t tell who we’re talking about, whether it’s political candidate Waldo the Bear from the “Black Mirror” episode “The Waldo Moment,” or Donald Trump, you’re not the only one. The difference is that Waldo (by the end of his political campaign, a literal and figurative puppet for a shadowy authoritarian movement) finished second, and Donald Trump is now in office. But that feeling that the line between life and entertainment has finally blurred? That’s all too real.

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