Dive into the modern world with Buzzfeed’s newest docuseries “Follow This”

Manuela Graf, Features and Entertainment Editor

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The term “fake news” is one that has dominated social media for some time now, and is practically the President Trump’s catchphrase, thrown around on Twitter and other social media platforms as well as in the news itself. However, Buzzfeed’s new docuseries “Follow This” which was recently released on Netflix August 23 throws a reality check on the term, and covers a broad spectrum of political and social topics.

The new series covers topics from ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) to a more serious side as it shines light on the highly criticized Men’s rights activist movement. Inclusively, Buzzfeed reporters from different parts of the world are followed as they investigate other interesting and unique topics such as the black survivalist movement, intersex rights, safe injection sites right here in the U.S. and the impacts of sex trafficking laws.  In the last captivating episode of Part 1 titled “The Future of Fakes”, it also delves into the world of technological advancement and how it could be “fueling the misinformation crisis”.

This refreshing docuseries also considers itself Netflix’s guinea pig for new episode formats as each episode in Part 1 is no longer than about 15 minutes. In these short investigations, the reporting style comes off as very straightforward for that very reason, and within each issue there is not really any solutions offered to the problems introduced. The series is created more towards raising awareness of subjects that most people would not think about in daily life.

In each bite-sized episode there is repeated montages of the reporters typing away on their laptops, giving a feel to the investigative nature of the series as it explores parts of the web that are not usually highlighted. Scaachi Koul, a culture writer for Buzzfeed Canada, appears in two of Part One’s most intriguing episodes exploring the world of ASMR as well as the very controversial men’s rights movement, which features a heated interview with one of the movement’s most passionate and unexpected advocates, Karen Straughn.

Buzzfeed has often been criticized and written off as an unreliable and mediocre media source but “Follow This” showcases Buzzfeed’s ability to create real and credible material, and even though the episodes are short, they each manage to captivate the scope of modern cultural and political movements that continuously shape our world.

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