The second season of Showtime’s docu-series about the dark side of the web has arrived. Season 1 of ‘Dark Net’ delved into the technology, and received generally positive reviews from critics. As a producer of the show revealed in an interview last week, a certain Bitcoin theme didn’t make the Season 2 cut. The “My Money” episode will delve into Bitcoin tech, but not as originally intended.
“We originally wanted to interview bitcoin miners in Venezuela who are really risking a lot to mine for bitcoin because money there is so worthless and bitcoin still retains value. So it was a really, really interesting story of survival that you wouldn’t think of because bitcoin is typically associated with the darknet and illicit activities, and this was a completely different take on it,” Adi Kochavi, president of Vocativ Films and executive producer for ‘Dark Net’, said. “I’m definitely holding onto this idea.”
Created by Mati Kochavi and co-produced by tech and media company Vocativ, ‘Dark Net‘ first focused on child pornography rings, revege porn and violent trolling.
“I think that Season 2 is much more relatable and much more hard hitting,” Kochav said. “I guess if you think about it this way, in Season 1 the Dark Net was more of a place – the deep web and the darknet were places. They were a part of the internet we could access… in Season 2, the darknet is no longer a place but rather a metaphor for what we’re all doing.”
Season 2 looks more at the implications of privacy. “Season 2 is all about the things we do openly, and we just don’t realize the consequences,” she said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize the consequences of what they’re doing. Oftentimes when I speak to people about privacy and the fact that we’re sort of sharing everything, they tend to say ‘Well, I don’t really care. I have nothing to hide,’” she said. “I think that one of the things that Season 2 does is that it shows people that there really are consequences, even if you have nothing to hide.”
Alas, Venezuela’s miners will have to wait for their fifteen minutes of fame.
The showmakers try to show both sides of each problem it explores. “That’s something that takes a long time and is actually something we discuss intensely,” Kochavi said when asked about what goes into the show’s process of pairing narratives. “We always have a list of stories for each episode, and we just try to see what works really well. What either creates a really interesting and compelling contrast or what’s actually pretty similar, or what brings together a character who is not controversial at all and what brings together a character who is.”
“We really try to show the positive and the negative aspects of these technologies, A) to show both sides because technology is a double-edged sword. But B) to give people a chance to decide for themselves,” she said.
The episode “My Justice”, for instance, zooms in on an online investigation into a murder a man’s life which pits him against an Anonymous hacker.
“What we did was we provided that extra layer of data, information, and context and really showed where this information was coming from and how we got to it… for those interested in it. But on the other hand, we made sure that the stories remained very human stories, very emotional stories,” she said. “I think that’s how we managed to speak to both audiences.”
Said Mati Kochavi, founder of Vocativ and an exec producer of ‘Dark Net’: “We are the last generation that is going to have any expectation of privacy online. People don’t understand how dangerous and difficult this is.”
Kochavi added: “Social media and the deep Internet is in a way subconscious of the world. The stories we are showing today are things people wouldn’t talk about two years ago.”
Perhaps, an episode on Venezuela Bitcoin miners is just a bit ahead of its time.
Image from Showtime.