Black Mirror's 'Joan Is Awful' Sparks Real-Life Worry Over Netflix's Terms and Conditions Google searches for Netflix's terms and conditions spiked following the release of Black Mirror season 6.

By Sam Silverman

Nick Wall/Netflix
Still image from Joan Is Awful.

Netflix's Black Mirror is known for making us rethink our reliance on technology, and Season 6, which was released on June 15, is no different.

Episode one, titled "Joan Is Awful," is about a woman whose daily life was turned into a show after not realizing she agreed to it by signing a streamer's lengthy terms and conditions contract, which then sparked concern amongst viewers about the ramifications of not reading the fine print.

Just three days after the show debuted, Google searches for "Netflix terms and conditions" increased by 596 percent, according to Casino Alpha, an independent online casino reviewer that reviews and analyzes hundreds of internet data.

"Without triggering any spoiler alerts, it is clear that despite today's awareness of data privacy concerns being higher than ever, it is so easy to forget that terms and conditions are, in fact, a contract," Casino Alpha's CEO Tudor Turiceanu said in a statement. "Companies know that realistically, very few will sit there and read the T&Cs carefully, though clearly, as the data we analyzed shows, many became more aware of them following Black Mirror's first episode."

Rest assured, agreeing to Netflix's actual terms and conditions doesn't authorize the streamer to turn our lives into CGI-generated dramas.

However, in honor of the new season, Netflix has released a unique experience called "You Are Awful," where fans can upload a photo of themselves and be "the star of the show" on Streamberry — the mock streamer shown in the series. Those who participate must agree to a nine-page Terms of Use and Privacy Statement similar to Joan's that gives Netflix the right to use your name and likeness in promotional material around the experience.

While the document doesn't enable you to be subjected to a Netflix drama about your life, the experience illustrates the importance of reading the small print.

Netflix has since been sharing the faux-promotional material on Twitter.

Sam Silverman

Entrepreneur Staff

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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