WEB OF MAKE BELIEVE: DEATH, LIES AND THE INTERNET on Netflix is a new true-crime documentary series in 6 parts. Each story is facilitated by the internet with very scary outcomes. Read our Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet series review here!

WEB OF MAKE BELIEVE: DEATH, LIES AND THE INTERNET is new Netflix documentary series. It’s a 6-part true-crime anthology where the last two episodes cover the same story. The episodes essentially differ somewhat wildly in terms of the core crime.

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Be sure to check out Cyber Hel: Exposing an Internet Horror on Netflix as well – here’s out review >

However, they all have one very distinct thing in common: The internet is where it all begins. From radicalization to sextortion, this docu-series is full of cautionary tales. Though honestly, in several cases, the victims are essentially bystanders with no way of knowing what was coming.

Continue reading our Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet series review below. We’ve watched all the episodes in season 1 for this review.

Wildly different stories, but all escalate online

Every one of the five stories (told over the course of six episodes, since the final story has two episodes) tells a new and scary story. You’ll probably be both angry, irritated, and feel helpless as you watch this. Still, you should definitely check out this Netflix true-crime series.

What you’ll learn early on, is the fact that even if something doesn’t begin online, the internet is where things escalate dangerously fast.

Aside from Web of Make Believe being of very high production quality, I also liked that the cases are covered in a very straightforward manner. Often bringing many aspects into the light. Usually by talking to the people at the heart of the story. This means both law enforcement, victims, and those directly connected to the victims.

In one case, an actual perpetrator is even the one doing a “tell-all” since she is now owning up to all she was involved with. I must admit, I fear for her safety when this is released. She was involved with some nasty alt-right business and does not look good. Sure, she’s out now, but that just means that people will be coming for her from all sides.

Web of Make believe – Review | Netflix Documentary

The season 1 episodes

The first episode is about “SWATing”, which the practice of reporting a crime that will result in a SWAT team being sent to someone’s house. In one case, it is paired with a prank of sorts. With fatal consequences for someone not related to the online “beef” that starts it all.

Another episode focuses on “Sextortion” which is blackmailing women into taking nude selfies. In this case, the perpetrator hacks their social media (and often email and even bank accounts, as well), which makes the stakes so much higher.

Also, there’s a story focused on the Russian election interference. Or rather, the way one person was singled out as having been involved with this. Despite there not being one piece of evidence.

There is, however, an abundance of people wanting to get on TV and talk about it. All to get their coveted 15 minutes of fame.

Brave people tell their stories

Then we get into white supremacy and the ways in which people are being radicalized online. This story culminates with the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

Now, I do think “Samantha” is brave for talking about her experience with being in the alt-right. However, throughout the episode, I get the feeling she is still making excuses for herself while owning up to what she did. That’s not being 100 percent on board with what you’ve done. However, it is clearly a process that she is still working on.

And what I do get is the feeling of wanting to belong. Of being understood and valued. Even if it isn’t exactly in a positive way. But hey, that’s exactly how people get radicalized – whether by ideology, religion, or just good ol’ capitalism.

Finally, there’s a Federal hunt for the suspect of an IRS heist. Trust me, it’s a lot more intriguing than it might sound. Sort of like a real-life Ozark story!

All the episodes focus on what happens when the ordinary citizen is caught up in a chaotic web of misinformation and lies.

Web of Make believe – Review | Netflix Documentary

Watch Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet on Netflix!

Brian Knappenberger is the director of all six episodes in season 1 of Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet. And yes, I do say “season 1”, because it seems like there could very easily be a season 2. With so many crimes being facilitated via the Internet, there are plenty of stories to choose from.

MORE FROM DOCUMENTARIST BRIAN KNAPPENBERGER

Brian Knappenberger also directed The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez which is deeply heartbreaking >

Especially because they are so scary and result in death or prison for (at least some of) the people involved. It’s scary how desensitized many people have become from sitting behind a screen. And even scarier is how they are radicalized online and are very quick to bring hate and violence into the real physical world.

If nothing else, this docu-series shines a light on just how easily anyone could find themselves caught in the middle of something that began online.

Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet is out on Netflix from June 15, 2022.

Plot

Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies & The Internet is a 6-part anthology series from director Brian Knappenberger, Luminant Media and Imagine Documentaries that tells stories of people caught in the dark and twisted web of modern misinformation and digital deception. Haunting, bizarre and up-to-the-moment relevant, the series explores consequences of “SWATing”, takes a chilling trip down the rabbit hole of white supremacy, joins a Federal hunt for the suspect of a brazen IRS heist and dives into Russian election interference. Rich with distinctive characters and surprising plotlines, reality is distorted when the ordinary American household collides with a chaotic web of misinformation.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina
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