As on and offline advertisers prevent their ads from running near controversial keywords, news media will increasingly tailor their content to the needs of the advertisers. News has become just another name for “entertainment”.
Social media algorithms that select what items we see in our feeds or in our “recommended” posts or video lists, may be designed to favor content that features attractive people (usually females, usually young and fit) or which include more sexualized content (broadly defined). Content creators see in their viewership data what works to obtain views and will produce more content like that. The effect is that algorithms may be reinforcing stereotypes of women as sex objects (data suggests this has happened more so for women than men).
Twitter permits widespread tweets and use of the hashtag #killyourself. Amazing.
Only 8 left in stock? Bogus claim to urge you to “Buy now!” “Sale ends soon!” after which the sale continues forever. “25 people just viewed this hotel room” – nope, that’s a random number to get you to “jump on the bandwagon” and act quickly.
Twitter has been leaking personal information to 3rd parties for a year. Twitter has also been making “inferences” or assumptions about each of us to aid in targeted advertising. In my own case, Twitter and Facebook have both made false inferences – yet they use these false assumptions to target ads – and presumably to curate our news feeds. We only see what Twitter and Facebook wants us to see – which is literally machine driven propaganda.
When “news” services run “news stories” containing a lengthy list of Amazon Prime Day specials and links to Amazon, is this news? No, its apparently turning “news” into “spam”. It’s possible that “news” is now being funded by affiliate links embedded in stories (very likely), but what ever this is – its not news!
The business model of the Internet is spying. Supposedly, by knowing everything about everyone, marketers selling products, services and political B.S., can target their ad (aka propaganda) messages precisely to each individual. An academic study finds these targeted ad do not work well and do not deliver a value commiserate with their higher price.
Amazon, for some time, blocked advertisers from running ads that were said to contain “religious content”. This included gifts and clothing items with “biblical quotes and religious language”. Amazon has now announced this was done in error. This is another in our series of how large publishers and corporations use their online dominance to control online speech and thought.
Facebook continues to claim they oppose discrimination in all forms, in spite of mountains of evidence showing they continue to discriminate based on age, gender and other attributes in their ad platform.
Facebook’s advertising tools enabled advertising to target potential housing customers by “race, religion, familial status, disability” in order to exclude members of protected classes from renting or buying property.
Fake news, fake reviews – its all the same after a while. Any web service relying on user contributed content has devolved into the noise of fake posts. Now, AI is being applied to writing fake reviews, in an attempt to get around the AI code that seeks to detect fake reviews.
Youtube just axed comments from tens of millions of videos featuring children – such as, you know, actual family friendly videos – and says they will not run ads on videos that may have “inappropriate comments”. In effect, to make Youtube family friendly, Youtube has just killed off family friendly channels.
Facebook’s business is spying on people. Even if you do not have a Facebook app installed on your device, they still collect data via third-party apps.
Use Facebook advertising to target your ads to Nazis and white supremacists because … Facebook!