Surveillance Advertising and the Damage Done
By Craig Dunn, founder at HeadsUp.social.
Facebook, Twitter, Google - and any "free" software product which is financed by advertising - use techniques of surveillance capitalism
to maximize their income.
Surveillance advertising involves monitoring and analysis of people's online behaviour, manipulation of people emotional and intellectual states, then the presentation of ads that the victims have been set-up to respond to.
Mark Zuckerberg says that "privacy is no longer a social norm", and Facebook is known to have conducted secret emotional experiments on 700,000 "users" in 2012 to hone its business model.
It works like this:
Virtual Voodoo Dolls
By recording every click, scroll, pause, post, and comment in a database, and by coaxing users to enter more and more personal information into profile forms, surveillance-captialism is able to construct virtual representations of people - virtual voodoo dolls.
Behaviour Prediction and Manipulation
Software algorithms experiment on these voodoo dolls - press here, see what happens, learn how a person is likely to react to different stimuli, learn how to manipulate people to make them think and feel whatever suits your purpose.
Stimulate conflict and outrage
Conflict and outrage online are the most engaging emotions - people cannot help but come back again and again for more and more. So serve up social posts, comments, images, videos, all intended to engage people in a self-propagating, tail-chasing vicious circle.
Drip, drip dopamine
Stimulate people's pleasure responses - reward them with likes, badges, points, recommendations, happy notifications, give them photo-filters with which to massage their narcissistic tendencies
SELL, SELL, SELL
Now that you've got people hooked on your "social" media pages, now that you can tweak the way they think and feel, you can sell these people's attention to the highest-bidding advertisers.
Sweet, and Sour
Sweet, no? This surveillance-advertising business model is extraordinarily successful. Globally, it makes millions of dollars in profit every hour.
Facebook's net profit in 2019 was 18.5 billion US dollars. Google's was a whopping 162 billion.
Sour? Certainly - it sours and perverts what could have been a healthy social environment. But far worse, it's happy to profit from the effects of fake news, conspiracy theories, disharmony, conflict and outrage. It's a hostile usurping of human well-being, driven by cold, hard greed.
Surveillance capitalism is psychopathic
in nature - it treats people like faceless commodities and does not care a hoot about the damage it does to people's lives or to society at large.
So what's the alternative? How do we socialize online and stay in command of our mental health?
HeadsUp.social Social Synergy Network
Yes, of course, I am here to sell you on HeadsUp.social
, to convince you that it will set you free, to bring you on-board and have you agree that it's worth supporting.
This might be the most honest article that you'll read today ...
I've developed HeadsUp.social
as a social platform which helps people to find other people of converging interests - a place where synergy arises and drives creativity and collaboration.
For that to be successful, people's minds must be free from influence by any 3rd party (the platform) that wants to manipulate them. We use no tricks, we have no hidden agenda, we simply provide the space and the tools with which you can find and connect with people doing things that you like, respect, want to encourage and perhaps collaborate on.
The HeadsUp.social Algorithm
It's hardly even an algorithm, to be clear, it's more just a set of filters and selectors. There's nothing artificial about it either - it uses real intelligence
feed presents every post by everyone, without preference and in chronological order. Posts by authors you have blocked - or who have blocked you - are filtered out, and it flags curses and swear-words.
feed simply gathers social posts from sources you have chosen, presenting those also without preference in chronological order. It displays:
Your own posts
Posts by your contacts
Posts by people you follow
Posts by people who follow you
Posts with hashtags you follow
Posts in groups you are in
These are choices you have made yourself, and you can add or remove any item at any time. You can grow your sphere using emojis and comments, by joining groups and following people and hashtags, and use contact-requests to grow your contact network and enjoy the privacy of encrypted messages and face-to-face video calls.
"Likes" - or any other emoji - do not affect the display order, but each new comment moves the post to the top. In this way, active posts stay current while inactive posts just fade away.
you can be certain that the platform is not messing with your mind, not choosing what you will see, you will never be distracted by advertising, and that the people you are interacting with similarly appreciate these values.
is not driven by greed - it is driven by social responsibilty and a passion for synergistic software that gets people talking.
- you will not regret it! https://HeadsUp.social
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