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Fwd: [Internet Policy] The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

@Barrack

I actually agree with Patrick that the Digital Marketing Ecosystem is broken. And needs to be rethought.

However digital advertising budget spend is rising every year. Possibly because the alternative is even worse.

marketingland.com/report-digital-now-makes-up-51-of-us-ad-spending-248617

Ali Hussein
Principal
AHK & Associates
+254 0713 601113

Twitter: @AliHKassim
Skype: abu-jomo
LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

Sent from my iPad

> On 5 Apr 2019, at 4:00 PM, Barrack Otieno via kictanet <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>
> Interesting perspective Patrick,
>
> In am sure Ali and Hari Hare would disagree with you on the aspect of
> cutting down the Digital Marketing Budget 🙂
>
> Regards
>
>> On 4/5/19, Patrick A. M. Maina <pmaina2000@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Great find, Barrak! Added to my reading list.
>> Indeed the manufacturing of thought and behavior in humans is much more
>> profitable (e.g. in terms of computational simplicity and efficiency at
>> scale) than observing truly independent behaviors with a view of making
>> predictions about specific individuals. The author is not being sensational
>> when she claims that we are being automated. That’s exactly what is
>> happenning.
>> Rabbit hole and information bubble algorithms create narrow tunnels of
>> knowledge into which groups of people can be gently herded (nudge theory) so
>> they can be collectively targeted for interest based ads. This is the
>> opposite of what most people think with regard to how surveillance
>> capitalism works, because most people assume passive surveillance, naively
>> believing that they are in control of their actions as they the platforms.
>> As the author warns, gatekeeping the internet gives platforms immense power
>> over what people know (or should know), and allows for covert manipulation
>> of perspectives and thought (be they political or interests based).
>> What I haven’t seen popping out from the interview is whether her book takes
>> a closer look at addiction algorithms within the context of attention as a
>> property and economic resource. Social media companies hire PHD level
>> psycholgists and neuroscientists to help them design algorithms that turn
>> people into addicts (using scientific insights about how the human brain’s
>> pleasure/reward system works).
>> To the brain there is no difference between addiction to gambling,
>> cigarettes, hard drugs or social media. It’s all the same chemicals
>> (dopamine) working in the same way. The goal of getting people addicted is
>> so that they can boost engagement and then use your activity sell more ads.
>> It’s an ethical minefield.
>> Now, employers have paid for workers time but they are not aware that a
>> third party has secretly turned their workers into addicts so that the third
>> party can steal (yes, steal) and sell a fraction of the employer’s time to
>> advertisers. This should be illegal, but most employers are still in “old IT
>> paradigm” with very few understanding how “new IT” works.
>> Employers think it is the employee’s fault – but the employee is not fully
>> in control of their own actions (thanks to the work of brain science
>> experts).
>> At macro level, this diversion of workers attention is grand plunder of
>> entire economies and contributes greatly to reduced productivity and lower
>> innovation (besides the stolen, paid for time).
>> At micro-level, people lose jobs and families are shattered because of
>> disciplinary action (yet they were under some form of “mental hypnosis” and
>> not fully aware of what they were doing).
>> The same case for our students… theft of attention wastes the precious
>> resources that parents have sacrificed to invest in their children’s
>> education. The addicted child cannot maintain grades via honest means as
>> they don’t spend time studying. Further there is a likelihood that addictive
>> algorithms could be a gateway to other addictive habits including drugs. All
>> this can be quite alarming when looked at from a long term perspective.
>> … and we haven’t even touched on the unintended consequence of malevolent
>> ecosystem participants (radicalization / subversion agents).
>> The surveillance industry is sustained by silo thinking and self interest.
>> We have businesses looking for easy ways to reach and/or engage customers,
>> going “digital” by assiging teams on social media platforms to do “digital
>> marketing” (which literally feeds the monster and its crooked collaborators
>> e.g. the billion dollar click fraud industry)!
>> Recently, some large companies in the US significantly cut down their
>> digital marketing budgets and, lo and behold, observed no impact on sales.
>> This has led to doubts about the value of current digital marketing models
>> which tend to be rely heavily on opaqueness and unaccountability.
>> The whole business model is broken, unethical and needs a complete reset.
>> Thanks again Barrak for the heads up and have a great day!
>> Brgds,Patrick.
>> Patrick A. M. Maina[Cross-domain Innovator | Independent Public Policy
>> Analyst – Indigenous Innovations]
>> On Friday, April 5, 2019, 11:44:11 AM GMT+3, Barrack Otieno via kictanet
>> <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Patrick,
>>
>> This might be of interest 🙂
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> ———- Forwarded message ———-
>> From: Richard Hill <rhill@hill-a.ch>
>> Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2019 15:35:00 +0200
>> Subject: [Internet Policy] The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
>> To: “Internetpolicy@Elists. Isoc. Org” <internetpolicy@elists.isoc.org>
>>
>> I presume that most people on this list will have heard about a book by a
>> Harvard professor that is highly critical of the current advertising-driven
>> Internet business model. Here is a review:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/20/shoshana-zuboff-age-of-su
>> rveillance-capitalism-google-facebook
>>
>>
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Richard
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> —
>> Barrack O. Otieno
>> +254721325277
>> +254733206359
>> Skype: barrack.otieno
>> PGP ID: 0x2611D86A
>>
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>
>
> —
> Barrack O. Otieno
> +254721325277
> +254733206359
> Skype: barrack.otieno
> PGP ID: 0x2611D86A
>
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> The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) is a multi-stakeholder platform for people and institutions interested and involved in ICT policy and regulation. The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector in support of the national aim of ICT enabled growth and development.
>
> KICTANetiquette : Adhere to the same standards of acceptable behaviors online that you follow in real life: respect people’s times and bandwidth, share knowledge, don’t flame or abuse or personalize, respect privacy, do not spam, do not market your wares or qualifications.

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