Doug Hamlin

842 days ago

There is quite a bit of research calling into question how effective this behavioral microtargeting really is. But it is how marketers choose to spend much of their digital advertising budgets. The result is that money that used to flow to journalistic publications is diverted not only to social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube but also toward lower-quality sites and apps, including purveyors of bigotry and disinformation. Conspiratorial garbage-peddlers like the Gateway Pundit would struggle to exist without an automated, user-targeting-based ad system that doesn’t require advertisers to consciously choose to spend money there. You don’t have to be totally biased in favor of the journalism industry, as I am, to be bothered by a business model that uses your personal data to imperil its financial viability. You need only accept that journalism is necessary for democratic self-government.

A Case Against the Peeping Tom Theory of Privacy

In an Apple commercial that was on heavy rotation last fall, people go around telling strangers intimate information about themselves. “I browsed eight sites for divorce attorneys today,” a guy shouts to a bus full of passengers. A beautiful woman informs a passerby, “My home is in 1,000 feet.