lunes, 27 de febrero de 2012

Customized Publicity FAIL

I’ve been complaining for a while about the fact that we get personalized publicity and search results. Thanks to the power of Google we’re evermore exposed to buy stuff specifically designed for us. But this time, facebook, you got it wrong! In your face, sucker!!!

While on my paid work hours break, I decided to check facebook. I must confess, I recently bought my shoes through an ad there, so in spite of my do-not-hit-Like-on-anything-on-facebook policy they are doing their homework and convinced to spend my Swiss sweet francs. But in your face Zucker(berg) you got this one wrong. They were trying to sell me… wait for it… wedding invitations. Can you believe it? Wedding H. Invitations!!!!

Well this abomination set my 10-watt light bulb into the verge of exploding. It got me thinking that in the near future we are going to receive specifically the right publicity exactly aimed at each of us. And it is bound to be correct. I bought a pair of shoes because I got a tiny shoegasm at the moment I saw them. Why didn’t facebook send me the most absorbent menstrual pads (God knows I need them) but instead insist on selling me condoms “almost for free” and well… shoes.

I insist. Google knows me. Facebook knows me. How? I don’t have any idea but it scares de baby cheessus out of me. Right about then, the second question popped out. This erroneous publicity reminded me of how misogynous Google can be. For those of you who do not read my facebook updates, I leave this picture as a memento.

Yes, it’s probably an unintended bug, but what if the people—or lines of code—steering publicity… and search suggestions… and twitter’s “you should follow”… and Amazon’s “people also bought”… and etc. are exactly that: misogynous, or homophobes or even worse: religious.

Publicity is something we cannot avoid. We cannot close our eyes while checking facebook or gmail and we also can’t pay for their services, and these people know it. Where does that leave us? We have first to judge even especially the publicity we get and urge Google to deactivate these kinds of filters. We do not want Big Brother—corporate or governmental—to tell us what we want. We want to get uncensored internet from all sides, we want ALL sides of internet to prevent the dystopia SOPA is trying to achieve. Even if that means growing up thinking menstrual pads are actually shoulder pads and they are capable of sucking a whole river dry.