C’mon people! Are you REALLY surprised that Facebook, and Google, and all of these other “social media” companies are collecting scads of data on you? Are you REALLY surprised that these companies exist solely for you to get together with your friends? Are we REALLY that naive?
Of course not! We’ve known for years how Google tracked everything you searched for. We’ve known that they used it in their advertising to target products for you based on your searches. We’ve known for years how Facebook used this stuff as well. So, why are we so surprised that they are using it to try and influence elections? WE are the ones that are naive and should be ashamed of ourselves…not these companies.
Look, I’m not saying what they are doing is right, moral, ethical, or anything else. I’m just saying we are the guilty ones for believing that companies like this exist just for us to check in with friends, and do searches without being bombarded with ads. There ARE search engines out there (like DuckDuckGo.com) that don’t save any of your search data. There ARE places out there that you can go to keep up to date with your friends without them gleaning all of your posts and pics.
My question is, how in the world do you think Google and Facebook and companies like them got to be so big without making tons of money? And how do you think they make tons of money without charging you a penny to use their services? They do it by gleaning your information. They sell that information to third parties who want to know more about you, then they sell those same companies advertising that is targeted right at the people they need. It’s just the 21st century’s answer to targeted marketing.
That’s something people in TV and radio have been doing for almost 100 years. Do you think the people that listen to country are the same type of people that listen to say a News/Talk format? Nope. Nowhere close. Do you think the same people that watch CNN or Fox News are the same people that are watching MTV? Guess again! It’s just that these media moguls figured out how to target using the internet. Can we actually blame them for that? My guess is no.
And while we are at it, you didn’t know that radio and TV stations were gathering all sorts of information about you either, did you? You don’t hear ads for pimple cream on a soft hits radio station, or on Fox News. You hear those ads on a current top 40 station or on a much younger demographic TV program. Just like you don’t see ads for Visiting Angels on MTV.
All Zuckerberg and company have been doing is gleaning data based on what you put on their website. Nobody told you that you had to post all of those pictures, or tell all of those stories. YOU decided to do that. And if WE are dumb enough to believe that anything we put on the internet (including this blog post) isn’t there in some fashion forever, WE are fooling ourselves.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!