Thanks for keeping this discussing going and for your thoughtful replies. Apologies if I misunderstood your relationship to advertising, but I think we agree then yes? Having a non-toxic environment for advertising would be an engineerable and preferred solution.
I would ideally have a system where every ad is recorded and this information is made public in a universal database, including who is paying for it, all the middle people and who is final source of the money as well as exactly how the ad was targeted. Fully open, a requirement by law. Then once we see all the scams and manipulation, we will have hard numbers on so many scams and misdirections that it will be very hard not to act to protect people or to point fingers at wrongdoers.
Our current platform’s design scope has much of what you’re citing included, with some exceptions. There are lots of forces working against a system strictly as you suggest. One, major brands, who are the ones spending the largest dollars, don’t want to reveal to their competitors their reach or targets. Additionally, it depends upon what you mean by “targeting”. Targeting audiences by demographics, location, sex, age, interests are all old hat in advertising, but historically it has been more contextual based, instead of identity-based.
Digital ad tech creates lots of opportunities for bad economic actors, selling BS diet fads or the like. But lots of business is simply just honest advertising. Forcing a level of transparency or two, and then getting regulation to support that might be quite an uphill battle.
Also, most of the manipulations happening in ad tech are not coming from the advertisers themselves, but from some content publishers, or third party ad networks. In the case of political or agenda media operations, yes, data targeting on Facebook is a problem, but that problem in advertising is limited to specific social media platforms.
Clickbait is pure third party manipulations, and publisher generated. To control that would impede upon free speech.
I’m wondering if you and I can build a consensus around a core feature of (digital) advertising that would naturally correct a few of the issues you raise?
I would suggest the majority of those issues are simply resolved by removing a third party network altogether.
If this is just the shadow side of the economy, then why are some of the biggest companies of the world such as Google and Facebook involved in predatory capitalism for 90% of their revenue?
I’m not sure there is a contradiction there like you suggest. Google and Facebook and all third parties apply yield optimization and arbitrage. Drive the cost of supply down to as low to free as you can get it, and upcharge the demand to maximize the margin. Digital advertising is the embodiment of the dark side of capitalism.
You speak of unintended consequences. But actually please note that exploitation is the intended design of the system, a system designed and controlled by the rich for their own gain though exploiting all people. If we as ordinary people have some nice things, in the current system we are given just enough so we don’t revolt, so that we continue to slave for the gain of our rich masters (visible and hidden) and so we continue to overspend and be scammed by the rich.
I believe that is a valid criticism of capitalism. Any system that does not have any type of applied holistic planning, economic or otherwise, is like to have unintended consequences from my perspective.
Let’s not pretend anymore or continue to be naïve. I know it’s hard to cut through all the propaganda and delusional ideals of society that we’ve endured all our lives, but this is the true system a system where we are controlled by the rich and exist simply to enrich them.
I believe having a discussion about the dark side of capitalism is healthy, but at the end of the day, with the amount of problems we are facing in the world, we are going to have to learn how to build a consensus with everyone.
Rich people can help just as much as they can hurt. Plus, we need their funding
Actually I do have my own business. I make money by misdirecting people to suboptimal places on the web, while also surveilling their web behaviour. Since I run ads, this happens automatically and given the current ad system there is no good current alternative.
No wonder you hate advertising, I hear you brother!
Are you an online publisher? If so our platform has a solution for you depending on what type of publisher you are. Are you a third party vendor?
So actually I make a living by misdirecting people though ads to bad things such as being scammed in multiple ways.
Affiliate marketing stuff?
And there is nothing I can do to stop that unless I want to make no money, because if I were to only direct people to the best places I would not make any money.
A perfect summary of the toxic digital ad tech ecosystem. The plight of most publishers and third party vendors.
I already run the highest quality ads that are available to me and work with the highest quality affiliate schemes. In the case of ads, on the internet highest quality means scam advertising mixed in with typical big company ads, the same type of unethical misdirecting ads you might find on Google and Facebook.
Ahh, affiliate it is. Yup, I agree that is some of the worst sludge advertising on the internet, and now that I understand your background, I see more your concerns with advertisement.
So you probably know how cheap you can get your CPC through Facebook, which did wonders for affiliate marketers in terms of supply, which allowed a margin for affiliate marketers to capitalize on, and your probably aware there are creators of products that feed on the reactivity of users to things like diet fads or skin creams.
You’re able to get away with this because Google and Facebook completely devalued individual attention and focused on data.
The issue I have is that people are not a crop to be harvested. Humane tech is about making people bloom and flourish. For that to happen it has to be nonprofit. Look at Wikipedia. There are many threads in this forums about the many harms of the attention economy.
Attention is harvested every day, users just don’t get any of that value back. I’m asking to imagine that resource being redirected through a user sharing economy model, we’re we all have access to the resources of this natural crop every single day.
If Humane Tech is only limiting itself to non-profit models, then ultimately it will solve no problems, because the problems exist MORE in the profit models.
I think what your seeking to obtain is a more utilitarian system, no?
Also, Wikipedia has a host of problems which in some ways are worse the FB. MediaWiki’s are a significant issue in online targeting, harassment. Wikipedia is easily abused by agenda operatives. Media Wiki creates competition amongst its users. Oye don’t get me started on that one! But its a different problem set.
If you can do that then great, but it sounds like it would be for the financial gain of whoever is making this new scheme.
Financial gain would be expected in any successful endeavour, but you would be mistaken if you think that we’ve designed this system just as a new way to make money. In principle, we’re actually taking margin a third party would make and assign that to internet users instead.
I am sceptical unless you present more benefits for people from your system (you’ve been very thin there).
Hmmm, benefits include redirecting advertising revenue to internet users and content creators without the requirement for data targeting or tracking, removing third-party networks and replacing them with internet users for distribution and verification, and literally converting the value of users attention and participation into a bank account or an asset that is easily traded on the web.
Those benefits address virtually every single problem in ad tech.
and you also present numbers showing why publishers and advertisers would actually use your system.
I assume you meant “no numbers why”, and correct, I haven’t even presented this yet to the community but plan to absolutely.
But to answer your question:
Our system gives brands premium products and addresses their problems too. We provide 100% channel control, 100% guaranteed viewability, premium audiences, surgical contextual targeting for less than what they are paying now for premium products, amongst other things.
For content creators/publishers we give them a new set of products and tools that pay them much higher CPMS, give them 100% audience reach, and helps them monetize their audiences on Facebook.
While we can do this without competing with their ad networks, our goal is to show them that they can lose their ad networks altogether and just use the more profitable and user-friendly alternative.
And finally the practicality of it. Pay to watch ads or get offers schemes already exist. They are not considered humane tech.
No one is paid to watch ads in our system, users can opt in or opt out, compensation is the same, they are not rewarded for ad interaction, so please do not confuse our system for reward media, that is not what it is.
Additionally, our system will give users an app that incentivizes them to PUT THEIR DEVICES DOWN, not pick them up. I believe our system will be of great help to the publishing industry, and believe it can potentially save high quality publishers.
Our system provides an ecosystem where the internet user is the partner, not the product.
I believe that is a humane approach to a toxic system, and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thanks for sharing, cheers!