Computer Says No: Little Britain's famous meme, but with a Humane Tech twist

awareness
campaign
meme
community-project

#1

“Computer Says No” Campaign

Info

Summary

The hilarious series Little Britain introduced the term “Computer says No!” and this campaign will use that term in associations to all the Harms of Technology relevant to Humane Tech.

Goals

  • Use the popularity of a well-known term to attract attention to specific tech harms.

  • Reach a very wide audience with an easy to share series of social media memes.

  • Subtly draw attention to The Center for Humane Technology landing page on each meme.

  • Through awareness we will try to affect behaviorial and habit change at the same time

Audience

  • Primary audience is the wider public
  • Secondary audience are tech workers, where ‘Computer says no!’ is most popular now

Success criteria

  • To be defined as soon as we can get some concrete metrics in place.

Retrospective

  • No retrospective has been held yet.
  • Retrospectives will be held at regular intervals.

Description

Little Britain was a BBC radio show, then a TV series that ran from 2003 - 2007. A recurring theme were sketches where character Carol Beer (played by David Walliams) handled customer support enquiries, that ended with “Computer says No!” i.e. ‘you are out of luck, the computer doesn’t allow me to help you.’.

This phrase became a widespread meme, that is still very popular, especially in the tech world, on the workfloor. We can take advantage of this popularity, by creating new memes, where each time a specific harm of technology is the topic. The memes depict something that Humans really want, but unfortunately ‘the computer says No!’.

For example: You may want to protect your privacy, but new, innovative ad-tech is actively trying to outsmart your efforts to get to your personal data. Computer says no to your attempts at protection.

Of course, we’ll make clear that the CHT is your saviour here, and - without distracting from the message - we’ll put in reference to ourselves (e.g. with a small mention of ‘humanetech.com’ in the bottom-right corner).

Deliverables

GIF: Gimme Your Life!

  • Topics: Privacy, Data harvesting

Raises awareness on how data collection invades your privacy, how ad-tech is after your personal data.

  • Depicts a women holding a book tightly to her chest. Its title is “My Life”
  • She is standing in front of an (old fashioned, big monitor) computer
  • The text above is “I’d rather not share that with you…”
  • In next frame a big red cross covers the image of the woman
  • Then in next frame the women is seen shocked with arms wide, book gone, and in underwear (not sexual connotation, and we’ll take men too)
  • Final frame has added text on the bottom, in larger font “Computer says No!”

Images

An ever-growing list of images going from topic to topic: privacy, tech addiction, smartphone humpback, FOMO, self-image, trolling, online bullying & stalking, sexting, data breaches, etc.

GIF’s

The same series of topics addressed in animated GIF’s.

Strategy

  • Strategy is outlined in Speak Easy theme strategy.

Funding

  • No funding is required to execute this campaign.

Milestones

  • No milestones have been defined yet.

Resources

  • “Computer says No!” Wikipedia page
  • Current examples of the meme:

#unfollow
(found via Google, original source)


(found via Google, original source)


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#2

This is hilarious. Would be great to do a campaign in various languages:

Hawaiian: Computer says a‘ole.
Japanese: Computer says iie.

And so forth :grin:


#3

I’ve never heard of this meme before. Am I living under a rock??


#4

I don’t know where you live :wink: but this Little Britain was very typical British humour and may have only been on TV in the UK. I’m from Netherlands, so able to receive that.

But your remark leads to a good point: Maybe the meme is regionally bound (e.g. Western Europe)

(I had forgotten it came from Little Britain, and was first searching for another hilarious British sitcom, The IT Crowd. Probably some meme’s to get there too, though)


#5

The proposal issue in Github has been closed (but you can still comment in it, if you want to discuss changes), and the Campaign document now lives in the campaign subfolder: Computer Says No!