Reply to post: Re: The internet is now ... closed for business

British and European data cops probe Facebook user-manipulation scandal

Don Jefe

Re: The internet is now ... closed for business

It's not just advertisements that are scientifically designed to fuck with your emotions. Everything from the color of paint, type of flooring and color temperature of the lighting in brick and mortar stores down to the shape of the buttons, font details and presentation of information on websites is designed to elicit an emotional response from you. The success of those things is judged by how many people take whatever action those emotions were supposed to encourage.

Emotional manipulation is so pervasive that people don't even realize it's going on all around them. But recognizing it isn't the point, the stuff that really works well on the intended target is rarely recognized by the target, but they are still effected by it. Nobody gets through the day without being effected by emotional manipulation unless they live in the wilderness. Even prisoners are subjected to it.

We all live inside a massive marketing experiment where hypothesis are validated, falsified and repostulated based on a score that begins with the currency symbol of your choice. Facebook didn't do anything other companies don't do, but Facebook is just really easy target with an overdeveloped ego. The 'Don Drapers' of the advertising world were on their way out in the 1960's, replaced by behavioral science researchers, psychologists and the same social studies professionals responsible for classic marketing practices such as those beloved by your favorite dictator. Those people are rooting through your data all day, everyday, for ways to improve yields in their experiments.

Emotionally manipulative commercial practices aren't ever going away unless Star Trek is a documentary that fell backwards through time. Where Facebook fucked up was becoming directly involved instead of letting their data customers do what they're already doing anyway. My (hopelessly?) optimistic view of all this is that the general public learns more about their role as guinea pigs in formal psychology experiments. Maybe they'll get angry enough to push back on advertisers.

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