Who wants targeted advertising?


I am not really sure that I get this. In my mind, the more efficient advertising is, the more likely I am to buy things. I don’t see why buying more things is good for me?



An economist would say, every time you purchase something, you must have wanted the thing more than you wanted your money, and so now that you have the thing you must be a happier person.

In economics, buying things is good for you BY DEFINITION



I wonder how many people agree with that theory on boingboing…



As much as “relevant ads” seems like a logical option, I have to say, though I’ve never wanted a power washer or have any relevant reason to want one, watching them clean all sorts of filthy materials in a video ad is strangely compelling.



It is annoying having monthly internet data used up on peripheral ads I couldn’t give a damn about. :angry:

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That’s how I feel about my bank’s ATM never remembering my language preference. Assume the language I’ve been choosing every time is the language I want to use and stop making me pick it every time. If I suddenly opt for a different language, something is awry.

As for ads, awhile back I switched to using the Brave browser, so I don’t see them. Back when I did see them, I preferred they either align with my interests, or be so far outside my interests that they amuse me.

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Great article! Some excerpts:

Let’s say you’re browsing, or you’re on Facebook putting stuff in a post. They’re not taking your words and going into some marketplace and selling your words. Those words, or if they’ve got you walking across the park or whatever, that’s the raw material. They’re just secretly scraping your private experience as raw material, and they’re stockpiling that raw material, constantly flowing through the pipes. They sell prediction products into a new marketplace. What are those guys really buying? They’re buying predictions of what you’re gonna do. There are a lot of businesses that want to know what you’re going to do, and they’re willing to pay for those predictions. That’s how they get away with saying, “We’re not selling your personal information.”


Now we have markets of business customers that are selling and buying predictions of human futures. I believe in the values of human freedom and human autonomy as the necessary elements of a democratic society. As the competition of these prediction products heats up, it’s clear that surveillance capitalists have discovered that the most predictive sources of data are when they come in and intervene in our lives, in our real-time actions, to shape our action in a certain direction that aligns with the kind of outcomes they want to guarantee to their customers. That’s where they’re making their money.

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Relevant about how targeting doesn’t work better anyway and isn’t needed: https://apenwarr.ca/log/20190201



Also great, thanks!



After asking around, I think I get it. The people who think targeted advertising is good believe that if the system knows them, it will offer what they want at a better price. They will get “deals”.

Indeed, that is what happens in traditional shops with a single owner who may lower the price of some items to keep a returning customer. That was also some of the idea with loyalty cards and frequent flyer systems: known customers get a discount.

I don’t think modern capitalism works that way. I expect the algorithm to raise the price to what it computes I may pay. What do you think?

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