SABOTAGE YOUR CONVENIENCE!
Social networks obtain private data to control and increase people’s consumption in an increasingly sophisticated way.
No social network has been as successful as the short video app TikTok . The competition was under pressure and simply copied the successful vertical format instead of relying on its own strengths. The head of Instagram explained last year that it was no longer a photo platform and that it would focus even more on videos than before. With Shorts, YouTube created an area where content is limited to sixty seconds. And new players are jumping on the bandwagon too.
While Amazon is already working on the reincarnation of teleshopping and has introduced live streaming in the style of Twitch, the Amazon Inspire feature is being This finally brings to your own home what has long been proven on other platforms under the banner “things you didn’t know you needed.” At Amazon Social media cartoons, which are really just designed for conversion—that is, turning attention into sales—culminate a second dynamic that connects all the major platforms: more inspiration to buy and more advertising.
TikTok’s Ads Manager was also recently available in Germany and supports selected advertisers in creating, testing and tracking campaigns. It’s fitting that TikTok recently wanted to include a personalized advertising requirement in its new data protection regulations. Adult users should no longer be able to prevent TikTok from evaluating their usage behavior in detail in the app settings in order to be able to sell more expensive advertising. The Irish data protection supervisory authority was able to prevent this for the time being and agreed a standstill agreement with TikTok .
With the increase in personalized messages on social networks, the commercial orientation of the content in our daily media is also increasing. The fact that social media advertising works brilliantly is demonstrated not only by the burgeoning sales figures, but also by studies confirming that personalized advertising encourages impulse buying behavior and that influencer campaigns can stimulate intentions. shopping. The amount and frequency (ie, perceptual intensity) of online advertising has also been shown to influence consumer needs and increase the level of consumption.
In view of our ecological and social problems, which are partly a consequence of the high level of consumption in the countries of the Global North, this is not good news. Meanwhile, the multibillion-dollar ad industry is coming up with more subtle advertising tactics: microtargeting strategies are getting more sophisticated, branded content is better hidden, and ad-blockers are circumvented. Drawing on psychological research, marketers instill in us that wants are just as important as needs, especially when it comes to identity formation.
Consequently, the personal data collection, evaluation and analysis policy is required to set limits, beyond the GDPR standards, which can be easily undermined by manipulatively designed consents, for example, through the design of cookie settings. so »Accept all« is the most obvious and convenient option. in this year’s »Bits and Trees« -The conference was asked to only use data to provide a specific service and to prohibit its disclosure to third parties entirely. This stricter regulation of the use of personal data will also help promote well-being and sustainability-oriented digital business models, which are currently limited to niche markets.
Until then, as a social media user, you are not at the mercy of the advertising industry. In the support group of anonymous scrollers, which the Council for Digital Ecology En Bits & Bäume , people were able to talk openly about their loss of personal control when dealing with social networks and exchanged tips for greater self-determination on the Internet. Even if you follow some simple tips and create a bit of confusion, for example, regularly deleting cookies, opening social media platforms not through official applications but through the browser, and installing an ad-blocker, you can limit the pull effect. . and parts of it undermine the sophisticated advertising machine. It may sound paradoxical, but for many Anonymous Scrollers, the key to a successful relationship with social networks lies in the sabotage of convenience and laziness itself.
Anonymous Displacers: A Brochure for Anyone Looking for the Sweet Spot in Their Media Consumption is available at rdoe.org
Maike Gossen & Maxim Keller belong to the working group for sustainable digitality, which the Digital Ecology Council works together. The working group questions digital developments from a socio-ecological perspective.
This article first appeared in taz.FUTURZWEI, issue 23/2022.