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Targeted Advertising Is Ruining the Internet and Breaking the World
In his testimony to the US Senate last spring, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that his company doesn’t sell user data, as if to reassure policymakers and the public. But the reality that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media companies sell access to our attention is just as concerning. Actual user information may not change hands, but the advertising business model drives company decision making in ways that are ultimately toxic to society. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it in her 2017 TED talk, “we’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads.”
DR. NATHALIE MARÉCHAL
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