BoSacks Speaks Out: With the damage done to our democracy, where is the industry leadership?

By BoSacks

Tue, Oct 25, 2022

BoSacks Speaks Out: With the damage done to our democracy, where is the industry leadership?

BoSacks Speaks Out: With the damage done to our democracy, where is the industry leadership?

You might think I'm talking about world affairs, the current devastation from earthquakes, hurricanes, plagues, and the real possibility of nuclear war. Those real-time crises make what I'm about to talk about seem pale and insignificant, which in comparison, they indeed are. I would be talking about world affairs if this newsletter reached the appropriate subscriber leader list to add Bo-clarity into the conversation. But to the best of my knowledge, here at Precision Media Group's central headquarters, while we don't have leaders of countries, we do have most of the leaders of the media industry.

Yes, it is true, we get the best of the best when it comes to corporate giants who could make a difference in the greatest threat to our industry – zero trust by our customers rising from the deep underbelly of the digital media beast.

Something has been bothering me for quite some time. It is the tame phrase "social media." The name social media sounds benign, doesn't it? It is not. It is a calculated, intrusive, and evil business model. It is not a harmless enterprise. It is detrimental social engineering for profit, not benign social media, and it is socially destructive. If you look at it as intentional, malevolent Social Engineering, it takes on a new and more destructive persona.

As reported by Bob Hoffman last week:
"According to Roger McNamee, author of "Zucked" and early investor in Facebook, speaking about social media this week, "We've had extraordinary damage done to democracy, public health, public safety, and people's ability to make their own choices...Yet policymakers have done nothing, absolutely nothing."

I don't think McNamee's point about the "extraordinary damage done to democracy, public health, public safety" is hyperbole; it may be an understatement.

Again from Hoffman, “According to The Markup, 33 of the nation's top 100 hospitals have a Facebook ‘pixel’ (a tracking device) on their websites that sends Facebook the IP address of anyone who goes to one of these sites.”

“According MSN, ‘the intricate web of data collected by fertility apps, tech companies and data brokers might be used (by police) to prove a violation of abortion restrictions.’”

“The Washington Post says, ‘Google's unprecedented hoard of information puts it in an even more powerful position. It gives concrete meaning, at a much wider scale, to years of privacy concerns: Innocuous personal data it holds is now evidence. It could lead to criminal charges.’"

“The Post goes on to say, ‘The company (Google) received nearly 150,000 requests for user data from US law enforcement in the first half of 2021...and it handed over information on users in 78% of those cases. An estimated 26 states are expected to ban or heavily restrict abortion, and prosecutors will almost certainly go to tech companies, such as Google and seek the evidence they need to charge people who help provide the procedure.’"

“For years, those who couldn't see beyond their own noses couldn't understand how ‘’I have nothing to hide’ was so fucking stupid. In an environment in which marketers know everything about us and governments try to know everything about us, everyone has something to hide. We just don't know what it is.”

But wait, there's more. We not only have to fear Social Engineering but also our media advertising industry. Why does the advertising community "trust" what is obviously a global confidence game? Well, as Willie Sutton said, "Because that's where the money is."

Fake humans, click fraud, fake ad placement, paying for ads never seen, fake web sites that look real but aren't, grabbing an obvious overabundance of loot. Not to mention the theft of our very selves. Our whole lives and families' interests are bundled for sale not to the highest bidder but to any bidder.

The online advertising ecosystem is impossible to understand much less control under the current conditions we find ourselves in. There is no competent leadership anywhere, and I'm compelled to add the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is nothing but a joke.

Where is the industry leadership? I used to think the US government could be the answer to regulate this problem. Forget that pipe dream. Too many senators have demonstrated evident stupidity about the Internet. It's ridiculous, but the lawmakers who have the power to regulate technology have no idea how technology works.

Do you remember when Sen. Orrin Hatch asked Mark Zuckerberg how Facebook is able to sustain a business model while running as a free service? I'm sure Zuck stifled an internal chuckle and was barely able to keep a straight face when he responded, "Senator, we run ads." "I see, that's great," Hatch replied. No, there will be no shining knight from the Capitol to save the day.

Part and parcel with the fraud, how is it that we all ignore the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of people? Not their rights, our rights.

Facebook's lies, duplicity and personal intrusion by hidden surveillance systems all go unchecked. Do you know that Facebook tracks you through third parties whether or not you are logged into Facebook? As Bob Hoffman pointed out some time ago, "And the pièce de résistance -- Facebook's new data policy asserts that they track you even if you don't have a Facebook account."

There is an abundance of data that shows that magazines are more trusted than any other delivery vehicle. They are rated and respected by readers for top quality and accuracy in reporting.

Yet, in review, print which is trusted by all parties loses market share every year, while obviously fraudulent and intrusive digital advertising rises to new heights every year.

Advertising and social engineering is the Big Brother we were all warned about. Its mission is nothing short of personal surveillance for a profit. The information on us is stored, sorted and turned against us as an algorithm. And if the algorithm is good, we will march to it.

Now is the time when I should make some sort of demand or plea for us to band together and transform the system. Nope, that isn't going to happen. There is too much greed and too much money for this to change any time soon. How does this rectify? Is there hope in this digital morass?

This brings me back to the real world of politics and publishing. We desperately need businessmen with a clear moral vision for the future instead of a multitude of opportunists who see nothing but financial gain through market fraud and industrial personal corperate surveillance.

Do I think things will change anytime soon? No. But I hope so because I am and always have been an optimist. What do you think? Am I taking this too seriously or not seriously enough?

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