Leading up to these marches there was much talk around something else: the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica data situation. A lot has been packed into these articles... No doubt that CA approaches much of their business through lenses that ad agencies don’t even think to consider: We look for the best ways to tell the truth, they apparently look for the best ways to work within lies. That huge difference can make it easy to overlook the core thing that created all of this: people’s data.
With the CA story it’s important not to forget that people’s data was collected with their consent. Now, they obviously didn’t read/notice the fine print (first problem) and it came to CA through a back door which never should have been opened (second problem), but getting the original data wasn’t a hack, or even illegal. That’s the core issue.
There’s a fundamental agreement between digital platforms and all of us... The world that citizens have created through our giddy use of cool digital things happens in exchange for the provider of those things to access our stuff/our behavior and monetize it so they can keep doing that cool thing we tell them we enjoy.
If you listened to the Scott Galloway podcast from last week you might have heard him call Facebook a "media company". Maybe. I think that depends on how you define a media company. To me, a media company is made up of people who all work for the same company and collectively choose what content goes into their media. Facebook and others are more of "a platform"—any user can add content without Facebook approving each post.
In today’s world anyone associated with advertising on a platform has some responsibility to try and make the agreement with citizens better. A start is honing a point of view and some tenets where the agreement between platforms, content and people is better directed and understood.