Bringing context and critique to the cultural moment. Deep dives, reviews, and debate encouraged.
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© 2020 Relevant Protocols Inc.
Bringing context and critique to the cultural moment. Deep dives, reviews, and debate encouraged.
35596 Members
See All
We'll be adding more communities soon!
© 2020 Relevant Protocols Inc.
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As culture became more saturated with advertising generally, conspiratorial concerns were raised about commercial brainwashing, psychological tricks in ads that rendered human decision-making irrelevant and branded products irresistible. Vance Packard’s 1957 book The Hidden Persuaders, an exposé of the then-burgeoning use of motivational research and depth psychology in the advertising industry, warned of how “people’s subsurface desires, needs, and drives were probed in order to find their points of vulnerability … Once these points of vulnerability were isolated, the psychological hooks were fashioned and baited and placed deep in the merchandising sea for unwary prospective customers.” In 1972, Wilson Bryan Key’s Subliminal Seduction took this premise further, warning of the hidden messages in ads that could manipulate consumers’ minds. The Facebook scandal is in this tradition, with algorithms and data analytics replacing sinister depth psychologists and hidden words in photos of ice cubes as the agents of our undoing.
As culture became more saturated with advertising generally, conspiratorial concerns were raised about commercial brainwashing, psychological tricks in ads that rendered human decision-making irrelevant and branded products irresistible. Vance Packard’s 1957 book The Hidden Persuaders, an exposé of the then-burgeoning use of motivational research and depth psychology in the advertising industry, warned of how “people’s subsurface desires, needs, and drives were probed in order to find their points of vulnerability … Once these points of vulnerability were isolated, the psychological hooks were fashioned and baited and placed deep in the merchandising sea for unwary prospective customers.” In 1972, Wilson Bryan Key’s Subliminal Seduction took this premise further, warning of the hidden messages in ads that could manipulate consumers’ minds. The Facebook scandal is in this tradition, with algorithms and data analytics replacing sinister depth psychologists and hidden words in photos of ice cubes as the agents of our undoing.
Professor of English Barrett Swanson spends a day with LA TikTok/Facebook influencers and reflects on where society is headed. This is not just the greatest piece I've read on generation Z--it's also a disturbing indictment of the lengths to which we will go to maintain the status quo in a world where doing just that will necessarily result in disaster. TikTok or Facebook influencers must maintain their popularity and their corporate sponsors, which means they must avoid controversial topics. Which means, again, that they are nothing but tools who unknowingly serve the interest of power
Professor of English Barrett Swanson spends a day with LA TikTok/Facebook influencers and reflects on where society is headed. This is not just the greatest piece I've read on generation Z--it's also a disturbing indictment of the lengths to which we will go to maintain the status quo in a world where doing just that will necessarily result in disaster. TikTok or Facebook influencers must maintain their popularity and their corporate sponsors, which means they must avoid controversial topics. Which means, again, that they are nothing but tools who unknowingly serve the interest of power
[@MaddenAmanda](/user/profile/MaddenAmanda) And an entire generation is hooked into this self-serving dystopian loop, basing their sense of self esteem on their ability to keep one another tuned in. This is not a case of a member of the old generation lamenting the moral decline of the new generation. Rather, Barrett Swanson argues that the new generation are being exploited and that their anxiety is used as fuel to keep an increasingly-maladaptive machine running. Reading it is well worth your time.
[@MaddenAmanda](/user/profile/MaddenAmanda) And an entire generation is hooked into this self-serving dystopian loop, basing their sense of self esteem on their ability to keep one another tuned in. This is not a case of a member of the old generation lamenting the moral decline of the new generation. Rather, Barrett Swanson argues that the new generation are being exploited and that their anxiety is used as fuel to keep an increasingly-maladaptive machine running. Reading it is well worth your time.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was in some ways a sustained advertisement for the idea that targeted ads really work and that Facebook really is a space where people can be molded rather than persuaded. For advertisers, that merely ratifies their sense of Facebook’s usefulness, and probably helps the platform make the case that it should be charging more. This kind of advertising approach flatters our self-importance by suggesting we have a stable core of personality that’s worth manipulating, no matter how vague and conflicted it might seem to us.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was in some ways a sustained advertisement for the idea that targeted ads really work and that Facebook really is a space where people can be molded rather than persuaded. For advertisers, that merely ratifies their sense of Facebook’s usefulness, and probably helps the platform make the case that it should be charging more. This kind of advertising approach flatters our self-importance by suggesting we have a stable core of personality that’s worth manipulating, no matter how vague and conflicted it might seem to us.
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