Sunday, September 09, 2018

Is The DOJ Watching Facebook Advertisements?

"Targeted" advertising is probably efficient and convenient.  If you don't think that it is worth paying for puce eyeballs to view your book advertisement (because you assume that people with puce eyeballs will never buy your book, anyway), Facebook allows you to make fairly sure that puce eyeballs don't see your ad.

Leave aside the moral hazard, and the possibility that you are setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is probably no "Title" in American law that obliges a Romance author to pay a social media site to show book advertisements to persons not interested in reading/fiction/women's fiction.

On the other hand, if you are a homeowner or landlord and your advertisement is intended to find a tenant or a buyer, you need to be careful about the demographic choices by race/gender/zip code/nationality etc that you can make on Facebook.

Legal bloggers A. Michelle CanterHeather Howell Wright  and Christopher K. Friedman  discuss the issue of discrimination in advertising on Facebook for the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

HUD and DOJ Challenge Facebook's Advertising Platforms Under The Fair Housing Act.

It's a fascinating insight, that points out that data-driven, targeted marketing might create new avenues for liability, both for the platforms, and possibly for those who use the bells and whistles that the platform provides.

It is also astounding how much information "the Internet" has on myriad individuals. The privacy enthusiasts at EFF are raising the alarm about warrantless surveillance of utilities company customers (electric, gas) through the use of "smart meters" that have been forcibly installed across the USA. Allegedly, law enforcement has started to ask the utilities companies for access to the data.

Allegedly, as often as every five minutes, 24/7, a smart meter on your home may be transmitting information about what you are doing inside your home (as long as you are using either gas or electricity to do whatever it is you are doing.)

1984 indeed.  Perhaps this might lead to prosecutions of persons using their irrigation system under cover of darkness during watering bans! These rfi emitting devices may be hazardous to health (but there is a device you can purchase from Amazon to interfere with the rfi. )

For more info on smart meters:

Back to Facebook, blogger Stefan Herwig discusses "Networked Propaganda" and copyright issues in a thought provoking article.

Apparently, with Facebook, a user does not have to make choices about what he/she sees.  Facebook, allegedly, takes it upon itself to ensure that users see views that reinforce and encourage and validate their views beliefs and biases that are already held by the user.

For those who wish to advertise to like minded readers, here are some very helpful resources:

Especially for our European readers, please be advised that this blog contains an eclectic selection of links, almost all of which may come with assorted "cookies", whether you click on them or not. Enjoy!

(Or clear your history and your cache!)

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

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