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Is Targeted Advertising Ethical?? | Minority Report | Space Taste

Is Targeted Advertising Ethical?? | Minority Report | Space Taste


– Murder – [Narrator] The ethics
of targeted advertising, Minority Report Edition. Have you ever wondered why
online popup ads are so creepy? Have you ever mentioned a
cool new product to a friend, only for it to show up
later in your news feed? Targeted ads are here to stay, whether you like it or not; but is targeting consumers based on their digital footprints ethical? Let’s take a look at the Sci-Fi classic, Minority Report to find out. Welcome to the year 2054, a world with Tom Cruise
but without Scientology. A time when murder has
been virtually eliminated. Meet John Anderton. He’s the head of PreCrime, a specialized police agency
that arrests the perpetrators of future murders with
the help of Precogs. Who are Precogs? Well, they’re individuals
who possess psychic abilities that allow them to predict crime. While PreCrime is a lofty ethical subject, many remember Minority
Report for its brief hints at the future of advertising. Because everyone in this dystopian world wears immersive contact lenses that project augmented reality. They’re all connected to
a vast network of ads. Wherever you go in this world, the ads will follow. In the 16 years since
Minority Report’s release, this form of targeted advertising
has become commonplace on platforms such as Google and Facebook. What’s targeted advertising, you ask? Well, it’s the serving of ads to users based on their prior internet behavior, interests and demographic information. For example, on Facebook, users can be targeted by age,
gender, location, interests, pages liked and content watched. Facebook makes advertising so easy that with a few hours of training, nearly anyone can learn and
utilize targeted advertising. Small businesses and large corporations can target the same person and interest. The only difference is
in how much they spend. This open access allows
anyone to become famous, or for any business to become successful if they create a valuable
product and market it correctly. Although, there runs a huge risk here, in that advertisers can
target people based on stereotypical and discriminatory notions. Over 5,000 targeting options were removed in 2018 alone from Facebook. Among these removed were
the ethnic affinity segments which allowed those with interests in Native American or
African American culture to be excluded from ads
for housing and employment. Facebook’s targeting
options ran directly counter to the 1968 Civil Rights Act which banned landlords from
discriminating against tenants based on race, religion
or country of origin. Facebook and other tech companies need to be held to the same
standard of laws and regulations as other good, physical companies. Just because it’s an
intangible digital platform doesn’t mean that it
can have huge detriments on the society. It’s not that all advertisers
want to actively discriminate, it’s that they want to
reach their goal numbers as efficiently and
cost-effective as possible. It’s human nature to take advantage. If boys were more likely
to buy your new comic book and you only had a few
hundred dollars to spend, why target girls at all? Advertising to one’s target demographic has been a staple of marketing for ages. It’s now like Government’s responsibility to ensure that the players
of the game follow the rules. Judging by Zuckerberg’s track record, they’ll have their work cut out for them. But that’s not the only issue
with targeted advertising. During the 2016 election cycle, Facebook’s newsfeed
was used to disseminate fake news and discredit
political opponents. Russian trolls played on
the fears and ignorance to the alt-right and far-left
to drum up political discord. Controversial posts were
boosted and targeted at people based on their political
leanings and locations. With enough cash and initiative, a huge amount of people were swayed. It doesn’t help that Facebook’s algorithm actively rewards sensational
headlines and click bait copy. People love to react, comment and share on sensational polarizing topics. Facebook did little to
quell this massive injustice and is still suffering a major backlash. In Minority Report, Tom Cruise walks past an
ad promoting the expansion in the Precog program to
other parts of the USA. It isn’t until the final second of the ad that’s it’s actually disclosed that the broadcast he was listening to was paid for by advocates
of the PreCrime program. Many citizens of Minority
Report’s Washington D.C. may have misconstrued that
ad to be fact or editorial, rather than a paid advertisement. There exists the equal possibility that ads arguing against
PreCrime were running to other citizens of Washington, D.C. Targeted ads do not reach everyone, only those selected. When Tom Cruise received
another man’s eye, he’s essentially using
someone else’s browser and seeing their ads. Is the fact that our ads tailored to our personal interests creepy to you? Do you feel like your privacy’s violated? Digital advertising is
to an anonymous audience for the most part. Remarketing can be viewed as not invading your personal privacy, but rather just servicing
ads to someone more likely to complete your goal. Unless you’re using an email list for your marketing audience, people are merely cookies and numbers. Perhaps, this is why
it’s so easy for people to willingly manipulate
each other on the platform. The fact that there is
no human interaction on the side of the ad buyer turns it into more of a video game rather than a vessel to
communicate with millions. Users willingly sign their privacy away. At the end of the day, it should be Facebook and
other tech giants’ obligations to make sure that what
is being signed away is clearly communicated. So, is targeted advertising ethical? We say, “Yes”. (bell rings) To limit targeted advertising
would inhibit the power of individuals and small businesses to compete with large corporations. Digital ads are a low-cost
and easily efficient way to enter the market and introduce your business to the general public. However, the power to
potentially target and market to billions of people needs
major checks and balances. Companies like Facebook
need to be held accountable for the ads that run on their platforms. Social media has given everyone the power to potentially change the power-balance of any community in an instant. Like Uncle Ben once said, “Great power requires
great responsibility.” If that responsibility isn’t taken, then that platform shouldn’t
be allowed to run targeted ads. To sum it all up, algorithms are not the answer
to our ethical dilemmas, humans are. Tom Cruise proved this in Minority Report when he challenged the Precog
notion that he was a killer. If we rely on mutants and machines to control our advertisements
and crime force, then bad people are bound to
take advantage and manipulate. Some decisions must be made holistically and can’t be divided into
black or white options. Fortunately, intelligent
people can also see in shades of gray. So, what do you think? Is targeted advertising ethical? Let us know in the comments below. Click subscribe and we’ll see you soon. (Sci-Fi music)

27 thoughts on “Is Targeted Advertising Ethical?? | Minority Report | Space Taste

  1. Thank for doing this. And replying to my suggestions about a month ago for this movie. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Next you should do a Neil Blomkamp movie. Was gonna suggest District 9 but maybe Elysian.

  2. A deep dive? Most of the video was serving information about real world targeted advertising, and a little about the ethics at the end, with little explanation for why and only one view represented, all in all it seemed very one sided and shallow in it's exploration.

  3. With certain bases, yes it's fine. It allows for people to reach who they want. Certain targets, like race or religion, are less ok, but if you want to reach a target then go for it. If you use it to exclude, then I think it becomes bad for us because we want everyone to be happy. I think that it is, and while it might be unfortunate that some advertisements aren't sensitive or fair, but it's the world we live in with large businesses needing to turn a profit or risk going under.

    Long story short, I don't agree with it, but if it allows businesses to grow and provide more people with something they could use, then yes, it is ethical.

    Love your stuff, good job, keep it up, and always watch for a comment from me!

  4. One factor to keep in mind here is the idea of 'reasonable expectation of privacy'. It is considered lawful, for instance, for police to conduct surveillance of you when you go out shopping. It doesn't violate your right to privacy because you are in a public place where you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The internet is a similar situation because you are interacting with a lot of public entities while using it. The problem is that a lot of people aren't aware of this, and think that they are still in a private space.

  5. What a good timely topic. Great choice. Was just reading an article about how Facebook still manages to use your location for targeted advertising even when you opt to turn GPS location tracking off by linking your IP address to your zip code.

  6. In cases like this, I have a very simple, easy question I ask: Is the person/group/whoever or whatever willing to accept checks and balances on whatever it is that they have?

    If the answer is yes, then continue on like normal, because they should at least be given a fair chance first to try and self-regulate without lawmakers stepping in. If the answer is no (or they prove to not self-regulate), then the checks and balances should be put in as soon as they are able to do so, because eventually, without exception (as I've seen it happen FAR too many times to count in real life already for SO many companies and industries), it WILL happen. Period. Whatever that might be, they WILL do it eventually.

    The United States (not speaking for any other nation) was made with the idea of checks and balances, so why should any person or group be allowed freedom from their own checks and balances? What puts THEM above the very founding documentation of the USA that they shouldn't be held accountable? Last I checked, nothing does.

  7. That's going to be tough. Facebook , and other tech companies, have certain protections that prevent them from being prosecuted in full, unlike publishers like newspapers and cable television.

  8. Seems to me that targeted advertising actually narrows our bubble of influence in an extreme amount of ways. How the heck you find that ethical is bizarre to me. I understand focusing your advertising attention towards what an algorithm (that is made up of completely and utterly ethically obtained data) has pointed you towards makes some kind of sense, however it completely disregards the surprise element and perhaps we want to be more than the sum of our behaviours… which in turn may be influenced by said targeting advertising of not just cereal but politics and religious ideologies. Unethical by my vote yet thanks for making me think. Great vid none the less 🙂

  9. Good video. Came way of Cinema wins.

    In the end I would be okay with it. You can always ignore the ads. The day they take away the skip button and it's only pre-recorded minute to five minute ads, that's when I will revolt

  10. Targeted ads don't invade personal privacy, since the invasion has already happened by the time the advertisment is directed towards you.

    The companies responsibly for collecting, collating and codifying the actions you take online also don't automatically invade privacy, since if all they do is track your public use of services and websites, everything they monitor is in the public arena, and no invasion of privacy has occurred.

    Only when companies take steps to monitor your activities offline, or on private networks to which they wouldn't have free and ckear access without having to take steps to gain authorisation, does invasion of privacy occur. Some organisations hide requests for access in large 'terms and conditions' greements, or by having fine print hidden beside large, easily identifiable buttons which say things like 'Continue' or 'Okay', misleading users into accepting terms which they don't fully understand.

    Such behaviour could be viewed as invasive, as although users do give their permission, such permission has been given without the full implications of the agreement having been explained in a clear and understandable manner, and so the agreement has been made in bad faith.

  11. It may be ethically fine but it's creepy when you mention something to a friend and then you get an ad for that product on Facebook.

  12. What really keeps people from ACTUALLY discriminating though..you gonna go to the police of or better biz bureau w that complaint? Bs

  13. Why is every video about ethicality exactly…. is everything on this channel about ethics? Seems kinda narrow. It’s often so subjective. If you have a problem w targeted advertising let’s say in this future..then just live in the woods.. simple

  14. It's the tech companies job to ensure our privacy? Not only no, but hell no. Do you think that we should trust them when its obvious that they will ALWAYS work to pad the bottom line, even when they have to trample on legal rights and ethical obligations to get there? If you say we should, then go sit in a cave for a while and think about your life.

  15. It depends how you use it. Are you using it to sell useless crap? Or are you using it to get someone elected? That first one is regular greed, the devil we know, still evil, but transparent enough to be avoided. The second one could weaken democracy, and thereby, eventually freedom, which I'd say is a lot worse.

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