“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”: What is the deal with Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Networks? Facebook & Instagram is taking the “SOCIAL” out of “Social Networks”!
“If you haven’t seen any of the stories, the main gist of it is this:
- Instagram’s owners, Facebook, will have the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes.
- Ads may or may not be disclosed to the user.
- A business may take your uploaded photo, use it in an ad, and not have to compensate you.
If you continue to upload images after January 16 and then decide to delete your account, your images can still be sold by Facebook as their property. “ Excerpt from Excellent Blog by Danny Brown: “INSTAGRAM, SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE OPT-OUT ECONOMY”
As a Social Media and technology enthusiast, full-time Buddhist, and professional Digital Marketer & Search Engine Optimizer, let me explain why I find this offensive and disturbing. There is no Opt-Out option, without having to change Privacy Settings from “Public” to “Private.” Forcing more to choose Private settings, instead of Public; isn’t THIS the ANTITHESIS of SOCIAL? Should I elaborate? We, the people, do not own any of the Content we place on Social Media Sites; we all know that, right? I hope so! Although as a Digital Marketing professional, I meet plenty of individuals and companies that are not aware of this fact, and this is just one of reasons why I consult with everyone, that if you use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, etc for any professional or personal use that showcases your own, original content, that you must also have a Website. It’s one thing to share your personal Information and Artwork, publicly. In fact, that’s part of the beauty and allure of Social Media Networks. But to have Instagram/Facebook sell any of “your” Artwork that you post publicly on to third-parties i.e. Advertising companies, without even notifying you, let alone compensate you… this is a new low for Facebook! Just imagine: Your Beautiful Photography on an Advertisement for a Company that goes everything you stand for? dislike or find offensive, not only without compensations, but without you even knowing! Could Facebook/Instagram do ANYTHING more Insensitive, Intrusive, Inappropriate, Immoral, or Exploitative? Furthermore, it has a retroactive aspect to it, as well. Should you upload a photograph to Instagram after January 16th, and later delete your account, Instagram will still owns the Rights to your Artwork that you’ve previously posted.
This is what gives Marketing, Social Media, and Capitalism a Bad Name!
I just recently raved how Instagram has is the Best New Application of 2012. Technologically speaking, that’s still the case. Ethically speaking, it makes me nauseous! Although if nothing else, Facebook is showing consistency—since it has been making repeated moves to Objectify, Quantify, Monetize, and simply, Alienate its users, particularly the Facebook” Page owners,” since Facebook’s Initial Public Offering (IPO: when Zuckerberg & Company went from Privately held Corporation, to Publicly sold stock.) Some of which is understandable, since it is a for-Profit Business (although one can certainly question just how Profitable one “needs” to be). But THIS is where “The Line has Been Crossed” again by Facebook. This is beyond absurdly selfish, to the point that it’s truly exploiting their users, and setting a horrible president for overtly disenfranchising loyal Users and Followers, and where I personally, as an ethical, professional Digital Marketer, find offensive and scoundrel.
Facebook has become Infamous since it became public, partially through litigation, (A $20 Million FB paid just this summer as a minor price for “paid likes” compared to some of the overall paid-for data provided to agencies willing to pay absurd amounts for Facebook’s privileged information regarding Users’ Persona Profiling) that Facebook practices’ exploit users’ “Personal” Information covertly; by selling our personal information, such as What you Like, Follow, Friend, Interests, Political and Religious Affiliation, Gender, Age, Geographic Location, How, When and Where you access the Internet, what kind of Operating System you use, which Web Browser(s) you use, etc to Marketing and Advertising Companies. It’s Not a coincidence that the advertisements we see on our Facebook screens are customized and personalized to what information we provide as our “Interests” on our “Personal” Facebook Profile, no matter which Privacy Settings one chooses.
This is what, in the Marketing Industry, we call Black Hat Marketing, (The name refers to the old Cowboy Movies, where the “Good Guys” are White Hat, and the Bad Guys are Black Hat.) The idea of customizing a users’ experience isn’t a bad thing, nor is it original or by any means is it limited to Social Networks. What do you think is the purpose behind every “point system” used in business? What started as “Punch Cards” (Buy 9 Coffees, and the 10th is FREE!) was an earlier stages of Direct-Marketing. This week; I received a package in the mail from Rite-Aid™ and Excedrin™ [see photo] because I get headaches, and I shop as Rite-Aid.™ I use their “Wellness®” discount card, which actually does save me a considerable amount of money. I’m not a “paranoid conspiracy theorist,” I understand how it works, so I show some customer loyalty, save %20 off of all my purchases, and get some free medicine. The only “downside” I’ve ever seen is when the cashier jokingly complained that I get almost the same discount as their employees. (Mind you I’ve spent enough money there to earn the higher discount, but it’s stuff I would buy anywhere, and since there is no a locally-owned small business to support, it’s win-win, in my book.)
But what Everyone MUST understand is that that Digital Marketing is, in-and-of itself, completely Neutral. It is a double-edged sword, in that it can be utilized unethically, as is the case with Facebook, or with Skillful Intention (The second Fold, of the Buddha’s Noble Eight Fold Path) “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” is the relevant Proverb to bear in mind. From Independent-Filmmakers, to Search Engine Optimization (SEO,) Digital Marketing is already an intricate thread to the Fabric of the World. Just like the Web and Social Networks; SEO is Here to Stay! So, let’s look at Bright-Side of the World, instead of harping on the Abusers of the Power, now that the information has been made Public Knowledge, let me tell you why I am Passionate about Digital Marketing (SEM and SEO.) Because, just as Digital Filmmaking has made such a WONDERFUL impact on the Film Industry, Digital Marketing allows anybody to have a fair chance, a level playing field, a voice to be heard in a World where Advertising was once a tool for the wealthy businesses to expand and expound upon their prior success, or directly proportional to their amount of financial wealth, and power. What Digital and Web-Based Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has Allowed is to empower the individual, the Small Businesses, the conscientious Bloggers to be heard among the “controlled chaos” that is the World Wide Web, and quite simply, The WORLD, in general. Facebook uses your personal information to make money as their first priority. But the this technology, and the reason Facebook is going to continue to be make money, before their inevitable downfall (MySPace can tell them what it’s like) it because it didn’t start that way. They started by offering a really cool and useful service for free. And after a while they started making money, then after a while they lost all sense of what they were originally doing, which was a revolutionary idea and use of technology that helped people to connect, stay connected and reconnect. All the proof is right in Facebook’s own story; you’ve seen the movie, I hope? it’s a superb film. (Although if you haven’t seen it, forget what I just said, and just try to watch it without expectations. And if you don’t really know much about SEM and SEO, try and do the same thing, not to have a preformed opinion, but if you read all this than you hopefully understand better, and realize: It is just a tool. It’s the one who uses it, and how they use it that determines its real value and implications through the intention of the user and their desired outcome.
- How Facebook ruined a rosy picture (thehindu.com)
Posted on December 23, 2012, in Spirituality and tagged Buddhist Right Livelihood, Ethics, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing and Advertisement, Power of Intention, Responsibility, Right-Livelihood, Search Engine Optimization, technology. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.