Evil stuff on the Internet and following the money
05 June 2018
Rule number one of dealing with the big Internet
companies is: never complain to them about all the
they support. It's a waste of time and carpal
tunnels. All of the major Internet companies have
software, processes, and, most important, contract
to attenuate complaints. After all, if Big
Company employees came in to work and saw real user
screenshots of the beheading videos, or the child
abuse channel, or the ethnic cleansing memes, then
that would harsh their mellow and severely interfere
with their ability to, as they say in California,
bro down and crush code.
Fortunately, we have better options than engaging with a process that's designed to mute a complaint. Follow the money.
Your average Internet ad does not come from some
ominous all-seeing data-driven Panopticon. It's
probably placed by some marketing person looking at
ad dashboard screen that's just as confusing
to them as the ad placement is confusing to you.
So I'm borrowing the technique that "Spocko" started for talk radio, and Sleeping Giants scaled up for ads on extremist sites.
Contact a brand's marketing decision makers directly.
Briefly make a specific request.
Put your request in terms that make not granting it riskier and more time-consuming.
This should be pretty well known
by now. What's new is a change in
European privacy regulations. The famous European
applies not just to Europeans, but to
persons. So I'm going to test the idea that if I
ask for something specific and easy to do, it will be
easier for people to just do it, instead of having to
figure out that (1) they have a different policy for
people who they won't honor GDPR requests from and
(2) they can safely assign me to the non-GDPR group
and ignore me.
My simple request is not to include me in a
Facebook Custom Audience. I can find the
brands that are doing this by downloading ad data
from Facebook, and here's a letter-making web
that I can use. Try it if you like. I'll follow up
with how it's going.