TED: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

Platforms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube are persuasion architectures that even the engineers who created them do not know how the machine algorithms ultimately target audiences with content. These platforms show us content in our private screens targeted specially for us as individuals. They know what our weaknesses are and move us in subtle but powerful ways. Our attention and time are their products!

As a technologist, I personally will not

  • Work for a company whose primary business model is selling ads because the incentive is in the wrong place.  People working in these company may have the best of intentions, but the business incentives will ultimately drive the wrong behaviors internally.
  • Will not use a product where the content is sorted by machine learning and does not allow me to sort in other ways. I do not want an endless scroll of news feed.
  • Will not use a product where I cannot pay it to turn off advertisements. I am not your product, my time and attention is not your product.

Watch this TED talk:

Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

Here is the entire transcript