In a May 1, 2014 article entitled “How Ads in Mobile Apps Could Send Facebook’s Revenue Soaring” on ReadWrite.com, Dan Rowinski, discusses how Facebook’s new Audience Network can dominate mobile advertising.
The Audience Network aims to gather information about Facebook users in order to give targeted advertising on mobile devices outside of Facebook, much like Google did for desktops with AdSense and AdWords.
This doesn’t sit too well with me. Rowinski seems to be painting Facebook’s Audience Network in a positive light, but in a time when privacy is becoming more and more important, and less and less available, the only place where the internet is relatively light on advertising is on mobile devices. This probably has something to do with why we are moving further and further away from desktop and laptop computers and going more towards smartphones and tablets; the advertising is not nearly as annoying, but that’s all about to change.
Giant companies such as Facebook and Google have more information about individuals than possibly even the government. In a time of economic instability, do we really need to be constantly bombarded with advertisements for things we don’t really need? Probably not. Since it is getting harder for many of us to pay the bills, buying high-end tech devices and other materialistic goods seems a bit counter-productive.
Perhaps I’m a hypocrite, as I am typing this on a MacBook Pro. Even if I am, it still bothers me how much control these corporations have over us, and with this new Audience Network, Facebook will tighten their grip even further.
America is no longer a democracy or republic, but an oligarchy, and with huge corporations such as Facebook and Google gathering more information about us, and making ever more money based on our need to consume, we’re probably heading towards a plutocracy (if we’re not already there). If corporations keep abusing our privacy, and governments keep spying on us, how much longer until 1984?