Facebook ad scandal points to loss of ethics

2nd May 2017

FACEBOOK Has highlighted a fresh ethical advertising dilemma as a result of its unorthodox means of targeting consumers: the need to regulate targeting and how to execute it.

In an increasingly digitalised advertising world omni-platform, businesses and ad space providers are continuously striving to provide more cost-effective, adjustable, real-time solutions to assist with the implementation, automation and KPI achievement within advertising.

While the recent furore around the cross-selling of data obtained through set-top-boxes or other third party means, has been stymied by the threats of commercial fines and desire from consumers to have transparency regarding where their personal data is transmitted.

As a result with the ethics around intrusion and privacy unequivocal, given the deontological, golden rule and mean schools of thought are deployed to assure consumers that their data is merely used in the context of making advertising more relevant to them, the ability to manipulate and exploit consumers through more transient means is now brazenly explored.

After an expose┬┤by Australian, which revealed systematic targeting and filtration of users based on their emotions, reactions and moods, Facebook has been condemned as being unethical in its practises.

While this itself is not the transferring or embezzling of personal data surreptitiously akin to the Vizio case of earlier this year, it does pose another issue as to whether users will have to informed of when such monitoring is being undertaken.

Such principles provide the legal disclaimer to ads deploying traditional targeting online, based on search habits for instance, however the lack of opt-out is exonerated by the fact that data is not transferred per se.

The self-imposed restraints advertisers pose on themselves as appose to Facebook, ensures they are redeemed both ethically and commercially.
The self-imposed restraints advertisers pose on themselves as appose to Facebook, ensures they are redeemed both ethically and commercially.

With Facebook however with your data essentially being in the public domain, your conversations are privy to those who seek to view them, if of course you have a public account.

What differs though to the presence of cookies within websites or even social media sites like Facebook itself, is the fact that cognitive behaviour is being exploited for commercial gain.

Ethically this is unprecedented in a real-time sense, while Facebook’s already ambivalent stance on the matter is causing heightened concern regarding the integrity and transparency of the operation.

An initial statement condemned the actions of those colluding with businesses regarding the manipulation of moods to curate complimentary content, however a corresponding one backtracked on the assertion of disciplinary action and employed a stoic stance, rebuking the newspapers credence.

This fundamentally illustrates either a lack of awareness of the undertakings of those within Facebook, or a fear of facing commercial hits.

Ethics is a pre-requisite of any commercial entity, notwithstanding the integrity of any individual in themselves, therefore when the issue of discipline is being mooted the suspicion of foul play would implicate Facebook and online advertising further.

Having only started to recover as a credible, accountable vessel for advertising amid the extremist content scandal, such ethical concerns rearing their head will ultimately serve TV as a singularly entity.

Although beneficial seemingly to production companies like Space City, it ultimately inhibits the work of TV, with the interest generated compromised by the diminished concurrent presence online.

In order to maximise the scale, credibility and ability to entertain TV has, online has to provide a credible, ethical solution that is transparent and accountable.

Ultimately ethics and commerce are intrinsically linked, to the contention of some who decree it has been compromised by the striving for greater commercial gain.

Facebook miscarrying its ethical principles will ensure declining trust and revenues until it is addressed.
Facebook miscarrying its ethical principles will ensure declining trust and revenues until it is addressed.

Having produced a thesis while at university linking ethics and the pursuit of commerce in journalism, it was concluded that in order for commerce to spawn, ethical concordance had to be adhered to: to amplify and reaffirm the moral compass of those who are being written to.

Conversely with advertising the need to match these principles is even more the imperative, with the PR element of where and how businesses like yours are associated underpinning decision making and the ultimate success of ads.

For instance ads that focus on social issues and seek to purvey the moral compass, mobilise their brands and increase sales by as much as 70% more than those who do not.

Furthermore given the stringent regulation that exists to protect your business’ reputation on TV and beyond, ads are twice as effective as the remainder of advertising mediums, underlining ethics will provide commerce.

Facebook only succeeded through its anonymity, with knowledge of its error, the surreptitiousness is manifest in the denial and ambivalence in their accounts, damning the existing practise’s ethical flaws.

In order to ensure the trust of both businesses and consumers alike, a diligent switch to placing the power back to consumers will ultimately serve Facebook as it has Google and TV in providing successful advertising solutions.

Space City has been providing TV, online and radio adverts for 25 years underpinning its work with the experience of producing more ads than any other company in the 21st century.

Contact the team now and you could grow your business credibly and quickly by up to 600%.

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