Advertising is broken, and stock market-like regulations won't fix it

Just like “breaking up Facebook”. It can’t work.

Advertising is broken, and stock market-like regulations won't fix it /img/online-advertising.jpg

Behaviorally targeted advertising is bad because it is uninterrupted surveillance, leaves way too much money to middlemen, and can mess with politics and elections. But the scariest thing about microtargeted ads is that “they just don’t work”, reminds Wired. And it is great to see that it also proposes the real solution.

To read all the details about why and how microtargeted ads are as bad as they are ineffective, see the Wired article, it’s worth it. Here, I really want to highlight the solution proposed by the author, Gilad Edelman, because it is the right one:

Stock-market-type regulations? Nah

The idea of applying stock-market-type regulations to the digital ad sector is popular, and even some antitrust scholars endorse it. However, that would only produce “a better functioning, more effective market” for something that is intrinsically broken, see above. In other words, it would be like finding a more efficient, non-monopolistic business model for cigarettes.

THIS is the solution:

“Only legislation that outlaws the business model, or heavily disincentivizes it, will create room for more benign technologies to arise."

Period. Thanks. Since it amounts to nothing less than killing the golden gooses of small fishes like Google or Facebook, it should be easy too. But jokes aside, it is the right thing to do.

PS: I am walking the walk here. No ads, no tracking of any sort, no paywalls, even if it takes a lot of effort to provide this service. Please help it to stay that way

Image source: Pxhere