spam tornado

Know all these bots on Twitter that auto follow you based on things you say, or that might autofollow you back? I have this dark hope that some sort of AI comes out of that – trends tracked and logged, ways people speak, all in a self-referencing and perpetuating cyclone of spam. Maybe the scammers will feed off of the “social media experts” will feed off of the coupon bots will feed off the RT bots. The idea brings me a perverse sort of joy, don’t know quite why.
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When you’re preaching the choir, everything sounds good. Many marketers follow other agencies and “gurus” to see what they’re up to. What trick have they figured out? What can I learn from them? And because marketing is so much about being noticed, it’s easy to do research when every new method is delivered straight to your inbox.
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But that means it’s also delivered to my box. And I don’t want it. In fact, I’m willing to actively fight it. Why? Well, at a most basic level, I think consumer culture has detracted from our ability to relate to each other as people. It’s damaged our values, our goals, and our homes. But that’s a really big set to cover, so right now we’re just going to talk about a small subset of that.
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Marketers today invade your privacy in two ways: in regards to your information, and in regards to your personal space. Information is something you can control to at least some extent – if you don’t give out your information, they can’t use it. However, it’s also their responsibility to keep the fuck out of social forums aimed at being social (facebook is constructed to monetize on your interests. Expect to be marketed to. My blog is constructed for exchange of ideas, which is why I moderate┬ásolicitous┬ácomments to not be posted).
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It’s when information is gained in shady ways (pulling from a cc list, from an information page, from a business card exchange) that the privacy being infringed upon is one of space. It’s *my* inbox, and just like my blog, it is not a forum for marketing. Yes, the information existed on the t00bs, but it was not offered in exchange for some deal or because I’m truly interested in what you are up to. As in all things, consent is key, and such use of information is nonconsensual.
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So I encourage you, as always, to fight back. Remember returning spam mail with postage paid, just because it fucked with their system? Find a new way to do that. I like to peruse until I find a personal contact of someone high up in the company, and tell them I find their business practices shady (or “shitty,” depending on mood) and that it makes me question their quality as a human being. Because it is, and it does. Too mean? Too bad. Maybe if you didn’t base your own legitimacy on others buying your product you wouldn’t be so sensitive.
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In the meantime, go play in your cyclone of drivel, to figure out how to better market to other marketers. But your tactics have no place in our corner of the web. If you find a way to actually contribute to the conversation and community, we’ll welcome you back. Until then, fuck off. I leave you all with this Banksy quote:
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.