Google, Facing Lawsuit, Now Argues It Didn’t Sell Political Ads in Washington State

Comments

1

Still arguing about which advertising is good for people to see and which is bad for them to see? That companies should design heuristics into their software and make decisions about which business to accept and which to reject based on automated guesses about the intent of a potential customer?

Just block it all. Block trackers, also, to avoid profiling and targeting.

If I want to know about someone's goods or services, or about political positions, I will seek that information. Further, I have no specific interest in seeing messages about the goods, services, or positions of the highest bidders for access to my eyeballs.

2

@1

There are other ways to pay people to produce the content you consume, but they can and often do come with data harvesting, bias, and commercial messaging.

What do you suppose e.g.Patreon does with the cookies they set, and the info they collect when you sign up? How do you suppose brand names work their way into news articles?

If what you're opposed to is data collection and paid bias, then oppose those things directly, and preferably not with purely technological half-measures that put the entire burden on the reader.

And if what you're opposed to is all advertising in any form at all, or for-profit activity of any sort, then just say so. There's no need to conceal your own political message.

3

Jesus, Google and Facebook, you seem to be the only two companies with difficulty following this rule. Are they trying to set precedent against ANY sort of state compliance?

4

@2: I oppose infringement on speech by central authority. I advocate people providing each other with the knowledge and tools they need in order to be selective in their receipt of communication. I want us not for government to stifle speakers but for them and us to empower listeners.

Defining political advertising with sufficient specificity as to facilitate the automated categorization of one message among others is not practical. Nor is "manual" processing of large-scale sales of tiny advertisements.

Teaching people to use ad blockers is practical. Including ad blockers in web browsers is practical.

A future world in which 1) news reporting and other forms of useful and/or entertaining publication still occurs, and 2) a critical amount of access to people's attention is no longer held by for-profit businesses, is one that I can imagine and one that I think we should strive for.