Adam Ferrier: “Social Media Is Acting Like Big Brother”

Adam Ferrier: “Social Media Is Acting Like Big Brother”
SHARE
THIS



Speaking ahead of his appearance at the State of Social ConferenceThinkerbell founder Adam Ferrier (pictured below) shares his thoughts on what the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica privacy exposure means for brands and their social license.

Privacy and appropriate data use are emerging as a key risk for business in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and rolling revelations about the amount of data routinely collected by Facebook.Adam Ferrier

But the situation also offers an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate ethical practice, says leading consumer psychologist and founder of Thinkerbell, Adam Ferrier.

Ferrier says the scale of the revelations about data collection and misuse are perhaps less surprising than the revelation that no-one, not even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, appears to be fully in control.

Zuckerberg’s slow response to the Facebook community and media on the revelations that Cambridge Anlytica kept and used data accessed by a data-scraping app, and subsequent revelations including that a vulnerability in some phones allowed significant non-Facebook communications to be tracked, have been roundly criticised.

“The one thing it has highlighted for me is how little in control people are, and I think in Zuckerberg’s interview subsequently, he’s open about not really knowing what to do,” Ferrier said.

“He’s trying to communicate something by being pretty open about it and not knowing what the answers are.

“For most people there’s a sense of ‘I don’t get it, but it serves me well so I’ll ignore it.’ They want to feel like someone’s in charge or in control and therefore it’s easy for them to rationalise that even if I don’t understand it, everything’s ok.

“What’s happened here is that people are starting to think ‘oh gosh, nobody’s in control, nobody actually understands what’s going on,’ and that causes some disquiet.

“People don’t quite realise the implications of the thing they’re building and what they are creating.

It’s a potential opportunity for brands to step up and be explicit about their intentions and what data they are prepared to collect and to ignore, he says.

That could include brands making a public stance on their use of digital microtargeting.

“I think seeing brands take a strong point of view on social media data and telling us how they use it and being really explicit and transparent about it would be a fantastic thing for them to do,” Ferrier said.

“You do see brands these days stepping into roles that other infrastructures used to play in our lives as symbols of trust and they’re pretty good at doing it too because they’ve been around so long and providing us services so long.”

The value in gaining and maintaining a social licence to operate has seen many companies taking ethical stands in other areas of business as a way of convincing their consumers and the public that they are an appropriate company to do business with.

Ferrier says we can expect to see these companies take the same approach with social media data privacy.

“You’ll see more of it, some businesses like P&G and Unilever are raising the stakes – by bringing the issue to the fore.”

The recent revelations exposing Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data to sell its credentials as an election influencer, have helped fuel the #deletefacebook movement, driven by users in an effort to protect their privacy and sway other users to follow suit.

But Ferrier says the likelihood of people embracing the #deletefacebook movement depends on the individual person’s disposition and dependency on the platform.

“If you’re highly paranoid and have a low-level use for Facebook then you’re likely to delete it. If you’re highly accepting and have a high need for Facebook then you won’t,” he says.

“It doesn’t take too many of these stories for people to start to change their perception of Facebook and it won’t take too many of these stories for people to start second guessing what they should be sharing.

Ferrier says the business model built on social media’s influence on behaviour could be threatened by the fear people feel around privacy intrusions — and the link to real-world changes such as the rise of Trump and Brexit.

“Social media is acting like Big Brother and suddenly starting to have these massive implications on society, how it’s shaped and how people are forming their views of the world and it’s not necessarily the responsibility of Facebook,” he says.

“What’s on social media is the manifestation of our culture – and it’s our own humanity getting played back to us and amplified, and that can look kind of scary.”

He notes the irony of members of the industry being more wary of social platforms and technology than the public for whom they design the products.

“I think Steve Jobs banned his kids from having mobile phones until there were above 13 years old,” Ferrier says.

“I wonder how much data Mark Zuckerberg has shared on Facebook himself. I’m quite sure the answer is very very little.”

“It seems like the more you know, the more careful you are, maybe we should be taking our behavioural leads from the people that create these toys.

“Their behaviours can show us the limitations or the perceived implications of what they are capable of.”

Ferrier will be speaking at the State of Social Conference on June 26 at Perth’s Optus Stadium as keynote speaker on the topic of behaviour.

Latest News

Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

Social media marketer Socialbakers has unveiled its latest Social Media Marketing Trends report that will do little to allay fears ad dollars are continuing to flood to the likes of Facebook and Instragram. Commenting on the report, Socialbakers’ CEO, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, said: “While Facebook has made a lot of changes in the first quarter of […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Greenpeace UK’s ‘Ocean Of The Future’ Highlights A Disturbing Reality
  • Campaigns

Greenpeace UK’s ‘Ocean Of The Future’ Highlights A Disturbing Reality

Advertising and marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather created a global campaign for Greenpeace UK pro-bono, which underlines what our oceans will look like if plastic production continues at its current rate. The film follows a group of schoolchildren on an excursion, each excited to see a multitude of aquatic species like penguins, otters and catfish. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PokerStars Unveils New Spot Starring The Perfect Poker Face
  • Campaigns

PokerStars Unveils New Spot Starring The Perfect Poker Face

Parisian agency Romance has created a new 50-second video for PokerStars that reaches out to poker newbies by stating “you’re already a great poker player”. The campaign aims to encourage new users to sign up online and the actor’s convincing straight face highlights multiple everyday scenarios where we all mask our true feelings. Romain Roux, […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Subaru Goes to The Dogs In Witty New Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Subaru Goes to The Dogs In Witty New Campaign

Subaru’s family of dogs the Barkleys, are the stars of the ‘Dog tested. Dog approved’ video campaign comprised of four thirty-second videos formed by US creative agency Carmichael Lynch. The first video follows the family of a labrador and golden retrievers as they visit the doggy-run car wash. The following videos showcase teen Barkley attempting […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Three Things To Know Before Starting Your Very Own Agency
  • Opinion

Three Things To Know Before Starting Your Very Own Agency

Who hasn’t thought of chucking in their job to start their very own agency? Well, in this guest column, author of the Unlikely Entrepreneur, Alan Manly (pictured below), gives his top tips for anyone contemplating doing just that… Just talking about starting a business can be exciting. Those interesting characters constantly on the lookout for a business opportunity […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced the promotion of Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales for Sydney. The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office. Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has […]

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments
  • Marketing

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments

Following the launch of Merkle in the Australian market in March, Columbus, a Merkle Company has secured nine new clients in three months, including Macquarie University, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited and Hipages. Columbus has also appointed two group business directors in the Victorian market, with Leonie Dawkins (pictured above, left) and Guy McGechan (pictured […]

Black woman in handcuffs
  • Media

Adland Industry Leaders To Be Locked Up In Prison To Help Aussie Youth

Over sixty senior leaders from the media, marketing, tech and creative industry will spend the night in jail as part of UnLtd’s Adland Bail Out, to raise funds for Whitelion. The ‘inmates’ will be handing over their mobile phones and putting on their prison overalls to brave a night in the chilling cells of Yasmar […]

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns

Global out-of-home (OOH) advertising giant JCDecaux has announced a partnership with independent tech platform Seedooh to offer advertisers greater transparency for campaigns. Under the agreement, Seedooh’s reporting and verification platform will be integrated into JCDecaux’s system to create an independent campaign delivery reporting function that works seamlessly within the end-to-end campaign delivery processes. It will […]

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration

In this opinion piece, Seismic’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), explains how marketers can work smarter and why collaboration is vital in delivering return on investment. Demand for marketing roles is growing, as marketers continue to learn more about what customers want. The marketing agenda is increasingly being tied in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push
  • Marketing

Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push

Aussie food franchise Roll’d has announced it has signed on Melbourne digital marketing agency Impress!ve Digital to support its digital marketing. The partnership has already begun, with Impress!ve Digital aiming to significantly boost the company’s revenue through digital marketing strategies that are directly linked to return on investment and franchise acquisition. Impress!ve Digital has been […]

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!

If you think B&T simply runs these photo gallery stories so you can gawk at young, attractive people, you'd be right.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
NZ Digital Outdoor Specialist LUMO Appoints WeThinkMedia As Exclusive Aussie Advertising Rep
  • Advertising
  • Media

NZ Digital Outdoor Specialist LUMO Appoints WeThinkMedia As Exclusive Aussie Advertising Rep

New Zealand specialist digital outdoor media business LUMO has announced it has selected WeThinkMedia as its exclusive Australian advertising representative. LUMO offers digital billboard technologies in premier locations across New Zealand. Its large-format LED displays and smart features include branded WiFi, beacons, integrated content management systems, web browsing advertising, and real-time traffic analysis. By November, […]

BWM Dentsu Group Launches Groundbreaking Voice Cloning Program ‘Project Revoice’
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

BWM Dentsu Group Launches Groundbreaking Voice Cloning Program ‘Project Revoice’

Creative agency BWM Dentsu and its PR arm, Haystac, have unveiled a new voice cloning initiative with the ALS Association in the US and MND Australia. ‘Project Revoice’ introduces a breakthrough in speech technology for people living with ALS (motor neuron disease), enabling those who lose the ability to talk to continue speaking in their […]

Woman legs and shopping bags holding in hands.
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why Retail Is A Work Of Complete Friction

Do you often use the term 'frictionless shopping'? Well, give yourself a quick squirt of WD-40 and get reading here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Lifeline Australia Chooses Indy Agency Robyn&Leon To Develop Comms & Brand Strategy
  • Marketing

Lifeline Australia Chooses Indy Agency Robyn&Leon To Develop Comms & Brand Strategy

Following a competitive pitch, independent Melbourne agency Robyn&Leon has been selected to develop a new communications and brand strategy for Lifeline Australia. Robyn & Leon’s remit will include working on Lifeline’s emerging SMS-based crisis support and suicide prevention service. Lifeline Australia CEO Bob Gilkes said the national charity, which was established in 1963, would benefit […]

WPP Chief Sir Martin Sorrell Steps Down
  • Advertising

WPP Chief Sir Martin Sorrell Steps Down

The CEO of the world’s largest ad agency network, Sir Martin Sorrell, has stepped down from his post, effective immediately. Sorrell’s resignation from WPP comes after the company announced an investigation into “alleged personal misconduct” against him. “The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded,” a statement by WPP […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sky News Unveils New Sunday Night Line-Up
  • Media

Sky News Unveils New Sunday Night Line-Up

Sky News has announced the debut of a new Sunday night line-up that will see the launch of a national affairs program and the return of Paul Murray LIVE. Leading political commentator and associate editor of The Australian, Chris Kenny, is back on Sky News as anchor of Kenny on Sunday, a new two-hour program […]