Facebook is being invaded by advertising

Everyone’s worried about, and infuriated by, the incursion of brands and advertisements into the supposedly safe spaces of our beloved social media . But I don’t think we’re in danger of being brainwashed just yet. We don’t live in The Lawnmower Man, or The Matrix, or A Clockwork Orange. We live in the gladiatorial arenas of ancient Roman times, except now people are goring each other with keyboards instead of swords. Big companies with goods to hock aren’t going to ruin our on-line experiences: we, the baying mob, are going to ruin theirs. To paraphrase The Watchmen’s Rorscharch: “I’m not in the internet with you, Coca Cola, YOU’RE IN THE INTERNET WITH ME!”

I would absolutely hate to be the guy who has to monitor a company’s social media presence, and respond to customer comments and complaints. Any time I’ve checked out the promoted page of a company brave or foolish enough to roll up its trousers and wade into Facebook’s stormy waters, its comment threads have been alive with inspired (and not-so-inspired) trolling, righteous indignation, and insane levels of rage.

A typical exchange goes something like this:


REYNOLDS’ CORNFLAKES

Image result for cornflakes

A little bowl of ever-so-slightly genetically modified sunshine every morning!

angryAngryPat: “YOUR FUCKING CORNFLAKES KILLED MY FATHER!”

tick,octagon,frame,check on,checked,correct,right,yes,checkmark,okReynoldsCornFlakes: “Hi Pat! Thank you so much for your comment, and I hope you’re having an absolutely super day. Brrrr! It’s a bit cold outside, isn’t it? So sorry to hear about your father, but I can assure you that our products are only made from good, wholesome ingredients, and all of our manufacturing is overseen by beautiful unicorns in magical palaces built at the ends of rainbows. If anything, our cornflakes should have added a good five years to your father’s life. Was he a drinker, Pat?


Or


CHIKE MAX-PERFORMANCE TRAINERS

Image result for generic sneakers

If you’re looking for a decent shoe, jog on.

peaceHippyGenoveve: “How many little Taiwanese children had to be whipped to death on a yearly wage of sixty pence to perfect your new range of death boots, you fucking Nazis?”

tick,octagon,frame,check on,checked,correct,right,yes,checkmark,okChikeTrainers: “Hi Genoveve. Amazing to hear from you! My late mother was called Genoveve. Beautiful woman. Let me just assure you that we only subcontract to companies who subcontract to companies who subcontract to companies who subcontract to companies who subcontract to companies who we’ve heard on the grapevine are absolutely reliable. And if that isn’t enough to reassure you, then please remember that our partners use only the best, free-range Taiwanese children.


Or


LEPSY NAX

Image result for fizzy drink

Fucks your heart, makes you fart…

evilCarcinogenicGraham: “What do you cunts enjoy the most, giving people stomach cancer or diverting water supplies from the poor indigenous peoples of the Indian sub-continent?”

tick,octagon,frame,check on,checked,correct,right,yes,checkmark,okLepsyNax: “Graham, I know this is crazy, because we’ve only just met, but how would you feel about our familes all going on holiday together later this year? Thank you for your passionate comment. Reading between the lines, I think what you’re really asking is: ‘How do we get the taste of our mouth-watering cola product just right? Is it some sort of magic?’


There’s something deliciously democratic about all of these conglomerates finding themselves at the mercy of angry (in most cases justifiably angry) proles like you and me. Their on-line pages are slowly transforming into long lists of bad-for-business buzz words; endless cries of CANCER! DEAD KIDS! EXPLODING EYES! YOUR COCOA MADE MY ASS BLEED!

Marvellous.

I used made-up generic brands for the jokey examples in this article, rather than risk using real company/brand names like Kellogs Cornflakes, Nike or Pepsi Max, which would’ve been foolhardy at best.

OTHER ARTICLES ON THE SITE RELATED TO ADVERTISING –

Culture Jamming Pt 1

Culture Jamming Pt 2

Why Advertising is So Full of Shit

Santa’s Journal (Entry 3) – May 12 2013

Spent most of the morning revising my ‘Naughty List’. Coca Cola told me I couldn’t use one anymore, that no child could be excluded from Santa’s services no matter how bad their behaviour. I’ve got the memo here somewhere. Ah, yes.

‘It is not your responsibility as one of our major brand representatives, nor the responsibility of Coca Cola itself, its subsidiaries or shareholders, to comment on or offer judgement upon the behaviour of individual customers or to create criteria under which customers could be excluded from our services based on arbitrary and often subjective codes of conduct. Coca Cola is a profit-driven company, and those profits, and indeed our brand, would suffer if we were to behave in this manner. Moral positions are best adopted and enforced by the church, and penalties best enforced through the legal system. It is not in our interests to attempt to fulfill the roles of either institution.’

So, roughly translated: ‘It doesn’t matter if some wee cunt’s put a brick through an old disabled woman’s window, doused her beloved pet-cat in paraffin, set it alight and then taken potshots at its screaming body with a pellet gun; so long as his parents are prepared to spend more money than they have in their bank accounts on Christmas presents, and continue to encourage their Hell-spawn to glug Coca Cola in quantities that would obliterate an elephant’s pancreas, then who gives a flying Yeti’s bawbag?’ I’m no legal eagle, but I do have a first-class honours degree in Reading Between the Lines, and a doctorate in Advanced Bullshit Detection.

Margaret took my blood-pressure again today. It’s high. My heart’s smacking around in my old chest like a jet-propelled pin-ball.

A photo of Snelling, reproduced in the interests of public safety. WARNING: he doesn’t normally look like Barry Cryer. He’s a master of disguise. BEWARE.

Anyway, Innis Snelling. He’s definitely top of the naughty list this year. I won’t go into too much detail and defile my memoirs with a record of his disgusting misdeeds, but suffice to say he got up to some sickening, sexual, banana-related ethnic tomfoolery. And what’s with the lad’s name? He sounds like a rejected Harry Potter villain. No toys for you, motherfucker.

Wee Gundal the elf’s birthday bash tonight. That should relax me.