Unilever warns social media to clean up “toxic” content

Posted by  $  nickursis 7 months, 1 week ago to Economics
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This is interesting but appears to be a classic case of the market making the rules vice the individual companies. However, it almost sounds like Unilever cannot deal with the nasty rude nature of society today and wants a fluffy, happy soft place everyone can sing kumbiyah in, and buy their stuff. Not sure how well either way will work out.
SOURCE URL: https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/12/unilever-warns-social-media-to-clean-up-toxic-content/


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  • Posted by Abaco 7 months, 1 week ago
    I'm not on social media anymore. But, on occasion I'll look at my wife's facebook feed and, I must say, I'm appalled at what I'm seeing. Since I only sample once in a while I'm not desensitized to the insanity. I've seen people I know who've been fully absorbed into the matrix do crazy stuff like make major, public confessions, talk about very private things, attack others solely for their politics...on and on. It's sickening. There is some sort of psychosis that occurs with social media, it's clear now.
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    • Posted by IndianaGary 7 months ago
      I'm on Facebook. With the exception of two or three friends, whom I deal with via private messages, I do nothing but look at and post cat pictures.
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      • Posted by  $  7 months ago
        An admirable position, I post a lot of animal stuff too, as they are way smarter than most people. I do rant about the greed and evil of politics and the libertard moves to loot more. The latest 1 Billion dollar scam in Oregon gets me going full speed, as the bulk of the population seems drugged or in a zombie state and vote yest on every "give us more" idea....
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  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 7 months ago
    An advertiser basically sponsors the content of the platform where their ads appear. As such the content influences who views them, and those may not be the right clientele to sell to. A business can't make the rules for the platforms but can certainly take their business elsewhere, thereby perhaps motivating the platforms to reevaluate their practices.

    What no one should be allowed to do is to abrogate others' free speech and free exercise of their judgment of where to spend their money. We should also remember that in any compromise with evil, evil will win.

    Not all the nastiness is in the content; most of the worst and ugliest is in the comments sections!

    All material on the Internet is rooted in ideas, and ideas are memes in constant mutation, often turning cancerous (or "toxic"). People get used to it, however, and keep increasing the dosage. That is the nature of life--growth and spreading. Unfortunately, it's easier to roll a rock downhill than to push it up the mountain.

    So a soap maker wants to clean things up. Cute.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
      Advertisers "use" to have control, with digitasl media they basically can pick the platform, but the software used to place the ads uses all kinds of demographics and cookie information to decide if this is a good place, and very quickly. Such brash decisions place ads in the weirdest of places. Unilever does not understand how today's media works, and are just complaining they want their control back. Not going to happen until a better platform emerges.
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  • Posted by jdg 7 months ago
    Unilever's warning isn't important because advertising on the Internet is a dying effort. The advertisers have already lost their technological "arms race" against ad-blocking software, and the longer they resist admitting it, the more money they'll pour down the drain.

    Of course this is bad news for the paid content-creators of Hollywood, because a lot of people who've been viewing their product for free aren't willing to pay for most of it. But this is a market shift/renegotiation that has needed to happen for decades. Most of Hollywood's products are crap these days -- and even if I liked them I'd shun them because of Hollywood's huge authoritarian influence on politics.

    As for social media, most of it is already too tightly controlled. This is partly a market problem (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter are all companies we can pressure and/or boycott, though not all of their services have enough competitors yet). But some Internet services (such as assignments of IP addresses and domain names) are monopolies of close enough to it that real censorship can take place if their providers want to do it -- and it's already being attempted. This is where the greatest danger to an open Internet lies.

    Ultimately alternatives to those services will need to be developed, too. Let's make sure it stays legal to do that, by resisting any regulation of the net, whether under pro-freedom-sounding labels such as Net Neutrality or otherwise.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
    Unilever needs to clean up it's own "Toxic Content" in clinton connecticut!...they left the town with their poison mess when they closed down Ponds.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 7 months ago
      Why does this hypocritical revelation strike me dino as just plain typical in this day and age?
      Oh, well, me dino never has had any desire to mess around with social media. Not ever. That's also a this day and age thing wid me da Dino Allosaurus, Esquire.
      At least here in The Gulch, most people have their heads screwed on well enough to actually learn beneficial things from.
      Going out side to listen to birds sing is the only beneficial way to be around birdbrains.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
    "The year where we collectively rebuild trust back in our systems and our society"

    Right. You aren't expressing concern that there is no punishment for statists who are guilty of destroying what you claim to value.
    Without punishment for the looters this is just a distraction to keep the guilty safe from punishment.
    Sorry, you aren't worthy of trust.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
    "simply cannot stand by while their platforms are used to facilitate child abuse, modern slavery or the spreading of terrorist or extremist content”.
    If only she listened and understood her own words and realized the state is even more guilty of spreading extremist content.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      As fact, no less, and with their cohorts tagging along, remember all the "racist" crap after Ferguson and on into spring 2017? Then "poof" it just died out.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 7 months ago
    That's the chance you take with freedom. Others become free to spew garbage or worse, but who is going to "protect" you against it? Do we go back to the era of twin beds with a nightstand in between? Do we tell our kids that a woman gets impregnated from 5 feet away? Does Victoria still live? Who guards the guardians, who censors the censors? Everything has a price, and that's the price of a free internet.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
      That is true Herb, and one way to look at it, companies can control it by changing who the pay to have ads, and viewers can control it by not going to websites that feature it, but my take was that it is a free market issue that the buyers and sellers can control much better that Big Brother. Back in the bad old days a few years ago, you pulled your ads off a TV station or network, now that is almost impossible with a billion or so websites.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months ago
    I think this is an old phenomenon. There are mainstream outlets funded by big advertisers. The advertisers expect them not to be selling radical content. Then are things like tabloids and zines that will publish radical content, which includes a lot of garbage, a few things that are true will be seen as obvious in a 100 years, and everything in between.

    Mr. Weed is basically saying, "You big social media companies are supposed to be more like advertising on the big three TV networks two generations ago, not like advertising in the National Enquirer or a porno mag was."

    In the past barriers to entry in building a TV network or magazine were high, so media outlets had to stick to their niche. Barriers to entry are low now, so if mainstream outlets start acting as gatekeepers, people will go elsewhere. They are in a hard position because people have a morbid urge to look at train wrecks. Media outlets now get feedback at what people look at, so they have an incentive to give them the train wrecks they look at, even if they don't exactly want them. If they're too lurid, though, they get resistance from people like Weed.

    10 years ago I would have said it's wonderful that media outlets are not gatekeepers. I don't know anymore. I now want gatekeepers of my choosing. I don't want a crazy feed of Enquirer articles, New York Times stories, Tech Crunch stories, and random blogs. I've started using an RSS reader and picking deliberately. These media companies and their advertisers have to struggle with to what extent they want to be gatekeepers, and if so are they more like the New York Times or the Enquirer.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
      However, digital media is a much more active, speed driven form. They provide huge amounts of data, most of it inaccurate, framed in whatever way gets a sell or a click, because that was the payment model in use. So, until they clean up that act, the price for cheap ads, is low quality filters on where they appear.
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