Cargo Cult Reverse Activism: Maximalists Think That If They Use Social Media They Can Counteract Public Concerns

from the yeah-that's-how-it-works dept

We’ve talked in the past about cargo cult science and how a rather superficial understanding of complex situations leads people to only copy those superficial elements in the belief that they are why something works. Then, of course, when it doesn’t work, they’re confused. It’s why South Pacific islanders thought that if they staffed the airport, American soldiers would return with supplies. It’s why GM thought that if they just rebuilt the NUMMI plant inch-for-inch, they’d get the same production elsewhere.

I’m left thinking about this as I read about how some IP maximalists at a gathering about how to “counter” the public are discussing the importance of social media and their own usage of it. Even reading about the discussion sounds oddly stilted — like your parents trying to sound cool by using youth slang:

The role of social media in promoting IP will be a key topic. For example, both USPTO Director David Kappos and EPO President Benoit Battistelli regularly write blogs about their respective offices.

The offices represented on the panel also use Twitter and Facebook as well as conventional media such as TV to communicate with users and society generally.

Oh my goodness. Can you believe it? They blog? They use Twitter and Facebook? They must know everything!

Perhaps, at some point, they’ll realize it’s not the usage of social media that made a difference, but the fact that the people using social media find these issues to be serious and important, and don’t believe the official explanations for why they have to lock down content.

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Comments on “Cargo Cult Reverse Activism: Maximalists Think That If They Use Social Media They Can Counteract Public Concerns”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“The offices represented on the panel also use Twitter and Facebook as well as conventional media such as TV to communicate with users and society generally. “

Unfortunately, thanks to wrongfully granted government established monopolies, IP critics are not allowed to voice their criticisms over broadcasting spectra or cableco infrastructure. Effectively, the government has managed to pass laws that abridge free speech into the hands of the government-industrial complex. It’s unacceptable and it’s something we need to correct. Abolish government established cableco monopolies. Abolish government established unidirectional broadcasting monopolies for commercial purposes.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I doubt that will happen.

It will go more like this.

Clueless record/movie industry executive tells PR drone what he wants to say. PR drone writes it up in the typical language that is instantly detected by the masses as Bovine Excrement. Then they post it to social media sites, but in a way that does not allow comments — or they remove comments they don’t like.

Now the clueless original executive thinks he is an internet netizen.

Jim G. says:

I’m sure they are a fun lot to follow.

@BIGCOMPANYGUY remember kids, getting a copy of some music from a friend is just like stealing money from a homeless grandmother and makes baby jesus cry.

@BIGCOMPANYGUY plus you will end up in jail and the American economy will collapse on your bloated corpse. But we do this for the benefit of all. Plus you deserved it.

@BIGCOMPANYGUY I don?t understand why you kids don?t feel more grateful for the Transformer movies and stuff you are always copying. Plus, GET OFF MY LAWN you rapscallions!

terry says:

The strength in the opposition to these extreme proposed laws isn’t as much in the delivery system as it is in the content. The content that is nothing more than simply exposing the content of the proposed legislation especially the most major flaws.

You have to wonder about people who represent content interests that can’t see this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Thanks, those are hilarious! I actually looked up the report mentioned by the “40 million jobs” tweet. Turns out their claim uses the very scientific principal of “every industry is an IP industry, so we just picked the top 75”, which presumably includes the farmers that grow the corn for movie theater popcorn, etc.
Unless I’m misreading it, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report they mention lists “motion picture and sound recording industries” as actually employing about 360,000 people. The U.S. Postal Service employs over 600,000. Perhaps we should start cracking down on e-mail?

Chris From Poland says:

Check out the pathetic “Creative America” Facebook “fan”site… “Creative America” is of course known on TechDirt for being the lickspittle of RIAA and other such groups of interest, though it describes itself as a “grassroots” group. Check out their social media profile on FB, it’s full of what I believe to be misguided propaganda.

AC Cobra says:

Dont underestimate this...

I perceive a lot of mocking, even to the point of conceit, in these comments. Maybe we shouldn’t get so cocky. These lobbyists are just beginning to use very powerful tools. Sure, they seem ridiculous now trying to “use youth slang” and act hip and all, but they will learn. This effort will have a small effect at first, but will become more effective with time. This demands a serious response, and it is a war, not a battle.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Dont underestimate this...

Honestly its kind of hard to take them seriously, its been what 16 years since Napster and I’m yet to see them run a campaign that doesn’t inspire either outrage (ridiculous lawsuits) or mockery (Those copyright advisory notices and ads) in the general public.

Their danger tends to lie in their political reach (and ability to get buy in to some really interesting interpretations of laws) rather than their social swiftness, heck these are the same people who have a major line of business selling movies about Small bands of good people triumphing over the Evil Empire and have not yet deduced that they’ve become the Evil Empire, they are stacking the cultural viewpoint on themselves.

Edward Teach says:

Re: Dont underestimate this...

I’m not at all sure that “they will learn”. Isn’t that the lesson of corporate speak? Just about anyone can read a press release and their spidey-sense will start tingling. Will the lobbyists be able to shed their corporate forked-tongues and actually write real stuff, or will they just continue to write double-speak, bromides and jibber-jabber?

icedtea (profile) says:

It doesn’t matter if its businesses or public officials – most of them don’t have a clue about what people want to see on social media – stuff that benefits them. That’s it. The reason that so many brands are struggling with converting fans to actual activity and sales is that they don’t really get social media. Too many companies are of the mindset that all they really have to do to succeed is set up a Facebook page, throw a few bucks into Facebook ads, maybe use one of the types of companies at BuyFacebookFansReviews and that will just automatically catapult them to success. Things don’t work out that way online. They have to be able to offer something to people that they value and listen to their customers. This is the best way to achieve long-term success.Also pictures of cute animals are always viral online, so good for them for taking advantage of that fact and using it to their advantage. The additional factor here is that while Facebook offers features to increase engagement, those features are really only designed to increase engagement on Facebook pages themselves. You have to go out and offer people something of value on Facebook to really find a way to get success.

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