Techdirt Podcast Episode 45: No, You're Not The Product

from the even-if-you're-not-paying dept

There’s a common refrain regarding services these days that “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product” — but this notion is at best an oversimplification, and at worst outright untrue. This week, we look at the far more complex and diverse reality of how free services relate to their users.

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Comments on “Techdirt Podcast Episode 45: No, You're Not The Product”

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Anonymous Coward says:

You ARE the product, and corporations pay shills to lull you to stand still for it.

The old “common knowledge asserted to be wrong” riff.

The internet advertising model will not hold up much longer. Already about half of advertising is thought to be “viewed” only by bots. I’ve always said advertising is a scam, now it’s being proven.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

It’s something we’ve seen again and again throughout history, and especially throughout modern history: the worst thing that can possibly happen to any X that’s generally good is for someone, somewhere, to discover that there’s lots of money to be made in X.

BTW if you want to see a system where democratic, community-focused moderation is a thing and mods are elected by the community, (and can be thrown out and replaced in a new election,) don’t look at Reddit; look at the StackExchange network. (Disclosure: I’m an elected mod on one of the SE sites.)

A lot of people overestimate how much Facebook makes from them.

Maybe. Perhaps they only made $1 off your latest post. But multiply that by a few hundred million users and soon enough you’re talking about real money. The “serf” metaphor really does apply pretty well here: each individual serf didn’t create all that much revenue for his lord, but the feudal lords tended to have plenty of serfs working for them on their estates.

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