Facebook and Targeted Advertising ~ Reflection

Throughout my process in creating the video that unpacks my topic I was able to dive into Facebook as a “Media” company and publishing platform to look at the way Facebook has become profitable through it’s use of algorithms to facilitate precise targeting of advertisements. Although I initially thought that this would a simple question of the ethics of the practice, I soon learned that to unpack this completely I would need to dive deeper into my research and uncover it’s role in the business. What I found was that there were many experts and journalists involved in seeking the same transparency I hoped to find and were also concerned with how the future of the company may impact our lives. Most useful was the 4 corners documentary which was hugely influential in the making of my video, as well as an article published by AlJazeera, ‘Facebook’s status: ‘Tech or media company?

Once I felt comfortable with my understanding of the topic and the angle I wanted to take in my video, my challenge was to work out what software I would be able to use and how it would be presented. Although my video editing experience is quite limited, I’ve had some low level use of various programs in my job but higher end software was not available for my use to complete the project. This resulted in my attempting to find free software or software that could be used on a free trial. Although I had initially intended to take a more animated approach with infographic style dynamic visuals and colour, I felt that this would be a bit of stretch to master at a well enough level to present. Instead I searched far and wide and created a catalogue of free to use visuals and videos that could be used to back up my video style educational. I also did not want to do a V/O as I was not confident that my voice would good enough or good enough quality (due to the recording equipment available) so was able to justify not including this by instead using fairly dynamic text and easy listening music for a more visual journey. This is a style that has begun to trend on Facebook as captioned videos become more prevalent and accessible in news feeds.

I ended up choosing to use a free trial of Adobe Premiere Pro as I had used other programs from within the creative suite and had it recommended from various professionals in my network. Apart from some early hurdles which were overcome by a few Youtube tutorials (god bless Youtube tutorials), I was able to master the basics of video, audio, transitions and titles which served my purposes well. All in all I felt confident in work and ability to express the issue in question. Though I feel my end result may have a great more deal of bias (hope you can take a joke Zuckerberg) than I would hope, there are some minimal glimmers of a balanced opinion (if you look hard enough) and I would encourage everyone to read further into what is a really interesting current topic of discussion and make an educated conclusion yourself. I for one sit uneasy with my new found knowledge of Facebook’s business and advertising practices but I’ll continue to engage in it myself. I for one think that the platform needs more moderation accountability as a media company but it’s corporate mission to connect people of the world  is still one that holds true.

As a final rant I found the hardest part of this project to be finding a royalty free track that I both liked and worked for my video. Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments. Oh and the images of Zuckerberg with hitler and Facebook staff as KKK were all products of my photoshop wizardry and intended as somewhat comic relief or unprecedented (and ridiculously exaggerated) bias. They are not intended to offend or be taken seriously as a reflection of Facebook or their employees. 

kkkbook.jpghitler zucker.jpg

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