Sayonara, Facebook: Phone Number or Picture ID?

“To continue, we need you to provide your phone number. This quick security check helps keep Facebook a community of real people who connect and share using their real identities.”

After many months of uncontroversial usage, this is the message that marketing data-scraper Facebook now places before me, as a requirement of further entry.  The “alternative” mode of “verification”?  Sending them an image of my government issued photo ID! ROFLMFAO.

This is the end.  Facebook is not getting more free marketing data from me.

As the late, great Blackadder once said, “Bye-eee…”

The Dead and the Dying

sod off
*pauper & bauble*

Not surprising, but telling: The “British Royal Family” have taken to marketing their mega-pampered zombie selves via marketing data-scraper Facebook.

Shows what amazing stuff plugs straight into this decrepit culture. The corporate capitalist overclass can’t bring itself to tolerate 10 seconds of serious discussion of any one of the smorgasbord of dire crises facing it (and us), but these paleo-Yahoos and their running IQ test (if you “like” them, you fail) are welcome news, a dear old friend of the culture of sponsored stupidity.

It’s what they call marketing synergy, one hand washing the other.  A pack of undead figurehead feudal claimants both lending and drawing aid and comfort to and from the heedless, clueless Davosian hackocracy now busily driving the world over the last cliff in history, with “royals” on their “friends” page.

FTC = MIA

“Social gaming is a math equation.  When you put millions of [advertising] dollars down to protect [a franchise], you will win it.”

— Lisa Marino, Chief Revenue Officer, RockYou, Inc., a startup hoping to make profits on Facebook via “social games,” quoted in Bloomberg Business Week

Advertising, in other words, is an intentionally anti-competitive undertaking.

Thank god we have the marvelous President Obama, who is delivering so much change, as promised!  Surely, his Federal Trade Commission will be intervening and imposing huge fines on these shameless economic criminals.

Surely.

Some Good News

Turns out people aren’t as gullible as I recently reported.

This just in from Advertising Age:

CORRECTION: Both the original headline and the body of this story about Honda’s “Social Experiment” incorrectly stated that the automaker tallied 2 million fans on Facebook. Honda now has more than 250,000 fans (the one-day takeover Oct. 19 more than doubled the number of 63,083 and since then has grown.) The 2 million figure represented how many “connections” — or how many friends its fans collectively have — a very soft metric of social-media success. We were way off and we apologize for the errors.

Me, too.

The “Social Network” Trap

Facebook (allied to Microsoft) and Myspace (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp) are fake-outs on unsuspecting users, mostly children, teens, and young adults.  The raison d’etre of these two “consumer” traps is to gather marketing data and shove advertising even farther into users’ lives.  This website has long reported on this fact, and will continue to do so, as these cynically planned, BBM-sponsored, wildly popular, narcissism-promoting social control operations expand.

Here was Bob Garfield, who, in the December 1, 2008 issue of Advertising Age, observed this little tidbit for his audience of corporate planners:

500 million social-network users, each generating 1,200 page views per month, represent 600 billion monthly opportunities for an ad impression. [emphasis added]

Funnel Spiders Trap
Funnel Spider's Trap

Honda “Experiment” Tests Shallowness, Vanity

narc Honda Motor Company is running a marketing campaign packaged as a “social experiment.” The cover story is to see how much people “love” Honda automobiles by inviting them to post personal photos and blurbs on the Facebook “social” networking site.

The truth, of course, is that what Honda is really testing is how effectively they can convert people’s petty vanity and sheer programmability into still more irrational brand loyalty.

Have people been falling into this trap?

The results thus far have blown away Mr. Peyton, who felt at the campaign’s onset that “If we got a million connections, that would be cool.” He called the push “a pretty powerful piece of advertising because people are buying into it and we aren’t giving anything away.”

Honda initially supported the site with a sprinkling of ads on Facebook. “It wasn’t a big media buy, but it got a lot of attention,” said Tom Peyton, senior manager-national advertising. Earlier this month, TV was added to the mix, with 15- and 30-second spots featuring actual owners. The commercials were created by Honda’s longtime agency, independent RPA, Santa Monica, which developed the concept. The buy, also handled by RPA, encompasses prime-time programming such as “30 Rock,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Dancing With the Stars” and NFL football.

The campaign got a huge boost after a one-day targeted homepage takeover Oct. 19 on high-reach sites, including ESPN.com, CNN.com and SportsYahoo.com. That more than doubled the number of Facebook fans into the range of 1.7 million. (As of press time Oct. 22, the number had topped 2 million).

Footnote: As of this morning, the number of victims of this campaign is approaching 2.5 million.