Memory is a fickle thing, and the triggers that spur memories can be even more fickle. Aza Raskin, Creative Lead for the web browser Firefox, warned that some very sophisticated advertisers are looking into memories, and trying to find ways to reshape them and promote their products. They’ve even found the platform to do that: Facebook.
At a talk he delivered at the University of Michigan School of Information, he warned that brand marketers could begin quietly inserting their products into people’s favorite Facebook photos to evoke memories of things that didn’t happen. In brief, do you remember that first date you had with the love of your life? You were sitting at a café and someone offered to take your picture—after all, you were such an adorable couple. Later that night, you posted the photo on Facebook, where it will remain for all eternity. A few years later, the brand marketer comes in and adds a can of soft drink with two straws. Inevitably, its logo is clearly visible. Months later, when you look at the photo, you begin to remember that refreshing cola beverage that accompanied your first date. He calls it “Digital Revisionist History.”
As Raskin puts it, “We will have memories of things we never did with brands we never did. Our past actions are the best predictor of our future decisions, so now all of a sudden, our future decisions are in the hands of people who want to make money off of us. That makes me very, very scared. I can see this happening and I can see it happening very soon.”
Read More at Read Write Web (start at 33:21).