Editorial: Manipulation through the music we listen to

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It’s widely known that online users are targeted by advertisers through the things we search, click on or any other activity we do through social media. Basically if you send out a message about wanting McDonald’s, you’ll likely have a McDonald’s ad somewhere on your social media.

However, things continue to get worse regarding user privacy. Spotify — a music streaming app — has the ability to tell what mood you are in by looking at the music you are listening to. This helps with suggested music they may offer, but it also allows advertisers to target the right people. It’s another way to manipulate the online user.

By knowing how you are feeling and what you are thinking, these website and apps on your phone can target you and use your mood to take advantage.

There was a study done by a New York University last year that stated that people who loved Lose Yourself by Eminem and What Do You Mean by Justin Bieber, they were more like to be high on the psychopathy scale.

On the business standpoint, this is brilliant. We the users have made ourselves this vulnerable, and I really don’t mind the McDonald advertisements that tell me they have a Big Mac deal going on. We have put ourselves in the position to be puppets and it won’t stop unless we completely remove ourselves from the online world. In today’s world that is tough to do because everything can and is done through the web.

Only way to really protect ourselves is through watching our activity online. How we present ourselves and what information we put out there. Some people enjoy broadcasting their everyday moments, and do what you want, but now you’re giving away a lot of information, potentially to the wrong people.

In the end, listen to what you want. If it’s a song that you enjoy, the lyrics, or it’s because you are in a certain mood, it’s your taste that matters. It’s unfortunate that Spotify and others will use that against us, but it’s the world we live in. Best we can do moving forward is try to not let their manipulation catch on to us.

I’m going to go tweet about how much I enjoy McDonald’s and see the advertisement that pops up on my social media instead of being worked up about online privacy.

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