1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 1 (May 2021)
    The Dark Sides of Digital Marketing
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 May 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Illuminating the Dark: Exploring the Unintended Consequences of Digital Marketing

Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 May 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Our relationship to technology is deeply paradoxical. On the one hand, we buy and constantly use more devices and apps, leaving our traces in the digital space. On the other hand, we increasingly fear the dark sides of being dependent on technology and of data abuse. Inadequate knowledge and errors make it difficult to predict unintended consequences, and often problems emerge due to deliberate choices to pursue some interests while ignoring others. Hot topics include data privacy, potentially biased or discriminating algorithms, the tension between free choice and manipulation, and the optimization of questionable outputs while ignoring broader effects.

Fighting unintended consequences should get to the roots of the problems. As for personal data, users should get more control over what they share. Further, more transparency can help avoid dystopian outcomes. It concerns the use of data, in particular, by algorithms. The high concentration of power of a few global players should also be watched closely, and societies need to be critical towards their actions and objectives. Even seemingly noble motives come at a price, and this price needs to be negotiable.

Keywords

Blake, Tom; Nosko, Chris; & Tadelis, Steven (2015): “Consumer Heterogeneity and Paid Search Effectiveness: A Large-Scale Field Experiment”, Econometrica, 83 (1), 155-74. Search in Google Scholar

Hartford, Tim (2021): “The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics”, Riverhead Books, New York Search in Google Scholar

Kozinets, Robert V; & Gretzel, Ulrike (2021): “Commentary: Artificial Intelligence: The Marketer’s Dilemma”, Journal of Marketing, 85 (1), 156-159. Search in Google Scholar

Merton, Robert K. (1936): “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action”, American Sociological Review, 1 (6), 894-904. Search in Google Scholar

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