Self-regulation of social media – a new challenge for the next 18 years

Bárbara Silva | August 16, 2018
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To think of fake news, and how easily they spread through social media (see Baileigh Allen opinion), it is impossible not associate this phenomenon with the deregulation (the inexistence of policies or a universal code of conduct guiding the work on digital environment, particularly in a day and age when everyone can produce content) of social media, as Marketing Week editor Ruth Mortimer explains in an article about the marketing dilemmas during the 2000s.

With the explosion of the digital environment as we know it, the marketeer’s work became simpler – they could think and create a global strategy for a global audience, while targeting specific segments to get better results and saving money on advertising, because with a regular paid campaign on Google or Facebook one can reach thousands of people in a few days.

But the challenge was bigger than anyone could imagine: for the marketers, the competition has reached large-scale proportions and the advertising paradigm changed – now it is more focused on how consumers feel and on their experience, rather than on the product. Today, there are more channels available to advertise than ever, but the professionals are not preparing for this and “their companies aren’t set up to make the best use of them (channels)”. The more technology is available, the more implementation is needed but the fact is organizations “cannot change their processes or culture fast enough to take on the benefits of new technology”.

Following the line of Ruth Mortimer’s article, the 2000s left us full of expectations – more opportunities, scale, social reach, audiences and a communication more personalized – but completely unprepared for the deregulation of social media.

Now, 18 years after the beginning of the digital era, it is time to look for the challenges and to start thinking on mechanisms to counteract this, both legal and educational, that will allow us to use the tools that we have at our disposal in a rigorous and conscious way to avoid, for example, the “fake news” or clickbait.

Obviously, clicks mean money and although there is a sort of advertising self-regulation, that presupposes a voluntary commitment of the professionals to respect the principles of legality, decency, honesty and truthfulness, promoting the transparency and the concurrency rules and preserving the rights of consumers, perhaps 18 years after the “digitization markets”, it is important to transpose something of the genre into the digital environment.

Let’s be creative and start the discussion about this relevant topic for the next 18 years.

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Bárbara Silva
Bárbara Silva


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