Behavioral artgeting

A while ago I read a paper (why do they call a PDF a paper? Ghehehe) about cookies, behavioral targeting and privacy. For those of you who don’t understand what the paper is about: it’s about clever online advertisements and the privacy issues surrounding them – not funny at all and the paper is very useful, not something I should be writing about on this blog. But. In this paper I read this sentence that somehow confused me: The success of behavioral targeting is apparent. Advertisers, publishers and consumers are benefiting. I do understand that advertisers and publishers are benefiting from a successful advertising method, but consumers? I really don’t understand how they benefit in any way from any advertisement, actually.

My opinion about advertising is not that interesting. What is interesting though is the conversation I had on Twitter with Marrije Schaake about it in which a quote from Banksy resulted in the following ideas: a way for users to easily make art from ads, a script that automatically draws moustaches on people in ads, and a script to automatically replace all ads with pictures of works of art. That last idea should exist, and really, it’s not that hard to make it: all we need is (1) a nerd (who can actually build a thing like that (with a like and dislike button, please, so people get to see art they actually want to see)) and (2) an enormous, perfectly structured database filled with high quality pictures of art, with unlimited bandwidth and a clever, open API. Just two things!

I’m not sure about the name yet. Art-blocker (wrong in every way, I guess), ceci n’est pas une annonce, artvertisements, or behavioral artgeting. You can probably make up a better name. And you probably know a nerd or the owner of said database. Just tell them they’re free to build the thing, as long as they let me know when they’re done.