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Social Anti-Advertising – now it starts?


I’ve probably blabbed on too much about my personal odyssey to Saudi Arabia the last few days, so I will return you – albeit briefly – to our regularly scheduled programming 🙂


You might find a few slides in here interesting…

I’ve been writing, blogging and presenting on the wave of anti-advertising and anti-marketing we can expect in the near future. Those of you who have seen variations on my At War With Your Customer keynotes, know what i am talking about. At the moment, we write bitchy little scraps in blogs about poor service, broken products and outrageous prices.

But the time is coming when the consumer will band together and architect anti-marketing campaigns of phenomenal sophistication and reach. After all, they are bringing passion and commitment to the discussion. This is not CONsumer as PROsumer but as ANTIsumer.

So the interesting thing about the Craigslist Discrimination case is not that the consumer can say racist, libelous stuff and Craigslist is not liable.

IN A VICTORY FOR WEB companies that publish user-generated content, a federal appeals court ruled Friday that online classified service Craigslist isn’t liable for discriminatory housing ads placed by users.

The 7th Circuit upheld a trial judge’s ruling dismissing the case, holding that the federal Communications Decency Act doesn’t permit people to “sue the messenger just because the message reveals a third party’s plan to engage in unlawful discrimination.”

“Nothing in the service Craigslist offers induces anyone to post any particular listing or express a preference for discrimination,” the court wrote in its decision upholding a trial judge’s dismissal. (online media for more)

…it’s that the people with a budget, lawyers on tap and a real need to protect what is said about them – corporates – are gonna have to live with it too. Free-ing the content freed a whole lot of other social issues too. People who write “no minorities” on job ads or housing ads, are gonna be thinking that sort of crap, they just don’t normally say it. And hell, who’d want to give them money or work for them anyway?

No, for me, it has to do with the fact that I can take out a Craigslist ad and completely attack a companies brand. That’s big news. Craigslist is not liable and therefore less likely to take the ad down when complained against. As soon as you take the hosting company out of the picture, a whole different kind of freedom opens up. Google and Yahoo removed the HD-DVD crack posts and caused a flood on the internet of people feeling their power. Their power to talk, to direct attention and to gain an audience. If they don’t have to remove them now, we are in for the next big wave of community created ‘truth in social anti-advertising’ Heh.

If I’ve misread this case, let me know ok? I’m not a lawyer, just figuring stuff out as I write.

You know, we’ve heard it all before – ISPs used to be liable for emails passing through their servers until the courts nodded and gave the “don’t sue the messenger” message. Only social media is so much more public and direct than an email, no?

PS I can’t wait for Trevor Cook’s blog post on his Coroma toilet. I’d sell your shares in that bathroom company if I were you. Sssshhh. 🙂

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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