This is the second episode in our series interviewing Kurt Schneid of Brand Ready Media about all things video marketing. In today’s episode, we focus on some of the negative impacts of video marketing on our society.
Here’s today’s episode:
Ruth: And it’s happening faster these days with social media, especially because of the fake news issue that we’re experiencing as a global community. Video used to be taken as definite proof, like, “Hey, there’s a video of it. It’s absolute proof” But Samsung announced not long ago that they’ve developed the technology necessary to take a single photo of somebody and create a video of them, making them say and do anything. So hearing you speak to the ethical side of things, and your inclination to want to do business with good businesses is incredibly important.
Are There Any Other Negative Tactics That We Should Be Aware Of, as We’re Being Exposed to Video Marketing From Companies With Poor or No Ethics?
Ruth: You would probably be more aware of them than the average person, like me.
Kurt: I love our country and our government. They do a lot of really good things, but they fall short in others. One of those cases in our broadcasting industry happened in The Telecom Act of 1996 when they removed all the ethical standards.
When that happened, it almost seemed like Congress took a lazy approach to going into the modern age of communication. We had all this technology coming down the pipe. We could see how it might be used, and rather than do the hard homework of figuring out what the guidelines for that should be, Congress let the telecom companies write their own rules.
That’s a dangerous thing. You would hope that people would have the integrity to do things ethically on their own, but these companies took a lot of liberties. They’d say, “This is what we’re promising and this is what we’re going to deliver if you give us the license to do these other things.” And that was a really slippery slope.
Reality TV Was Born From the News Era
So if you look back into the 70s, 80s, and 90s, when reality television came in and of itself, you’ll notice that reality TV came out of the news era. When the news became a viable product and people would watch all-day news, there was this constant need for programming. So, when people started turning a camera on and just filming reality, telling the story as it evolved came in of its own. The idea of reality television was taken into the humor side of things, we also got some social commentary…
Ruth: Well, in this case, reality TV might be more scripted now.
Kurt: That’s a very good point. It really is, because reality became almost boring. We had to create the drama. That whole idea of allowing news and media outlets decide what the rules of reality TV are, culminated into it only being about gaining attention.
All they really care about is whether they can get your attention. If they can get your attention, great. But if they can’t, how do we create something? Now you get fake news. And if there are no guidelines and we can just put it in front of people to say whatever we want, there are no ethical, moral, legal, or financial ramifications.
We’ve seen that pendulum swing from ultra-conservative: this is how you have to behave as a broadcaster, as somebody who has messaging control or access to the public. And then it swings all the way out to: there’s no rules, there’s no accountability, you say whatever you want. And I think we’re really starting to see the negative effects of that now.
Ruth: I read a story about a fake, doctored piece of media of Nancy Pelosi doing something else. But the sticking point of the article was that it was false, so it was requested that Facebook remove it. Facebook declines, saying that while it is false, it’s within the right of freedom of speech of the people who chose to share it if they want to. Kind of like how I can share a picture of a cat’s head photo-shopped on my dog, except that it’s not going to do any harm (unless my dog sees it).
Everyone Can Be a Broadcaster
I thought that was really interesting, especially because now we’ve got Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and LinkedIn is doing their own Live if you’ve got enough followers. So it seems like anybody with a phone can be a broadcaster, and this swing back to incredibly liberal laws regarding the types of media content that we can produce couldn’t have come at a worse time.
All these platforms used to be more of forum-style, sharing platforms, but now the ability to produce native videos and live stream video on these different platforms would put them in a different category.
Kurt: It’s a really interesting debate that you raise. What I know about it is that they want to have their pie and eat it too. They want to have the freedom of speech to do whatever they want, but they don’t want the accountability and responsibility for what content is released in their platform.
In my opinion, you can’t have one without the other. There’s enough money to go around, so you don’t have to do things poorly, illegally, unethically, or immorally to make money. You can still make a lot of money by doing the right things, for the right reasons, with the right people. We’ve always known that.
Still a No on Censorship
Regarding censorship, I’m not about it. I believe in giving everybody the opportunity to speak their mind. Let’s let the best ideas rise to the top. That’s what it’s intended for! Unfortunately, there are some that just want to see the world burn. They just want to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. That’s not helpful, and it doesn’t do anybody justice.
It’s a tough debate. I see both sides of it, just never about inhibiting business. I love business and business growth. Facebook is a great business, and they’ve done a wonderful thing of bringing people together. We’ve lost a lot of that in the mega communications, where all you can get is national news, per se. We’ve lost that community newspaper, the understanding of what’s going on in just our neighborhood. I think Facebook brought some of that back and allow people to rekindle relationships.
I applaud them for their success in what they’ve done. But again, with all of that power should come increased responsibility. It’s hard to say how to govern that without crossing into censorship.
Ruthie: Yeah, it’s definitely a tough issue.