[Privacy paradox] although people say they care very much about privacy, they behave as if they did not
The so-called privacy paradox is that, although people say they care very much about privacy, they behave as if they did not. People allegedly express worries about their privacy and state that they are committed to its protection, while blithely using frequent shopper cards that collect data about their purchases, communicating intimate details of their lives on social media sites such as Facebook, clicking "I agree" to un-protective privacy policies without even reading them, and searching the Internet for highly sensitive forms of information without set-ting controls to restrict capture of their browsing history. If you say that you care a lot about privacy, but then can't remember what your social media privacy settings are, you might be an illustration of the privacy paradox.
When I design online ads for American Apparel, I almost always look for an angle that will provoke. Outrage, self-righteousness, and titillation all work equally well. Naturally, the sexy ones are probably those you remember most, but the formula worked for all types of images. Photos of kids dressed up like adults, dogs wearing clothes, ad copy that didn’t make any sense—all high-valence, viral images. If I could generate a reaction, I could propel the ad from being something I had to pay for people to see (by buying ad inventory) to something people would gladly post on the front page of their highly trafficked websites.
But entertainment has the merit not only of being better suited to helping sell goods; it is an effective vehicle for hidden ideological messages. Furthermore, in a system of high and growing inequality, entertainment is the contemporary equivalent of the Roman “games of the circus” that diverts the public from politics and generates a political apathy that is helpful to preservation of the status quo.