The advent of digital media promised so much.
Savvy shoppers would no longer be surreptitiously swayed by advertising alone. The internet would enable them to research products. Social media would allow them to share their experiences. And ecommence would provide the power to compare prices.
Empowered by these tools of transparency, consumers would expose poor products and endorse better brands. Over time, omnipotent brands would cede power to omniscient consumers. With perfect information, shoppers would make perfect purchases. They would find the best possible products at the best possible prices. And with a smartphone in their pocket, they would do it anywhere, any time.
Or at least this was the promise. Unfortunately, this pledge is increasingly looking like a pipe dream. A far-flung fiction. An unattainable utopia.
This is the story of the digital dark side. Told in five parts.
Continue reading on Medium.