The internet today is an extremely powerful tool with almost limitless applications and opportunities for innovation. In the world of capitalism it can be argued that the internet has become the single most powerful tool used to market towards consumers. Online ad campaigns can drastically cut costs while potentially reaching a massive audience, especially if it happens to go viral. The analysis and interpretation of Big Data has enabled companies to quantify extremely specific trends amongst the everyday consumer. As the internet continues to evolve, so does the way in which Advertisers utilize it to market their products.
Recently congress has yet again brought up the infamous SOPA bill challenging the liberty the internet provides and forcing all information online to be copyrighted and accounted for. SOPA is an acronym that stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act. This bill’s purpose is to crack down on online copyright infringement, by limiting access to sites popular for the trading of pirated content. You have most likely heard the saying that pirating is not a victimless crime, and we all know that is the truth. The question is, is this the way to go about solving the problem?
Now in theory this may seem like a good idea, but once we delve further into this topic it becomes apparent that there are much deeper ramifications. Now this does not merely affect owners/creators of internet websites, but also the online advertisers that cater to these websites as well. Rex Harris with Techli.com points out a potential threat to advertisers:
“ For those that are unfamiliar, this is what happens when a publisher is unable to deliver in full on a contract (for instance, a guaranteed number of online impressions). When this happens, the publisher must “make it good” for the advertiser with either a cash credit, or by offering even more ad inventory that was initially contracted. Can you imagine what will happen when sites are temporarily being shut down on a regular basis or when sites are blocked from running their clients’ advertisements? Impression guarantees will be nearly impossible to keep, and SOPA will turn online advertising into an unstable, grossly inefficient business for everyone involved.”
The overabundance of censorship will hinder online advertisers from doing their jobs, thus producing lower revenue for online advertising.