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Letters From the Editor

Marketing

I love end-of-the-world/paranoia/disaster movies – you know the ones: Planet of the Apes (the original, thanks), The Omega Man, Soylent Green (why these all have Charlton Heston in them I’ll never know…). Well, I am very disturbed to have to report this, but there is a site, Human For Sale, that calculates your worth – as a human – were you available for sale ‘on the open human market.’ Sure, sure, you’ve seen the site before – yeah, you think it’s funny and that I’m just being paranoid. But listen to me: I was just on the site, entering my vital (and otherwise) statistics, when I noticed that in order to find out how much this ‘humor’ site says you’re worth, you must enter an email address. Pray tell, why is this so?

I’ll tell you why – this site has now had you answer every possible question you could about yourself – and now they have your email address: well, disregarding the deviousness with which the site collects its data, I think you must certainly be able to imagine that this must be one of the most valuable marketing lists ever created.

Oh, I took a look at their privacy policy, hoping my fears were unfounded. And they weren’t:
‘Your IP address is used to help identify you and to gather broad demographic information.’ ‘Demographic and profile data is also collected at our site…This information may be shared with advertisers on both an individual and aggregate basis.’
Great. So I created a new email address (in the interest of journalism, you understand – and to protect myself) to find out what this evil site was going to give me for my valuable information. I figured there had to be some brilliant pay-off, something that would make me fall out of my seat – laughing hysterically – something that would, essentially, make me wet my pants with surprise and glee, wondering how it was possible that these geniuses had devised such a thing. I opened my email from Human For Sale (the irony inherent in that name is a little much to take now), clicked on the link back to the site, and saw…
‘You are worth exactly: $2,097,818.00.’

Not funny. Not worth it. They must be stopped.
biopic

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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