We want you!

Targeted advertising is a great way to get your product to the consumer the most likely to buy. For political parties, targeted advertising is an incredibly intelligent and effective way to find the voters that the party wants.

Social media is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for gathering opinions, and this is no more evident than during a political election. On May 7, 2016, ABC journalist Andy Park reported that an amazing 40 per cent of Canada’s population was reached through Facebook and Instagram by now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign. The benefits of social media are clear to see. We use social media. A LOT.

I’m sure that everyone has seen the ads on their Facebook feed during the Australian election just gone. The Liberal were use….

Ugh. Okay, If I’m being completely honest, I’m not super into the whole

Fullmetal Alchemist 2009 by idban secandri CC BY-NA-SA 2.0

politics thing. I spent most of the election (and a bunch of time since) watching

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I found it much more interesting than anything that came

from the election. So, what I’m going to try and do, is try and relate Fullmetal Alchemist to the way that politics and surveillance in the latest election. If it works, we can all hoist me up as a genius of the highest order, and if it fails, we can forget this post ever happened and go back to our lives. Agreed?

Alright, firstly, let’s look at Feedback. Feedback is a program that logs all interactions that someone on the electoral roll has with an electoral office. Basically, every time you communicate with a politician or their office, that information is logged. Feedback is essentially a Philospher’s Stone and the information gathered is the 1000’s of human souls that go into making a Philosopher’s Stone. Hmm… That was darker than I thought it would be.

Ok, maybe it’s not that close of a relation. Let’s try something else.

Confused by CollegeDegree360 (CC BY-SA 2.0)


As reported by ABC news journalist Conor Duffy on June 10, 2016, Feedback is a program developed by Parakeelia, a software company owned by the Liberal Party. MPs purchased access (with taxpayer money) to the information collected from Feedback. Sounds legit, right? The problem is that Parakeelia also donated more than $1 million to the Liberal Party over recent years. In the world of FMA, there is a law of equivalent exchange; you must exchange something to create something else. The equivalent exchange here: The Liberal Party pay for the software, and Parakeelia donate money back to the Liberal party. Should be all good. Except that Parakeelia is also giving the information, as well as the money. There’s no equivalent exchange. Suddenly the analogy of the Philosopher’s Stone is rather apt, since Philosoper’s Stones can bypass the law.

Look, I’m not saying that the problem here is that our interactions with political parties being monitored is a totally bad thing. In fact, it can do a lot of good in letting our representatives know what issues matter to voters. I do find it troublesome that there seems to be a clear conflict of interest in this case. At least as far as I understand it. Constant government surveillance when there is corruption is never a good thing.

Just ask Colonel Roy Mustang.

fullmetal_alchemist_06 by siu2007 CC BY-NA0SA 2.0




8 thoughts on “We want you!

  1. Whoa! ‘Feedback’ sounds like something from Minority Report! Send in the Precogs! Nice blog Benjamin! I really like the creative way you handled a ‘typical blog structure’ and how you presented the problem. ‘Parakeelia’ sounds like an interesting company. I liked the way you unpacked the explanation about what they’ve been doing. I would’ve like to have heard about what happened after this was reported? What do others in the electoral sphere think about the company? Is there anything else out there yet? By the way, I reckon your post worked and maybe could’ve been even better with some more anecdotal manga references with parallels to election 2016 cronies. Cheers for this!


  2. Hi Ben,
    Great blog post and I like the title, the ‘Uncle Sam’ reference, it fits what you are saying. I agree with you, social media plays a major role in political elections. Which like you said can be a good thing because it does tell the politician what exactly it is the younger generations are wanting! Just a few things, there is a part near the beginning where the sentence cuts into another paragraph, not sure if that was because of the image that has been placed there or if you accidentally did that. For your next blog post it would be great to see some more media being embedded; a couple of tweets or a vine, even a podcast. Also just fix up the referencing to fit Harvard http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/study-support/referencing/harvard
    Other then those few things, well done!


  3. Hey Ben!

    Can I just start this off by saying that your blog is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity and colour scheme!

    Now about your blog itself, I like the way how you have a persona; spin – you’re not talking in essay format but rather incorporating your own emotions and feelings on the subject. The media you chose was appropriate to the subject matter and helped the blog. Although, consider linking the image back to original – this will make it easier to verify that it has the correct licencing.

    Other than that keep up the good work!



  4. I enjoyed how you used the example of the election and each political party to talk about targeted marketing. I think it’s a great example as campaigning has changed so much. Each party has to rely upon consistent engagement across all media platforms heavily if they want to deliver their message to a broad audience. I think you have some room to provide some more examples; maybe you can do this via some tweets or podcast. Your style of writing is enjoyable to read, be mindful of a few sentences of being a little too long. Otherwise great work!


  5. Hi Benjamin,
    I thought your blog post was really creative and well thought out. I thought the media you used was really accurate to the subject matter and helped the blog illustrate what you were trying to get across.
    I really enjoyed how you used the company Parakeelia and how you went into describing the company and about what they’ve been doing. However, I would have really like to see some embedded tweets other thank that i really enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more of your blogs!
    well done
    isabella mandie.


  6. It is not often that a blog post about political surveillance can make you laugh, but your post is simply wonderful. I appreciate that you chose to use foreign examples to explain an otherwise complicated subject because it made it much clearer for me to understand. Using humour and taking a non-serious approach is something that I really like about your post because it almost feels like a regular conversation rather than a critical analysis of political surveillance! If I was to be critical of just one thing in your post it would be to be careful of how it is formatted, because there were a couple of sentences which were broken up onto different spaces and it marginally disrupted the flow of the writing. Other than that minuscule detail I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Thank you for entertaining me while unknowingly informing me at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am also not a person who is very politically minded but let me say Ben I really loved your post. By changing up the structure by making it less formal and more engaging and personal to the reader was a great idea. This pared with the humour used without turned what could of been a dry and boring post into a enjoyable one. However I might suggest using academic research to back up your arguments rather then research through the media.
    Great Job!


  8. Hi Ben,

    There really is an application called ‘Feedback’? that’s quite interesting. Well somehow it’s not fair when they trade our information for political campaign purposes, don’t you think? like we are some part of this social experiment. That’s my opinion towards this targeted advertising. However, it comes to my senses that you forgot to hyperlink the creative commons license to the images. Well you can make that up in your next blog. Probably you can also use some embedded tweets or some videos to enhance your blog. Double check the layout before publishing it, because one of the picture I think it’s kind of misplaced so the paragraph is not in the perfect layout. Lastly, it was such an interesting topic and I’m rooting for your next blog!


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