A Spectre is Haunting Snapchat…The Spectre of Advertising

Eli Long

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Snapchat has been changed. The scorched Earth has come. End times are upon us. At least, that’s what I’ve gathered from Twitter. All along my feed, retweets of people posting screenshots from “messages” of conversations with the Snapchat corporation appear.

“If this gets 50k retweets we’ll undo the update!”

“If this gets 100k…”


Of course, these are fake.

No, Snapchat is not going to remodel their app because some 19-year-old Instagram model posted a fake screenshot in order to gain social media attention. No, Snapchat isn’t going to do away with their ads because some chucklehead doctored a fake conversation to receive more retweets. No, no matter how much you want this to be true Snapchat does not care about the common plebeians using the app.

Anyone with rational, commonsensical thought can gaze upon these attention seekers for what they really are.

However, apparently social media has stripped us of this. One tweet alone featuring one of these scams boasts an impressive 1.4 million retweets. Upon further investigation it turns out this is one but many tweets almost exactly like this the man has shot into the world for consumption. The world has been bamboozled by a man with himself lifting weights in a singlet as a covered photo. At least he’s never been to jail…according to his bio.

So why are we being tricked by the archetype dirtbag?

The new Snapchat update, for the old people in the audience, places advertisements directly next to messages and snaps, clustering the once sleek design. The old Snapchat, its former glory, had a segregated section, specifically for ads. But as usually, capitalism has corrupted, and greed has won.

Why not just not use the app? A real idealist would, but unfortunately, even I, the fervent radical, have capitulated to the corporation. The way in which they have captivated this faithful, cult like audience is a microcosm for the issues of society as a whole.

One of the comments underneath the aforementioned tweet suggested also just not using the app. A girl responded something along the lines of “I have several 400-day streaks that I have worked hard for.” (Again, for the old people in the audience, a streak is when two people snap each other consecutively for more than two days.)

Effectively Snapchat used the same method a drug dealer might to hook a captive audience. They created a situation in which they addicted users, this time through social interaction, in a way which ultimately leaves them attached to the product. Once attached, regardless of how many ads they shove down our throats we are stuck.

It’s not just Snapchat. Look around. Capitalism has invaded and advertised everywhere. High school basketball games are paused so someone let a gym full of children know about their bank. I don’t care about banking. I’m just trying to watch some Husky basketball. Children’s networks have frequent and aggressive ads to exploit the naivete of children. I don’t give a damn about whatever new RC toy is being forced upon me, I’m just trying to enjoy some classic Spongebob. Even Spongebob has been taken from us. I could write an entire paper on Spongebob alone, but to be concise the networks took control and have perverted the sacred show long after the original creators wanted it to end. The Capitalists have infiltrated everything and everywhere.

Karl Marx wrote the communist manifesto in 1848, and in it he warns of the bourgeoisie becoming too powerful and oppressing the proletarian working man out via technology. Marx wrote that almost two centuries ago, and though he is talked about it in terms of factory labor, his prediction is eerily accurate to the effect of technology in modern times. The factory worker is being replaced by a machine and technology is letting the corporate world become more influential than ever before. Almost every aspect of our lives has been taken.

When the power of the ruling class has superseded its boundaries in history, the common masses have revolted. The Red Revolution, The French Revolution, even the American Revolution to a certain extent was caused by the overstepping of the ruling class. With technology, however, their grip is unparalleled.


So, is there room for a people’s movement with the instantaneous grip of modern day?

I would argue now more than ever people need to come together to form a strong political bond. However, the unfortunate reality is the greed of the baby boomer generation who got us into this position has effectively taken this community away. How do you stop Snapchat from forcing ads upon you? Don’t buy the advertised product. How do you stop hateful fake news like Sean Hannity? Don’t watch his show. Boycotting causes monitorial hemorrhaging and that is the only thing that will stop the corporate greed from permanently taking hold. The United States has always been a country by the people, for the people and 2018 isn’t the time that is going to change.

It’s easy to give up hope and concede to the few in power but they draw their power from the common person. It’s also easy to forge there are millions of us for every one of them. In a surprisingly hopeful tone from the Husky Howl’s most cynical writer, the future is in our hands, not the people who advertise to us.


You don’t need Snapchat, Snapchat needs you.




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