The Automaton has no emotion, thus no responsibility?

The Automaton has no emotion, thus no responsibility?

I was sickened this morning, while reading an NBC story via Pulse about the “traumatic amputations” and legs being blown off at the Boston Marathon, to see an awful ad placement that illustrates both the pros and cons of content-specific advertising.

Set right into those paragraphs describing the extent of the horrific lower leg injuries, we have an ad for colourful boots. Even the wording – and perhaps it’s my sense of humour here that is sick – left me aghast in the context of bombs going off (“POPS of color”) and parts of limbs being lost (“up to 90% off”).

Surely, surely, if we have tech geeks with the brilliance to come up with ad specific advertising (which I am generally very pro), there can be some kind of mechanism to ensure more appropriate placement of ads within content of a sensitive nature?

Perhaps it starts with the advertiser? Should this one be putting pressure on NBC, considering how poorly this reflects on them? (Because, illogically and unfairly, it does initially seem to cast them in the poor light, rather than NBC, or would you not agree?)

Or does it start with us? Should I be complaining to NBC now instead of whinging publicly?

Or perhaps – and I do think there is merit in this argument, much as I don’t like it –  I don’t have a right to feel offended by a mismatch that helped pay for the content that I obviously found of sufficiently good quality to keep me reading to and beyond the third para? Content that I received for gratis.

C’mon code dudes: surely there’s an easy solution that short circuits even the need for an ethical debate on this?

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