A man has told of his fears about internet algorithms after he kept being bothered by advertisements that had been sent to his internet pages.
Some of the adverts were 'associated' with subjects he had been reading about, but others were sent for no apparent reason.
One advert he was shown was about holidays in the Mekong Delta after he had been having a conversation with a friend on Messenger. He received another, about ceramic bathrooms after a conversation he had with a friend in the staffroom at school, and yet another - this time for an inflatable plastic Doberman Pinscher - after he spoke to his wife about it in bed!
Just where are these algorithms? I expect them on social media, and at Tesco when I shop, but at school, or in my bedroom? What's going on?"
After some investigation, the Spoof has discovered that algorithms are everywhere. Your bank, the stores where you shop, your travel movements are monitored if you have some kind of travel pass, or pay with a card, the places you spend your recreation time - the theater, cinema, football match, nightclub - and many more.
Restaurants where you eat meals will share your culinary preferences online, and the algorithms will do the rest. The information you give your doctor 'in confidence' is private, and protected - sort of. The algorithms, however, don't do 'private and protected', and, if you think only he and you know about that 'ingrowing toenail', you are leaving yourself wide open.
Your TV set is your enemy: they're watching what you watch. You're probably downloading music that the government consider makes you subvertive. Maybe it's the kind of thing Tommy Robinson listens to. Who knows?
THEY do. Your paperboy or papergirl, are part of this, too, as is your newsagent, who knows your politics from the newspaper you read. If you had any sense, you'd get rid of your library card, it being a huge beacon to the government for the things you read that you shouldn't be reading.
And then there's Facebook and other social media sites, just to fill in the gaps for them.
And, all the time, the algorithms listen and make notes.
All in all, a fine old mess we've gotten ourselves into.