Aleem Fidai, owner of Kelowna marketing company, Exposed Marketing. (Supplied)

Aleem Fidai, owner of Kelowna marketing company, Exposed Marketing. (Supplied)

BC VOTES 2020: Kelowna marketing expert talks online targeting during political election

Kelowna marketing expert talks about how political parties can target you online during an election

One may think their personal life is far removed from the influence of politics, but a Kelowna expert in marketing will tell you otherwise.

Aleem Fidai is the owner of the Kelowna marketing company, Exposed Marketing,

and said that especially now, during a provincial election, it’s important to know how your social media account can be used as a tool by political parties.

The 21-year-old’s full-service digital business marketing agency specializes in early-stage startups and e-commerce (online sales) brands. Fidai does not work with political parties, though he is typical of individuals that parties have in their war-rooms.

Online targeting is evident in our daily lives if you look for it.

Those who shop online may have experienced seeing a product that they previously searched for, showing up in social media feeds, or in the form of ads on other websites. This, Fidai explained, is a basic system that is now standard for many online businesses.

“With technology today, I think people need to be more aware about being persuaded online by political parties… it’s quite easy to persuade a voter through online voting traps,” said Fidai.

Those who interact with any political party’s profile online will likely be targeted with political ads. This could be as simple as visiting a party’s website. Also, if you’ve given your email to a political party and use social media, Fidai said you will most likely be targeted as a supporter.

“If you visited the NDP website, for example, you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re seeing a ton of different ads regarding the NDP,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. party leaders talk taxes, housing at board of trade event

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES 2020: Leaders promise action on crime, cancer, COVID-19

If you see an ad consistently showing up that you don’t want to see, particularly on Facebook, a user can click the three dots on the top of the image and select ‘hide ad’. However, Fidai explained other ads from the same party or company can continue to show up.

Yearly, Fidai said advertising platforms become more complex, and algorithms advance at a rapid pace. Now, advertisers and political parties have more information and data to utilize, when targeting individuals.

Advertisers and websites, he explained, will install a piece of coding on the back end of the website called a Facebook Pixel. This tracks users’ information coming to the website, which can be extracted and examined. Then, organizations can use this information to target similar groups of people, based on the people already visiting their sites.

Most of this information, Fidai explained, is extracted from social platforms.

“All of this data is quite easy to extract and utilize for audiences,” he said.

Referencing the new 2020 Netflix documentary film, The Social Dilemma, Fidai said this method of online targeting can skew the democratic process.

“It’s a new era, there’s very few regulations when it comes to political parties and how they’re using these social platforms to engage with voters, and to persuade them.”

With businesses and organizations having the same freedom on social media platforms as individuals, Fidai said he would like to see Facebook better monitor political content and ads. However, because social media is still such a new platform that continues to evolve every day, he admitted it’s hard for governments and regulators to enforce different regulations.

The best way to avoid being taken advantage of online, Fidai said, is to be aware and cognoscente of your online activities.

“It’s hard to do… but maybe just spend less time on the screen, logging out of Facebook more often because that can play a big role,” he said.

For more information, visit Exposed Marketing online. To view the trailer for referenced Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, click here.

READ MORE: Kelowna man jailed 9 months for possessing up to 12,000 child porn files

READ MORE: B.C. passes 10,000 COVID-19 cases since beginning of pandemic

READ MORE: Kelowna dog, owner throw 10th birthday party to raise funds for BC SPCA

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Aleem Fidai, owner of Kelowna marketing company, Exposed Marketing. (Supplied)

Aleem Fidai, owner of Kelowna marketing company, Exposed Marketing. (Supplied)

Just Posted

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Veteran Henry Kriwokon has his photo taken by the Western as he celebrates his 99th birthday with friends at the Cellar in Downtown Penticton. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Turning 101, Penticton veteran looks back on life

Henry Kriwokon was one of the soldiers in the famous ‘Wait for me, Daddy’ photo

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Most Read