Social networking sites have long been part of everyday life. Around 80% of the European population has a Facebook account: for news and information and for keeping in touch with friends, family, and business partners. Facebook is free of charge, but it has its price: It uses your behaviour to place you in interest groups to enable advertisers to target you based on your individual tastes and interests, that is the business model, collect everything they can learn about you and offer this information up to advertisers. Hi Munich! aims to utilize and appropriate the structures underlying Facebook’s online personalized targeting and make them visible.
Jonas Lund’s target group is Munich’s Facebook users, who will receive personalized advertisements for the duration of the project. The granular nature and detail in which these appear will make it evident how precisely one person can be targeted on the basis of the vast amounts of information Facebook collects from its users. For example, a bilingual twenty-two-year-old who likes Haus der Kunst, FC Bayern, and Snapchat, receives a personalised message that reveals how Facebook has categorised the person, and how many people in Munich are just the same, placing the individual in the larger community context of Munich. Those advertisements construct a website that functions as a vast archive of Munich individuals, creating a net between the Facebook operation, Hi Munich! project and, by extension, PAM itself.