Undermining the influence of ads and elevating the conversation

Undermining the influence of ads and elevating the conversation

Block the Bias from Students for Liberty

The lion’s share of campaign expenses still goes to television advertising. As millennials become the dominant potential voting segment, those advertising budgets are moving online. At the same time, new ad-blocking software is emerging – it’s now conceivable that with a click of a button, you could literally tune out all political advertising. Imagine if that became a new norm with the millennial generation, if paid advertising simply no longer reached the largest potential voting segment of our population and instead candidates had to rely on people to share media via their social media networks in order to reach potential voters or meet them where they are in online forums. The calculus for campaigns would radically shift: To get their message out, they would need (and ultimately heed) a broad diversity of people to do the sharing, more than donors to buy the ads. Alexander McCobin and Students for Liberty are encouraging that shift and promoting more constructive online forums for genuine conversation through their project Block the Bias.

Interview

1) Who are you and how did you come to get involved in this work?

2) Why is your work important?

3) What distinguishes your project from similar efforts – and why do you believe it will succeed in ways that other efforts might not?

4) What does success look like in five years – how will things be different if you’re successful?