Rhetorical Analysis Of George Orwell: Meet Mark Zuckerberg

758 Words 4 Pages
In the essay entitled “George Orwell…Meet Mark Zuckerberg”, Lori Andrews discusses the malicious power of data aggregation and targeted advertising, and its immorality. She highlights the dangers of companies tailoring to specific demographics, and through her writing style, attempts at building trust with her readers. Andrews argues that the techniques used in targeted advertising and data aggregation are immoral, however she employs similar tactics to make her point. Andrews caters to a specific audience using jargon, as well as personal appeal to shock the technologically inexperienced with burdensome truths.
Andrews begins her attack on the audience by first lulling them into a false sense of security, and then pouncing with powerful evidence.
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For example, the use of “my”, and “I” are seen throughout the essay. This strategy is used to make the article more personal and less formal, as if Andrews is speaking directly to the reader. Andrews is tailoring her word choice to become more relatable, which is similar to shopping sites recommending items for visitors to purchase. These personalized recommendations for each user make them more likely to buy unnecessary items. For example, Amazon has a new product called Echo, where a personal assistant, Alexa, will attend to your every shopping need. This interaction with a ‘person’ is similar to Andrews using personal appeal to make herself seem more human than just an authority figure writing some text. Instead of buying products, the reader is persuaded to buy into the author’s beliefs. Andrews’ personal appeal makes it easier for her to play on the audience’s emotions, by making her more seem more …show more content…
The author uses her knowledge of the topic to further her own argument against it, and to ultimately scare her readers. Whether they are the older generations who did not grow up with the internet, or the younger generations that are unaware of the effects of their browsing history. Andrews knows her target audience and how to tailor her words to them, similar to news agencies choosing what to report to each user based on their history. This “weblining” that she discusses in her essay, she is guilty of herself (334). She rattles off buzzwords that, to a layperson, sound quite intimidating. By using higher caliber vocabulary, she alienates a portion of readers. Andrews does this for no reason other than to shock readers who do not have much technological experience and attempt to build her credibility. She also makes little attempt to explain these terms or to include the inexperienced in the conversation, just as banks that ‘webline’, do not explain the reasons for denying loans to members living in certain zip codes. Andrews alienating the technologically inexperienced by using jargon, makes it apparent that she means to frighten these readers, not educate

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