December 14, 2017

Should Netflix be shaming/mocking/stalking its own customers like this?


I wouldn't assume Netflix is using actual information about its customers. It's just a jaunty reminder that you can get Christmas movies on Netflix, using the trope that Netflix — like Santa Claus — sees what you're doing and judges you.

And it worked really well. Look at all the re-tweets. And it got the Washington Post to write an article, "What to know about ‘A Christmas Prince,’ the Netflix movie that sparked a controversy."
The response [to the tweet] was massive (retweeted about 110,000 times so far) and alternated between amused and scornful: Wow, Netflix, way to shame your own viewers for watching a movie that you commissioned and featured and promoted on your streaming service. Also, it’s a creepy reminder that this company has access to loads of personal data about all of your viewing habits, and probably has drawn some other intriguing conclusions. And it might tweet about them.

Anyway, the “creepy tweet” kerfuffle has been in the news this week, so for those of you who are confused about this thing called “A Christmas Prince” that sparked such a controversy, here’s everything you need to know about the movie. Spoilers abound.
I don't need to know anything about "A Christmas Prince," so I go back to the thing that pointed me to this "kerfuffle" in the first place, a humor riff — linked at Instapundit"The Sad People Who Watched ‘A Christmas Prince’ 18 Days In A Row Craft A Statement/We've done nothing wrong. But we do need to lay down a marker that watching a good, clean holiday romance every single day of the Christmas season is just good, clean fun" by Mary Kathrine Ham. Sample:
Lindsay: What’s the implication, here, that we’re all lonely cat ladies just because we want to watch a spunky reporter investigate a playboy prince and get herself entangled in some truly royal trouble a couple dozen times??

Martin: I am not a girl or a lady, cat or otherwise. I know I’m outnumbered, here, but really....

Angelica: We do have a lot of cats, to be honest....
Oh! Cats again. Time to reread "Cat Person" for the 3rd going on 18th day in a row:
She learned that Robert had two cats, named Mu and Yan, and together they invented a complicated scenario in which her childhood cat, Pita, would send flirtatious texts to Yan, but whenever Pita talked to Mu she was formal and cold, because she was jealous of Mu’s relationship with Yan....

Before he got out of the car, he said, darkly, like a warning, “Just so you know, I have cats.”

“I know,” she said. “We texted about them, remember?”
Cats take on so much of the blame for what's wrong with us humans. That is, we project our shame onto cats. The cats don't care.

More importantly, what would cats watch on Netflix 18 days in a row?

45 comments:

james james said...

All your privacy are belong to us.

- james james

Glen Filthie said...

Hey - I love cats.

I detest cat ladies, who, for the most part, are failed women trying to fill the voids in their lives with cats rather than men. Sluts are detestable and shameful too. Do these Marxist and feminist slobs really think they are going to rewrite moral and ethical codes that arose after 250,000 years of human evolution? Ladies: be warm, loving and intelligent with your men and you will be respected. Be a shrewish, stupid cankle blossom - and spend your final years talking to cats. What’s so hard about that? Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

rehajm said...

It's creepy but not as creepy as logging into your Netflix account at your in laws and a week later Netflix begins recommending hard R/soft porn titles 'Because You Watched...' Ew.

rehajm said...

It is creepy like when during the Obama administration my doctor started asking me if I have a gun in my house.

rhhardin said...

Amazon lets you edit your history so that you can get it to stop recommending things like something you didn't like.

Kate said...

I saw this tweet go by and instantly thought of checking out this show. It might be a meme! It might be cool! Total herd mentality.

So, excellent marketing ploy.

Except I never did look it up and now it's already cliche and passe.

whitney said...

I tried to show that video to my cat. It seems like it's really hard for him to see the screen but his pupils got very large which showed he was in hunting mode. Also he's an indoor outdoor cat so he hunts actual birds. Mostly unsuccessfully. Mostly

Mary Beth said...

I watched it because of the tweet. As far as schmaltzy TV movies go, Hallmark does it better. The cast was good but the story was predictable, and predictable in more than just the "you know how it's going to end" kind of way.

I know they have data on us. I don't think that their social media person has access to that data. They just thought it was a funny tweet. I thought it was funny, so I decided to watch the movie. I rate the tweet higher than I rate the movie even though the tweet is a bit formulaic too. They could have picked any Christmas movie, but they want to promote the one they made so that was the one the tweet mentioned. The social media person just got luck that some people watched, or claim to have watched, the movie that often. (I don't believe anyone could sit through it twice.)

tim in vermont said...

Who is going to be able to run for President without Google and Netflix and Youtube, etc knowing every bit of their business and having the motherland of opposition research on every candidate?

I have been trying to understand why liberals are so upset about net neutrality, but then it occurred to me that these fantastically huge and astronomically profitable corporations like Google and Facebook have built their vast empires on an infrastructure they don't actually own, and they know damn well what they would do to competitors if they did own it, so they want the next best thing, to put the network infrastructure under the control of the government, which they DO own.

MadisonMan said...

these fantastically huge and astronomically profitable corporations like Google and Facebook have built their vast empires on an infrastructure they don't actually own

As Elizabeth Warren might say You didn't build that.

rhhardin said...

I bailed out of The Andromeda Strain yesterday for being too predictable. You could see things being set up. Oh geez that's going to happen, I'm tired of the oncoming suspense already. Also the whiz computer stuff was right out of the 60s. Flatbed plotters, vector graphics.

Hallmark has the same problem with romcoms. You can see the setups as they're doing them.

Space Station 76 was okay though I haven't rewatched it. A space station done in the decor of the 70s. I forget the plot. Liv Tyler gets a gyno exam from a robot and finds it uncomfortable. There's your great moments in acting right there.

Bob Boyd said...

I don't know if cats would want to watch birds and squirrels. After all, we don't like to watch cows grazing or chickens pecking or vegetables growing. We like to watch other people having adventures, overcoming challenges and finding love.
Maybe cats would want to watch other cats climbing huge trees and getting back down without the fire department being called.
Or a nice kitty stumbles onto a gang of alley cats threatening a female and totally kicks they ass then ends up in a yowling, scratching cat love scene on a garbage can lid.

Ann Althouse said...

"I detest cat ladies, who, for the most part, are failed women trying to fill the voids in their lives with cats rather than men. "

What about the women who are filling a cat-shaped hole in their life with men?

What about the men (I see them at Instapundit all the time) who are saying "faster, please" about getting sex robots?

Rick said...

I really hate misusing the term stalking. It's a loaded and serious accusation the unscrupulous use to delegitimize people they can't effective rebut. Let's not make that easier by broadening the definition.

Ann Althouse said...

I guess some men think that women, by having a vagina, have a man-shaped hole that needs to be filled.

If so, their idea of what a man is is small.

Darrell said...

I'm so shamed that I demand $3.5 million for pain and suffering. Hear that Netflix?

rehajm said...

If you login to Netflix on a computer you can clear your viewing history. Or the viewing history of others using your account. Mercifully.

rhhardin said...

The hole is sort of flexible. The fit is really good however, from the guy's point of view. More from the location and geometry angle than the localized fitting in.

You could generalize the geometry to a metaphor.

rehajm said...

There's no shame in watching The Crown. Season 1 was brilliant, 2 is a little darker and cat lady crazy.

narciso said...

The remix on aye, that was terrible.

MayBee said...

I would assume it's a nail salon or dentist office or orthodontist or something. A place where you have tvs going in the waiting room, and they have to be wholesome entertainment.

Glen Filthie said...

"What about the women who are filling a cat-shaped hole in their life with men?"

I suppose it depends on which hole they're puttin' 'em in, HAR HAR HAR!!! Errr...is that a thing now with women too? It's a shame that in this degenerate world, you have to ask these days.

"What about the men (I see them at Instapundit all the time) who are saying "faster, please" about getting sex robots?"

Well - that ain't right either. Look, Ann - men and women were designed from the ground up to be together. It's hard-wired at the genetic level - with the exceptions of the degenerates and defects. They become angry lesbian crotch warriors or feminist rage heads, the men become pan/trans/homosexual freak shows and if you want to tell me the majority of those train wrecks are happy, well adjusted people...? Welp - pull my other finger. I suppose if some idiot wants to replace their mate with a pet or "redefine their sexuality" they should have the right to do so. But I am not going to feel sorry for them when they end up unhappy, alone, and living in creepy fantasy worlds. I dunno why it is that women have problems with this. Most men are able to grasp the realities of these idiotic new age sexualities and see them for what they are; but women? They seem to revel in twisting logic, fact and truth to support what is essentially lunacy. And when the entirely predictable consequences hit the fan they blame everyone else but themselves.

I heartily recommend The Z Man blog - he has a blunt piece at the header entitled 'Mokita'. It should be mandatory reading for queers, culture warriors and other miscreants.

Thursday is off to it's usual start: Got a hole in your head? Put a cat in it. :)

Fernandistein said...

That Netflix marketing guy deserves a promotion.

Netflix got more advertising for free then the Russians got for 97 cents.

Fernandistein said...

That Netflix marketing guy deserves a promotion.

Netflix got more advertising for free then the Russians got for 97 cents.

Curious George said...

I like the flutter sound of the birds wings as they take off for their fly away.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you login to Netflix on a computer you can clear your viewing history. Or the viewing history of others using your account. Mercifully."

You can clear it from displaying on your computer, but does that clear it from their files? I find that hard to believe.

Remember when the video rental history came up in the failed nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court?

"During debate over his nomination, Bork's video rental history was leaked to the press. His video rental history was unremarkable, and included such harmless titles as A Day at the Races, Ruthless People, and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Writer Michael Dolan, who obtained a copy of the hand-written list of rentals, wrote about it for the Washington City Paper. Dolan justified accessing the list on the ground that Bork himself had stated that Americans only had such privacy rights as afforded them by direct legislation. The incident led to the enactment of the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bork

rhhardin said...

The Andromeda Strain, rated G for general audiences, did have a tit shot of a dead lady victim early on. Dead ladies are art.

rehajm said...

You can clear it from displaying on your computer, but does that clear it from their files? I find that hard to believe.

It clears it from 'your viewing history' on your computer and wherever you sign in to your Netflix account. Netflix uses that to recommend other things you might like to watch. It's how they develop the percentage match you see on every title. But you are correct- Netflix will aways know what you've watched...

wwww said...

I wouldn't assume Netflix is using actual information about its customers.


Why not assume it? Netflix has the ability to track viewership.

Darrell said...

If they don't publish your name, what difference does it make? Our victim culture is beyond ridiculousness.

wwww said...
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wwww said...

I don't think that their social media person has access to that data.


Why not? The data people give a report. this report is given to the social media people for publicity.

Darrell said...

If they aren't publishing your name, what difference does it make? This victim culture of ours has passed the point of ridiculousness.

Leland said...

So I'm curious, is there much difference between watching "The Christmas Prince" over and over for 18 days in a row, versus binge watching the various Hallmark Christmas movies over 18 days. I realize different actors and sets, but in terms of plot and literary story, they seem intentionally cookie cutter movies.

What's grotesque about the Netflix tweet is the notion that you must be hurt (broken) in order to want to watch such stuff. Here's a question, how many people watched or read "Fifty Shades of Gray"? Even if you are into BDSM, that's not the way to do it. Its a story about a boss that stalks a women, convinces them to become employees, and allow him to assault them for his sexual enjoyment, except its told from the perspective of just one of the woman, whom he seems to build a more special attachment. Who hurt you to make you think that is romantic?

Gahrie said...

What about the men (I see them at Instapundit all the time) who are saying "faster, please" about getting sex robots?

They're trying to catch up with women and their vibrators.

buwaya said...

We have two cats, male and female. When the male gets frisky he tries to rape the female, and there is a fight, usually on the living room rug. Our own version of the Roman Colosseum, a catatorial combat.

Mountain Maven said...

We cancelled Netflix. Crummy content.

Inga said...

It was funny, clever, but if true, creepy. I doubt it’s true, just marketing.

Sigivald said...

Note that Netflix effectively has to "stalk" customers in the sense of ... noticing what people watch.

Because if they don't, they have no idea what's popular, how to suggest things, what to negotiate harder for, or any of the other data needed to run their business. Imagine an old tape rental place that never recorded what movies got rented: ludicrous on its face.

(The idea that anyone is surprised or shocked that Netflix knows what you watch on its service is ludicrous at this point; it's like someone being So Surprised that Amazon knows what you buy from it. Nobody's surprised.

Of course they know; it's their job to and it's not remotely some secret or underhanded thing.)

Gordon said...

My cat reacted like Whitney's cat. He froze, eyes wide open, and didn't move anything but his eyeballs for at least 8 minutes. I got up from the chair, and before I could step away he was on the desk, watching from 3 inches. And of course, YouTube automatically cues up the next video, so he could be there all day.

Rehajm, I wish my doctor would ask me the gun question. Then again, he's a VA doc, so the answer is likely to be "Yes, but I'm buying another gun safe since I filled up the first two." Or, in my case, "Not yet. Do you have recommendations? I have two swords, and a machete by the back door. But I'm thinking that's not really enough."

Ann Althouse said...

Who gets to say what the "feminist analysis" is?

Asked and answered at Slate in 2010.

Make sure to read the last essay, which nails it.

Ann Althouse said...

Shorter answer: I do.

Gahrie said...

I wish I lived in a world where splooge stooges deserved equality and justice too.

wwww said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

A needlessly mean tweet. If they're going to mention that stat, why not do it in a way that doesn't insult? Especially since one of the target ages for that movie is 11 to 12, according to the way it's tagged on Netflix. Are we really going to point and laugh at tweens?