Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What to do with all the leftover Barbie Spies

Remember this fun toy?

A Barbie.  That talks to your kid.  And records what your kid says.  And stores all that information in a cloud.  And uses that information to market to children more specifically.

Brought to my attention by the ever-marvelous Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, I posted about it here in March 2015.

Many of you signed a petition telling Christopher Sinclair, the CEO of Mattel, that this was a creepy, unethical, and wretched idea.  Those were the printable adjectives. 

Advocacy works!  Not always how we imagine it will!  But still!

If you would like to see the fruits of your signature, or just a reminder that protecting kids is generally always a good idea, read CCFC's postYou did it!  Hello Barbie is a flop.

An excerpt:

Long before the doll’s release, CCFC publicized how Hello Barbie would threaten children’s privacy, creativity, and wellbeing. Nearly 45,000 people signed our petitions urging Mattel not to release the doll that records and analyzes children’s conversations, and our concerns were featured in media outlets around the world, including the Washington Post and Fox News.
In November, just before the doll hit stores, we enlisted experts to help us tell parents exactly why Hello Barbie is bad for children. Our Hell No Barbie: 8 reasons to leave Hello Barbie on the Shelf was shared far and wide on social media and inspired a fresh wave of media attention, including The Today Show

Yay for good things.

Mattel did not make a good choice on this one.  But parents did, and so Spy Barbie flopped.

Perhaps she could be placed in the center of the table at the next strategic planning meeting of Mattel, and report back what the hale they were thinking on this. 


Executives wouldn't want a real purdy data gathering recording device to attend their meeting?


Imagine:  at all future gatherings, if each person had to speak into the Barbie...
Speak into the Barbie please.  Could you adjust the Barbie?  So that we can all hear and record you properly?  Thank you.  Yes, that's better. 

I think the audio playback might sound like this:

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