Hacking the cyberspace

What the Advertising Industry can learn from two students who have turned Tinder into a platform for political campaign

Francesco Daprile
6 min readApr 15, 2020


Font courtesy of Leah Maldonado.

I invite you to examine the following scenario:

The advertising industry has finally colonized every corner of the cyberspace: “carefully personalized” contents are scattered throughout the world wide web in the hope that the activity of the aimless web-surfer will notice them. At the same time, Ad blockers have become the boundary walls for those who opted for the utopia of an ads-free version of their life. Media Agencies backfires. Clients are desperate.

The war between users and digital advertising made multitasking and discernment a practical necessity for a society living in the era of digitalism. As if our brain knew what is relevant to us and what is not, we automatically wipe out everything that is not significant enough to catch our attention. Nevertheless, web pages are slowly adopting the look of the infamous “Million Dollar Homepage”, disrupting our online experience. The once alluring aura of the ‘dream sellers’ faded under the commoditization of advertising. The moment we thought ubiquity was the key to win the attention of our customers, we failed.

The Million Dollar Homepage

While our thumbs are fully engaged in swerving through pop-ups, banners and widgets, the only thing our brain is now thinking about is “how can I get through this as fast as I can?”. The attempt to deliver the message failed.

Welcome to the post-internet society. Where post- serves as a shorthand to indicate that the internet has changed, as Alejandro Iñárritu points out: “15 years ago the internet was an escape from reality. Now reality is an escape from the internet.”

In such a scenario, banners, pop-ups, commercials, and any other form of advertisement are the ‘indiscreet guest’ whose shadow is an undeniable presence in our lives. They are simply there, part of the landscape.

Ahead of the digital revolution, advertisement happened in the streets, in the subway, on the radio, via magazines. As the cyberspace…



Francesco Daprile

Graphic designer interested in Media Studies, Modern Philosophy, Music and Fashion. Bocconi & UAL — London College of Communication alumnus.