Why I’ve got issues with this ‘verified fan’ software!


As someone who writes for a living, I depend heavily upon my laptop and the World Wide Web, so you’d be forgiven for thinking I like to shop online…wrong! I hate it and avoid it whenever possible. Oh I’ve no problem going online for exploration and fact-finding to see what’s on offer and compare and contrast services and prices etc., but when it comes to actually purchasing an item, controlling nut job that I am, I like to conduct the transaction face to face. I like the human touch. It’s so much better, and private…that said, shopping online does have its advantages.

  However, when I read Ticketmaster, (which sells tickets for approximately eight thousand events annually in Ireland), is ‘considering using software to look at people’s social media to identify if they’re a genuine fan before allowing them to buy a ticket,’ my first reaction was…unprintable…my second one was “invasion of privacy or wha’?”

  Ticketmaster’s so-called proposed ‘Verified Fan’ software, will allegedly trawl through your personal social media pages to decide if they feel whether or not you, the buyer, an adult, has a right to spend your hard-earned money on their product! The utter cheek!

  This proposed activity raises all sorts of issues for me…none of which make me feel comfortable, especially if it involves what I would call spying (Ticketmaster would likely call it screening) on your online social activity, something which elevates this organisation into some sort of Demi God, and judge and jury status, telling you what you can and can’t do with your own money!

  Look, in my view this is not on, and while I’m not suggesting Ticketmaster are proposing to do anything untoward, I feel that consumers who agree to this procedure are either very silly or are clearly living on the corner of Delusional and Desperation Street because nobody should have ‘access all areas’ to your social media sites and private information and no ticket is worth this invasion. 

  Sure what if I wanted to purchase a ticket for someone who likes Fleetwood Mac (they’re regrouping with Stevie Nicks for a 2018 tour), but I can’t stand Fleetwood Mac…never got their mass appeal, but people close to me would appreciate a present of a ticket. Now as a non ‘verified fan,’ it’s clear, given this ‘sophisticated software,’ or as I call it, ‘uninvited intrusion’ into my private social media status, Ticketmaster would know I don’t like this group, so…does this mean they’ll intercept and block my purchase?

  And another thing…this possible infraction…what are they proposing to do with the information they find? Are they harvesting it and if so, where will it end up and what assurances are they giving consumers they’ll handle it in a responsible and legal manner? Privacy is a basic human right in this country; as citizens of this State, our Government has obligations relating specifically to the protection of our personal data. Now before I fall off my high horse, I’ll point out that even though the right to privacy is not specifically stated in Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Constitution), these rights are clearly implied by it and the Courts recognise those personal rights and the implications as set out by said Constitution. (I know, I’m a pedantic wagon).

  However, I will mention that while so-called ‘fundamental’ rights are not absolute, (certain restrictions can apply when it comes to the common good of citizens), I don’t think the likes of Ticketmaster or any other online seller can argue that the ‘common good’ of the Irish people is at risk if their ‘sophisticated software,’ is prevented from snooping, spying, encroaching and invading our personal social media posts for the sake of selectively selling a few tickets. What’s more important here folks…our Constitutional rights or some ticket vendor’s profit margins?

Catfight on a hot tin roof!

Cronyism? Surely not! Transparency and fairness?…well, it’s deffo a head scratcher, ‘cos the selection of former Attorney General, the very honourable and eminent Máire Whelan for a position she allegedly ‘never formally applied for,’ is, according to Labour’s Brendan Howlin, “absolutely wrong” and he wants Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to “explain in very great detail,” how this whole debacle came about!

  Oooh, it’s like a Cat Fight on a Hot Tin Roof folks, what with the Minister responsible for Pens, Pencils and Rubbers…sorry Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor’s obvious displeasure at being demoted, I predict the Leo Roadshow is gonna make for some compulsive commenting…watch this space!

She works hard for the money!

My heart bleeds for former Xposé presenter Ruth O’Neill. You see, in what is one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read, poor little orphan Annie Ruthie was actually expected to work “five days a week, sometimes six,” with those slave drivers at TV3 forcing her to do her “own hair and make-up and clothes” and (we were told) “when it comes to the ‘glam’ side, there isn’t really any support.”

  Never mind diddums, you’ll be snapped up in London, sure aren’t ya a great girl altogether; and it’s obvious you can multi-task, what with wasting our time, being unproductive and slagging off your ex-employer, the offers will flood in!