New York Times: ‘Weaponized Ad Technology’: Facebook’s Moneymaker Gets a Critical Eye

New York Times: ‘Weaponized Ad Technology’: Facebook’s Moneymaker Gets a Critical Eye. “Brands love it. So do political campaigns, like those for President Trump and former President Barack Obama, which tailored their messages to narrow subsets of voters. But microtargeting, as the technique is called, is coming under increased scrutiny in the United States and Europe. Some government officials, researchers and advertising executives warn that it can be exploited to polarize and manipulate voters. And they are calling for restrictions on its use in politics, even after Facebook, in response to criticism, recently limited some of the targeting categories available to advertisers.”

AdWeek: Twitter Users Are Blocking Hundreds of Brands in the Hopes of Pressuring the Platform to Remove Alex Jones

AdWeek: Twitter Users Are Blocking Hundreds of Brands in the Hopes of Pressuring the Platform to Remove Alex Jones. “Tens of thousands of Twitter users this morning blocked hundreds of accounts associated with major brands like Nike, Pepsi and Uber in an effort to pressure the embattled social media platform into permanently banning controversial far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.”

Gizmodo: Google Releases Political Ad Database and Trump Is the Big Winner

Gizmodo: Google Releases Political Ad Database and Trump Is the Big Winner. “Google has finally opened up about political ad-spending on its platforms and published a living archive of who’s paying what for your eyeballs while you’re just trying to consume some content. As we head into the heart of the midterm elections, Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign is outspending everyone.”

Washington Post: Strategists raise alarms about Facebook delays in approving Hispanic political ads

Washington Post: Strategists raise alarms about Facebook delays in approving Hispanic political ads. “Political strategists say recent moves by Facebook to secure its powerful advertising engine are hampering their ability to communicate with Hispanics and Spanish-speaking audiences ahead of the midterm elections. New procedures adopted by Facebook in response to Russian meddling and allegations of racially discriminatory ad practices often require several days for the company to review political ads targeted to ethnic groups, while ads that target broader audiences are approved immediately, said strategists for three liberal organizations, Priorities USA, Latino Victory and Win Dem PAC.”

Vice: Facebook Can’t Decide If Homeland Security Ads Are “Political Content”

Vice: Facebook Can’t Decide If Homeland Security Ads Are “Political Content”. “Justino Mora, a 29-year-old software engineer and immigration activist from Los Angeles, was browsing Facebook on his phone recently when he spotted a post that caught his attention. It showed a smiling bald man in a blue uniform above the words ‘Now Hiring.'”

Quartz: Google is laying the groundwork for life beyond advertising

Quartz: Google is laying the groundwork for life beyond advertising. “In spite of its dominance in mobile operating systems, productivity tools like Gmail, and forays into media with subscription services such as Google Play Music and YouTube TV, the company still makes nearly 90% of its money from advertisements and its advertising platform. Advertising is also the primary driver of revenue for its holding company, Alphabet, which has a large portfolio of other businesses including AI research lab DeepMind, autonomous driving company Waymo, life sciences company Verily, and investment groups GV and CapitalG.”

TechCrunch: Facebook finally hands over leave campaign Brexit ads

TechCrunch: Facebook finally hands over leave campaign Brexit ads. “The UK parliament has provided another telling glimpse behind the curtain of Facebook’s unregulated ad platform by publishing data on scores of pro-Brexit adverts which it distributed to UK voters during the 2016 referendum on European Union membership. The ads were run on behalf of several vote leave campaigns who paid a third company to use Facebook’s ad targeting tools.”