TechCrunch: Facebook’s latest ad tool fail puts another dent in its reputation. “Reset yer counters: Facebook has had to ‘fess up to yet another major ad reporting fail. This one looks like it could be costly for the tech giant to put right — not least because it’s another dent in its reputation for self-reporting. (For past Facebook ad metric errors check out our reports from 2016 here, here, here and here.)”
Wired: Ghostery’s Making a Privacy Browser—and Ad-Free Search Engine. “THE INTERNET RUNS on advertising, and that includes search engines. Google brought in $26 billion of search revenue in the most recent quarter alone. Yes, billion. As that business has grown, it’s reshaped what search looks like. Year after year, ads have gobbled up more space on its results pages, pushing organic results further out of view. Which is why using Ghostery’s new ad-free search engine and desktop browser, even in their pre-beta form, feels at once like a throwback to a simpler internet and a glimpse of a future where browsing that puts results ahead of revenue is once again possible.”
Voice of America: Facebook Extends Ban on US Political Ads for Another Month. “As election misinformation raged online, Facebook Inc. said on Wednesday its post-election ban on political ads would likely last another month, raising concerns from campaigns and groups eager to reach voters for key Georgia Senate races in January. The ban, one of Facebook’s measures to combat misinformation and other abuses on its site, was supposed to last about a week but could be extended. Alphabet Inc.’s Google also appeared to be sticking with its post-election political ad ban.
The Verge: Facebook wants the NYU Ad Observer to quit collecting data about its ad targeting. “Facebook wants a New York University research project to stop collecting data about the social platform’s political ad-targeting, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Ad Observatory, a project of NYU’s engineering school with more than 6,000 volunteers, uses its AdObserver browser extension to scrape data from political ads shown on Facebook. But Facebook says the program is violates its terms of service, which bar scraping.” NYU has published a brief response.
ProPublica: “Trumpcare” Does Not Exist. Nevertheless Facebook and Google Cash In on Misleading Ads for “Garbage” Health Insurance.. “The thousands of ‘Trumpcare’ ads Facebook and Google have published show that the shadowy ‘lead generation’ economy has a happy home on the platforms — and even big names like UnitedHealthcare take part.”
Reuters: Online giants will have to open ad archives to EU antitrust regulators. “Dominant tech companies will have to explain how their algorithms work under proposed new EU rules and also open up their ad archives to regulators and researchers, Europe’s digital and antitrust chief said on Friday.”
The Journal (Ireland): Government spends almost €700,000 on social media and digital ads related to Covid-19. That’s a bit over $815,000 USD. “THE GOVERNMENT SPENT almost €700,000 on digital and social media ad campaigns related to Covid-19 during the first nine months of the year, new figures show. Figures provided to TheJournal.ie reveal that €688,805 was spent across nine campaigns informing the public about various aspects of the pandemic.”
Global News: Canadian publishers call for collective bargaining with Google, Facebook. “News Media Canada — which represents newspaper publishers including the Globe and Mail, National Post publisher Postmedia, Toronto Star publisher Torstar, La Presse and Quebecor — says the two web giants have established an effective duopoly in the digital ads market that’s starving Canada’s media industry of revenue.”
The Drum: Signs point to another Google antitrust complaint, this time focused on adtech. “Google could be hit with another multistate antitrust complaint to pile on the US Justice Department’s search-centric suit against the company. State lawyers have been poking at Google’s adtech system for months, asking detailed questions about ad auction mechanics, header bidding, third-party data access and more.”
Mashable: Facebook removes 120,000 posts for trying to ‘obstruct voting’ in U.S. election. “With the U.S. presidential election just weeks away, voter suppression efforts are in full-swing on social media. Among the prime targets for voter suppression attempts: The world’s largest social network, Facebook, and its sister platform, Instagram.”
CNET: Facebook bans ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated. “Facebook said Tuesday it will bar ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated, a move that shows the company is cracking down on health misinformation amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
Slate: Fauci Blasts New Trump Ad, Says It Takes His Comments “Out of Context”. “The nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has taken a rare foray into commenting about a political campaign by criticizing an advertisement for President Donald Trump that he says takes his words ‘out of context.’ Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has long made a point of staying out of partisan politics and he is evidently none too happy that he made an appearance in an ad for the president’s reelection.”
Wired: Ad Tech Could Be the Next Internet Bubble. “The technique is called behavioral advertising, and it raises the frightening prospect that we’ve been made the subjects of a highly personalized form of mind control. Or maybe that fear is precisely backwards. The real trouble with digital advertising, argues former Google employee Tim Hwang—and the more immediate danger to our way of life—is that it doesn’t work.”
Politico: HHS ad blitz sputters as celebrities back away. “The health department’s $300 million-plus, taxpayer-funded vehicle to boost confidence in President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic is sputtering. Celebrities are refusing to participate, and staff are arraying against it. Some complain of the unstated aim of helping Trump’s re-election. Others point to an ill-prepared video team and a 22-year-old political appointee who has repeatedly asserted control despite having no public health expertise, according to six people with close knowledge of the campaign and documents related to its operations.”
The Verge: TikTok is cracking down on weight loss ads that promote ‘harmful’ body images. “TikTok is putting new restrictions on weight loss ads as the app increasingly comes under criticism for promoting dangerous diets. The new policy bans ads for fasting apps and weight loss supplements. It also puts increased restrictions on other weight loss-related ads, like limiting ads for ‘weight management products’ to users over 18 years old and not allowing those ads to ‘promote a negative body image or negative relationship with food.'”