New York University: New Tool to Analyze Political Advertising on Facebook Reveals Massive Discrepancies in Party Spending on Presidential Contest

New York University: New Tool to Analyze Political Advertising on Facebook Reveals Massive Discrepancies in Party Spending on Presidential Contest. “Designed to help reporters, researchers, thought leaders, policy makers, and the general public easily analyze political ads on Facebook ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, the web-based tool allows users to search by state, as well as major political races, to identify trends in how ads are targeted to specific audiences and what messages are being used, who is funding each ad, and how much they are spending to disseminate them.”

MIT Technology Review: Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem

MIT Technology Review: Why Facebook’s political-ad ban is taking on the wrong problem. “The idea of algorithmic manipulation schemes brainwashing large swaths of the US electorate online is a nice way to explain the polarized nature of American public opinion. But experts say it’s actually pretty unlikely that targeted political advertising has had much influence on voter behavior at all.”

Columbia University: Facebook Can Do More Than Just Ban Political Advertising a Week Before the Election

Columbia University: Facebook Can Do More Than Just Ban Political Advertising a Week Before the Election. “It’s no secret that the U.S. electoral system needs to change: turnout is low compared to other democracies and we still haven’t established basic rules such as weekend and universal mail-in voting. Citizens United and other court decisions have allowed dark money and large corporate interests to finance political campaigns. The Federal Election Commission is paralyzed and has been for years. The Honest Ads Act, which would force source disclosure of online political advertising, has not passed Congress and some local laws attempting to require such disclosure have been struck down by the courts. Shockingly, online political advertising is still unregulated in the U.S., and it’s beyond time for Facebook, now a major source of political news, to mend its ways of doing business without waiting for government regulation.”

Washington Post: Facebook will block new political advertising the week before Election Day

Washington Post: Facebook will block new political advertising the week before Election Day. “Facebook plans to block new advertising the week before the presidential election — the first time the company has taken action to limit political advertising in the United States, the company said Thursday. The move to limit ads, part of a spate of election-related announcements, is an attempt to reduce misinformation that is expected to flood social networks as Election Day draws near.”

The Markup: Does Facebook Still Sell Discriminatory Ads?

The Markup: Does Facebook Still Sell Discriminatory Ads?. “In May, a Wisconsin health care agency, Tenderness Health Care, posted a job ad on Facebook looking for personal care workers. According to Facebook’s ‘Why am I seeing this ad’ pop-up, when the agency purchased the ad, it asked Facebook to not show it to anyone over 54 years of age. And they asked Facebook to show it specifically to people who have ‘African American multicultural affinity.’ Facebook, apparently, complied. The problem? Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age and race, including in advertising open jobs.”

Washington Post: Disinformation campaign stokes fears about mail voting, using LeBron James image and boosted by Trump-aligned group

Washington Post: Disinformation campaign stokes fears about mail voting, using LeBron James image and boosted by Trump-aligned group. “The website, called Protect My Vote, warns baselessly that mail balloting results in ‘lost votes and lost rights.’ An associated page on Facebook has purchased more than 150 ads, which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times this month. They appear designed to tap existing anxiety about the integrity of the voting system to convince voters in swing states where minority turnout could be decisive that mail balloting is not reliable amid an uncontained pandemic leading many Americans to consider alternative ways to be heard on Election Day.”

Facebook ad boycott: Why big brands ‘hit pause on hate’ (CNET)

CNET: Facebook ad boycott: Why big brands ‘hit pause on hate’. “Facebook has long been criticized for not doing enough to combat hate speech. Now the outrage against the world’s largest social network is growing into a movement that threatens its bottom line.”

Engadget: Disney said to have ‘dramatically’ cut ad spending on Facebook amid boycott

Engadget: Disney said to have ‘dramatically’ cut ad spending on Facebook amid boycott. “Disney might be the largest company yet to join a growing ad boycott against Facebook. Wall Street Journal sources say the media and theme park giant has ‘dramatically’ reduced its ad spending on Facebook. It’s not clear just how deep the cut is or how long it will last, but Disney reportedly made the move quietly rather than making a public announcement. It also froze Hulu advertising on Instagram, according to the sources.”

New York Times: Hollywood Stays Away From Facebook Ad Boycott

New York Times: Hollywood Stays Away From Facebook Ad Boycott. “The pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Bayer have joined the anti-Facebook campaign. So have Microsoft and Verizon. Also represented are industries like apparel (Levi Strauss, Eddie Bauer), autos (Ford, Honda), household products (Unilever, Kimberly-Clark) and beverages (Coca-Cola, Starbucks). But one of Facebook’s most important advertising categories — Hollywood — has been noticeably silent even though stopping hate speech is one of the entertainment industry’s longtime causes.”

CNN: Facebook considers banning political ads in days before US election

CNN: Facebook considers banning political ads in days before US election. “Facebook is considering banning political advertising on its platform in the days leading up to the US presidential election in November, a person familiar with the discussions told CNN Business. The potential ban has been under consideration since last fall, the person said.” I am 100% opposed to this because I believe Facebook will mess it up and not apply it consistently.

Irish Times: Too easy for fraudsters to post scam ads on Facebook and Google, Which? claims

Irish Times: Too easy for fraudsters to post scam ads on Facebook and Google, Which? claims . “Facebook and Google lack effective controls to prevent fraudsters from posting scam adverts, according to a Which? investigation. It is possible for bogus adverts devised by bad actors to appear within a matter of hours, the consumer group has warned, after carrying out a test of its own. While both tech giants have improved ad transparency and toughened rules in recent years, Which? said it is still possible for false advertising to slip through the net.”

BuzzFeed News: Facebook Has Been Profiting From Boogaloo Ads Promoting Civil War And Unrest

BuzzFeed News: Facebook Has Been Profiting From Boogaloo Ads Promoting Civil War And Unrest. “On Sunday, the @docscustomknives Instagram account placed an ad on the popular photo-sharing social network advocating that people ‘join the militia, fight the state.’ As clips from action movies play, showing police officers being shot and killed, music blares with lyrics proclaiming, ‘We ain’t scared of no police / We got guns too.’ As of Tuesday afternoon, the ad was still online.”

The hard truth about the Facebook ad boycott: Nothing matters but Zuckerberg (CNN)

CNN: The hard truth about the Facebook ad boycott: Nothing matters but Zuckerberg. “As each new company lends its weight to the boycott, the economic pressure is growing on Facebook to change — somehow. The campaign carries echoes of a similar advertiser rebellion against YouTube in 2017…. Despite some similarities, Facebook is less susceptible to outside pressure than most businesses, experts say. It’s led by a CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who exercises complete voting control over the company and can’t be removed by shareholders. And that could vastly complicate the campaign to hit Facebook where it hurts.”

CNBC: The Facebook ad boycotts have entered the big leagues. Now what?

CNBC: The Facebook ad boycotts have entered the big leagues. Now what? . “In the last week, a steady stream of companies came out in support of the ”#StopHateForProfit” campaign, promising to pause advertising spend on Facebook to encourage the company to amp up efforts against hate speech and disinformation. With major advertisers like Verizon joining the campaign Thursday and Unilever, Coca-Cola and Honda saying they would pull advertising on Friday, Facebook is now facing a snowball effect of advertisers abandoning the site.”

CNET: We tried to get Facebook to send us ads based on our conversations

CNET: We tried to get Facebook to send us ads based on our conversations. “The reason for our test: The long-running and hard-to-kill conspiracy theory that Facebook is listening to your conversations through the mic on your phone and then using this overheard dialogue to send you targeted ads. If you haven’t heard about this urban legend, there’s plenty of reading material online, including some lengthy threads on Reddit. The theory is so widespread that Facebook posted a formal denial four years ago and CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied it in testimony on Capitol Hill. Still, it just won’t die.”