Globe and Mail: Facebook reduces transparency of information on political-ad targeting. “The company is asking users to complete a ‘captcha’ – a visual challenge that asks people to pick out similar items in a photo or type out a sequence of letters and numbers, for example. These captchas are preventing tools designed to monitor users’ feeds from automatically collecting ad-targeting information. The impact of the captchas on the tool’s ability to collect targeting information is significant. In August, more than 86 per cent of ads collected had targeting information. Since the federal election campaign began, that number has dropped to 16 per cent.”
Gambling .com: Online Casinos Can Advertise on Google in 2020 as Ban Ends. “Google is getting ready to change its advertising policies around the evolving U.S. gambling landscape. The company plans to ease up on online casino advertising and get rid of a sweeping ban on the industry, according to an report from EGR.”
BuzzFeed News: How A Massive Facebook Scam Siphoned Millions Of Dollars From Unsuspecting Boomers. “Since 2015, Ads Inc. has made money — lots of it — by executing one of the internet’s most persistent, lucrative, and sophisticated scams: the subscription trap. The subscription trap works by tricking people into buying what they think is a single free trial of a celebrity-endorsed product. Although the customers would receive the product — which in most cases was not made by Ads Inc. itself — in reality, the celebrity has nothing to do with the offer. And in purchasing the free trial, the customer unwittingly commits to a pricey monthly subscription designed to be hard to cancel.” This might explain some of the Facebook account renting as well.
CNET: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responds to report he’s been meeting with conservatives. “Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday he meets with lots of people because that’s ‘part of learning,’ a comment prompted by a report detailing a series of quiet meetings the Facebook boss has had with conservative figures in the US over the summer. The meetings, in the form of small, off-record dinners at his homes since July, have included conservative talkshow hosts, journalists and at least one Republican lawmaker, Politico reported earlier in the day.”
New York Times: Facebook Political Ads: What the 2020 Candidates’ Campaign Spending Reveals. “Collectively, the 19 current Democratic candidates for president have poured nearly $32 million into Facebook ads this year — more money than they have spent so far on television ads, a striking measure of the social network’s ever-rising influence in politics. The heavy spending on Facebook comes even as leading party officials have raised alarms about the site’s role in American democracy.”
TechCrunch: Facebook should ban campaign ads. End the lies.. “Permitting falsehood in political advertising would work if we had a model democracy, but we don’t. Not only are candidates dishonest, but voters aren’t educated, and the media isn’t objective. And now, hyperlinks turn lies into donations and donations into louder lies. The checks don’t balance. What we face is a self-reinforcing disinformation dystopia. That’s why if Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube don’t want to be the arbiters of truth in campaign ads, they should stop selling them. If they can’t be distributed safely, they shouldn’t be distributed at all.”
CNET: Warren runs a false Facebook ad to protest false Facebook ads. “Elizabeth Warren has taken an attention-getting approach to attacking Facebook’s recent announcement that it won’t fact-check politicians’ posts. She’s running an ad on the social network that deliberately contains a falsehood.”