TechCrunch: Facebook’s new authorization process for political ads goes live in the US . “Earlier this month — and before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress — the company announced a series of changes to how it would handle political advertisements running on its platform in the future. It had said that people who wanted to buy a political ad — including ads about political ‘issues’ — would have to reveal their identities and location and be verified before the ads could run. Information about the advertiser would also display to Facebook users. Today, Facebook is announcing the authorization process for U.S. political ads is live.”
TechCrunch: German Supreme Court dismisses Axel Springer lawsuit, says ad blocking is legal . “Germany’s Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit yesterday from Axel Springer against Eyeo, the company behind AdBlock Plus. The European publishing giant (which acquired Business Insider in 2015) argued that ad blocking, as well as the business model where advertisers pay to be added to circumvent the white list, violated Germany’s competition law. Axel Springer won a partial victory in 2016, when a lower court ruled that it shouldn’t have to pay for white listing.”
BetaNews: Martin Lewis suing Facebook over fake ads. “We reported just over a week ago that fake ads promoting cryptocurrency scams were using the names of leading UK business figures. Now one of those whose names has been featured, consumer advice expert Martin Lewis, is suing Facebook for defamation over the use of his face and name.”
TechCrunch: YouTube ads for hundreds of brands still running on extremist and white nationalist channels. “It’s been more than a year since YouTube promised to improve controls over what content advertisers would find their ads in front of; eight months since it promised to demonetize ‘hateful’ videos; two months since it said it would downgrade offensive channels; and yet CNN reports that ads from hundreds of major brands are still appearing as pre-rolls for actual Nazis. The ongoing failure to police billions of hours of content isn’t exactly baffling — this is a difficult problem to solve — but it is disappointing that YouTube seems to have repeatedly erred on the side of monetization.”
The Conversation: If it’s free online, you are the product. “No wonder Zuckerberg looked like a deer caught in the headlights in front of congress, even if the questioning is inept and toothless. This is the beginning of a process. A process that could end with transformative, stringent regulation of his business practice or, at the very least, a fight between Facebook and governments over that regulation. But there’s a problem with this. It’s not just Facebook. With any service that you use online that is free – including all Google services (Docs, Gmail, Search) all social media services (Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter) and even Hotmail – your data is the product. Once we start to pull on this thread, once old folks like Senator Orrin Hatch begin to realise just how deeply embedded data harvesting, retargeting, cookie sharing and other ethically ambiguous practices are in digital marketing, where will that take us?”
BetaNews: Twitter bans Kaspersky Lab from buying ads. “Its software is already banned from US government computers, and now Kaspersky Lab’s advertisements have been banned from Twitter. The Russian security firm has been hit with an ad ban for ‘using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices’.” Whoa.
EurekAlert: A research study analyzes the influence of algorithms on online publicity and advertising . “When we look for information on the internet, buy online or use social networks we often see ads relating to our likes or profile. To what extent are these ads chosen by the web’s algorithms? A group of researchers are trying to answer this question under the name of «MyBubble», a science project from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and IMDEA Networks Institute.”