The Verge: How much longer will we trust Google’s search results?

The Verge: How much longer will we trust Google’s search results?. “Recode’s Peter Kafka recently interviewed Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti, and Peretti said something really insightful: what if Google’s ads really aren’t that good? What if Google is just taking credit for clicks on ads just because people would have been searching for that stuff anyway? I’ve been thinking about it all day: what if Google ads actually aren’t that effective and the only reason they make so much is billions of people use Google?”

Columbia Journalism Review: Who is right about political ads, Twitter or Facebook?

Columbia Journalism Review: Who is right about political ads, Twitter or Facebook? . “As the 2020 federal election draws closer, the issue of online political advertising is becoming more important, and the differences in how the platforms are approaching it are more obvious. Twitter has chosen to ban political advertising, but questions remain about how it plans to define that term, and whether banning ads will do more harm than good. Meanwhile, Facebook has gone in the opposite direction, saying it will not even fact-check political ads. So whose strategy is the best, Twitter’s or Facebook’s?”

BBC: Facebook blocks the Spinner’s ‘brainwashing’ tech

BBC: Facebook blocks the Spinner’s ‘brainwashing’ tech. “Facebook has issued a cease and desist notice to an Israeli firm that claims to be able to subconsciously alter people’s behaviour. The Spinner charges a fee to ‘subconsciously influence’ targets by exposing them to online posts ‘disguised as editorial content’. But Facebook has objected to the start-up using its services to achieve this.”

CNET: Facebook abandons plan to sell ads in WhatsApp, report says

CNET: Facebook abandons plan to sell ads in WhatsApp, report says. “Facebook has reportedly abandoned its plan to sell ads in messaging platform WhatsApp, according to a Thursday report by The Wall Street Journal. The company’s decision to bring ads to the app is reportedly what led to the departure of WhatsApp’s creators around two years ago.”

BBC: Twitter apologises for letting ads target neo-Nazis and bigots

BBC: Twitter apologises for letting ads target neo-Nazis and bigots. “Twitter has apologised for allowing adverts to be micro-targeted at certain users such as neo-Nazis, homophobes and other hate groups. The BBC discovered the issue and that prompted the tech firm to act.”

The Verge: Sen. Ron Wyden calls for an investigation of the ad-blocking industry

The Verge: Sen. Ron Wyden calls for an investigation of the ad-blocking industry. “On Tuesday, one of the Senate’s fiercest tech critics, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), called on regulators requesting that they investigate the ad-blocking industry for anti-competitive behavior. For years now, some of the largest tech firms have paid ad-blocking companies like Eyeo, which owns Adblock Plus, to avoid the software’s restrictions and have their ads displayed on devices. In 2015, a report from the Financial Times showed that companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google were paying out ad blockers so that they could be added to a whitelist to avoid the software’s filters.”

New York Times: Buckle Up for Another Facebook Election

New York Times: Buckle Up for Another Facebook Election. “The social network has spent much of the past three years apologizing for its inaction during the 2016 election, when its platform was overrun with hyperpartisan misinformation, some of it Russian, that was amplified by its own algorithms. And ahead of 2020, some people wondered if Mr. Zuckerberg — who is, by his own admission, uncomfortable with Facebook’s power — would do everything he could to step out of the political crossfire. Instead, Mr. Zuckerberg has embraced Facebook’s central role in elections — not only by giving politicians a pass on truth, but by preserving the elements of its advertising platforms that proved to be a decisive force in 2016.”