Wired: Google’s New Ad Blocker Changed The Web Before It Even Switched On. “Despite the advance hype, the number of sites Chrome will actually block ads on turns out to be quite small. Of the 100,000 most popular sites in North America and Europe, fewer than one percent violate the guidelines Google uses to decide whether to filter ads on a site, a Google spokesperson tells WIRED. But even if Chrome never blocks ads on a page you visit, Google’s move has already affected the web. The company notified sites in advance that they would be subject to the filtering, and 42 percent made preemptive changes, the spokesperson says, including Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and In Touch Weekly.”
Reuters: Facebook plans to use U.S. mail to verify IDs of election ad buyers. “Facebook Inc will start using postcards sent by U.S. mail later this year to verify the identities and location of people who want to purchase U.S. election-related advertising on its site, a senior company executive said on Saturday.”
TechCrunch: How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook. “At the core of Facebook’s ‘well-being’ problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms of over use.” I would pay to set myself free from Facebook’s algorithmic choices.
WPTV: Social Media Is Important For Politicians, But How Well Does It Work?. “Politicians are spending more and more money on social media — but is it worth it? Last year, research firm Borrell Associates estimated political campaigns spent more than $1.4 billion on digital advertising in 2016. That includes ads for video, mobile, email, social media and online searches. And Hamid Bendaas, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, offered some insight on how effective social media is.” Video and written story.
NewsBTC: CoinHoarder Steals Over $50 Million in Cryptocurrencies Using Google Ads. “According to a report published Wednesday, February 14th by Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group, a team of Ukrainian hackers dubbed CoinHoarder has stolen more than $50 million in cryptocurrency from users who were under the impression they were accessing Blockchain.info, one of the most popular providers of virtual currency wallets.”
Search Engine Land: Federal Election Commission proposal toughens political ads disclosure rules. “The nature of political advertising is manipulation and deception. This was taken to extremes in 2016 as fake news and ads from outside actors and extremist groups sought to manipulate public opinion and influence the presidential election. Now, with Russia expected to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is considering additional rules and disclosure requirements for online political ads.” We can only hope.
Tom’s Guide: Chrome’s New Ad Blocker: Here’s How It Works. “In a blog post today (Feb. 14), Google spelled out the rules for its Better Ads Standards policy, which will block ads ruled as especially “intrusive.” These include autoplaying video ads that include sound, large sticky ads that take over the lower-third of the screen, and ads that blanket the entire screen and require users sit through a countdown process.”