USA Today: Anti-Trump Lincoln Project targets Texas governor with ad showing wall of COVID-19 coffins

USA Today: Anti-Trump Lincoln Project targets Texas governor with ad showing wall of COVID-19 coffins. “A Republican group known for speaking out against former President Donald Trump is calling out Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after a television ad was pulled blasting his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in 2019 made up of former and current Republicans, issued a statement questioning why the TV ad that it funded for $25,000 on ESPN during the nationally televised Texas vs. Rice college football game didn’t air. The group said the ad was pulled 10 minutes before it was expected to run, despite ESPN’s legal team clearing it beforehand. ”

Los Angeles Times: On Google and YouTube, Newsom and Elder aim for two different Californias

Los Angeles Times: On Google and YouTube, Newsom and Elder aim for two different Californias. “Nearly two-thirds of the ads aired by groups backing Newsom and Elder only appeared for users in specific ZIP Codes. The ‘Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom’ group aired ads on the coast in the state’s densely populated Democratic strongholds, while Elder’s campaign committee has opted for inland areas where Republicans are more common. A Times analysis of records from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, released by the Google Transparency Project, shows the rival camps are using the platform’s vast collection of user data to target areas they see as key to victory.”

The Canadian Press: Conservatives delete ‘Willy Wonka’ ad from Twitter after copyright complaint

The Canadian Press: Conservatives delete ‘Willy Wonka’ ad from Twitter after copyright complaint. “The Conservative party has deleted an ad mocking Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau from Twitter after a copyright infringement claim was made against it. The ad, which was released on Friday, depicted Trudeau’s face pasted on top of an image of a bratty character from classic children’s film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’”

Engadget: Facebook disables accounts of NYU team looking into political ad targeting

Engadget: Facebook disables accounts of NYU team looking into political ad targeting. “Before the US election last year, a team of researchers from New York University’s engineering school launched a project to gather more data on political ads. In particular, the team wanted to know how political advertisers choose the demographic their ads target and don’t target. Shortly after the project called the NYU Ad Observatory went live, however, Facebook notified the researchers that their efforts violate its terms of service related to bulk data collection. Now, the social network has announced that it has ‘disabled the accounts, apps, Pages and platform access associated with NYU’s Ad Observatory Project and its operators…’”

San Diego Union-Tribune: Calif. task force recommends public archive for digital campaign ads

San Diego Union-Tribune: Calif. task force recommends public archive for digital campaign ads. “A task force convened by the state agency in charge of enforcing the California Political Reform Act is recommending the creation of a digital archive to track online advertisements promoting candidates for state office. In a report released this week by the Fair Political Practices Commission, task force members say a public database of digital ads would help voters, researchers, journalists and others keep better track of campaign spending by state office seekers.”

University of Arkansas: Study Explains Lax Oversight in Facebook Ads During 2016 Election

University of Arkansas: Study Explains Lax Oversight in Facebook Ads During 2016 Election. “U of A English professor Adam Pope and his colleague at San Jose State University examined lax oversight of advertising on Facebook during the 2016 political campaign and found a systematic bias toward ad buyers, specifically a Russian internet troll farm that sought to sow discord within the U.S. political system.”

Tech Policy Press: Facebook, Google political ad bans not effective, researchers say

Tech Policy Press: Facebook, Google political ad bans not effective, researchers say. “Two researchers at the Duke University Center on Science and Technology Policy conclude that bans on political advertising put in place by the tech platforms just before and in the period after the November 2020 U.S. elections were not necessarily effective, and had a number of negative side effects.”

The Columbian: Google to pay Washington $400,000 to settle campaign finance lawsuit

The Columbian: Google to pay Washington $400,000 to settle campaign finance lawsuit. “Google has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle charges that it has not complied with Washington’s strict campaign finance laws, which require businesses to retain records of political ads they sell in the state. It’s the second time in three years that the tech giant has settled a campaign finance lawsuit in Washington. In 2018, Google paid $200,000, plus attorneys’ fees, to settle a similar lawsuit, but admitted no wrongdoing. This time, the company agreed it did not comply with state law, but still disputes whether the law applies the company.”

Revealed: rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Revealed: rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats. “In an apparent attempt to split the Democratic vote in a number of close races, the ads purported to come from an organization called America Progress Now (APN) and used socialist memes and rhetoric to urge leftwing voters to support Green party candidates. Facebook was aware of the true identity of the advertiser – the conservative marketing firm Rally Forge – and the deceptive nature of the ads, documents seen by the Guardian show, but the company determined that they did not violate its policies.”

Brookings Institution: How to increase transparency for political ads on social media

Brookings Institution: How to increase transparency for political ads on social media. “As we set out to research the impact of the platform political ad bans, we quickly realized that there were holes in the available data that made it difficult to assess the policy intervention. In a brief recently published by the Center on Science & Technology Policy at Duke University, we identify three significant impediments to assessing the impact of the recent political ad bans.”

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban. “Political campaigns are cheering the return of political ads to Facebook this week. But some groups never stopped running them. Scores of right- and left-wing political groups purchased tens of thousands of dollars in political ads that broke the company’s rules between January and March this year, according to an analysis by POLITICO.”

Axios: Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election

Axios: Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election. “Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update. The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.”

The Technology 202: New Duke paper calls Washington to increase transparency around online political ads (Washington Post)

Washington Post: The Technology 202: New Duke paper calls Washington to increase transparency around online political ads. “Major social platforms put new limits on political ads in the run-up to the controversial 2020 election due to concerns they amplify misinformation. But a new Duke University paper published today says a persistent lack of transparency in online political ads is preventing researchers from studying how that changed campaign spending, or impacted individual campaigns.”

The Verge: Twitch, owned by Amazon, pulls Amazon’s anti-union ads

The Verge: Twitch, owned by Amazon, pulls Amazon’s anti-union ads. “Twitch is removing the anti-union ads that its parent company, Amazon, was running on the platform. The ads showed Amazon employees talking about why they want to vote no on unionization and directed viewers to Amazon’s ‘DoItWithoutDues’ website. A Twitch spokesperson said the ads ‘should never have been allowed to run on [the] service,’ as they violate its political advertising policies.”

Washington State Attorney General: AG Ferguson Files Lawsuit Against Google For Repeatedly Violating Washington Campaign Finance Law

Washington State Attorney General: AG Ferguson Files Lawsuit Against Google For Repeatedly Violating Washington Campaign Finance Law. “Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a campaign finance lawsuit [Wednesday] against Google for unlawfully failing to maintain key information regarding state political ads that it sold, and failing to provide that information to individuals who requested it.”