We Can Have Social Media As We Know It, Or We Can Have Democracy

from Fast Company In early September, President Trump retweeted a video allegedly showing an “black lives matter/antifa” activist pushing a woman into a subway car. The video is nearly a year old, and the man in question was mentally ill and had no connection to either group. As a researcher studying social media, propaganda, and politics in 2016, I thought I’d seen it all. At the time, while working at University of Oxford, I was in the thick of analyzing Twitter bot campaigns pushing #Proleave messaging during Brexit. As a research fellow at Google’s thinktank Jigsaw that same year, I […]

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EU Launching Deep Probe Into Google’s Planned $2.1 Billion Fitbit Buy

from ars technica Regulators in the European Union are launching a deep investigation into Google’s proposed acquisition of wearables maker Fitbit after expressing concerns that giving Google access to Fitbit’s user data could “distort competition.” The Commission’s in-depth investigation will examine not only the potential outcomes for the advertising market if the transaction goes through, but it will also look at the effects of the deal on the digital healthcare sector and the potential for Google to lock competitors out of access to Android users. More here.

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The Media’s Post-Advertising Future Is Also Its Past

from The Atlantic It’s my holiday tradition to bring tidings of discomfort and sorrow to my colleagues in the news business. One year ago, I described the media apocalypse coming for both digital upstarts and legacy brands. Vice and BuzzFeed had slashed their revenue projections by hundreds of millions of dollars, while TheNew York Times had announced a steep decline in advertising. Twelve months later, it’s end times all over again. There have been layoffs across Vox Media, Vice, and BuzzFeed (and dubious talk of an emergency merger). Mic, once valued at $100 million, fired most of its staff and sold for $5 million. Verizon took a nearly $5 billion write-down on its digital media unit, which […]

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The Amazon Selling Machine

from The Atlantic The e-commerce company has so much information about us that it’s become expert at shilling us things we didn’t even know we needed. No wonder its advertising business is booming. What if there were a company that knew what you wanted to buy before you did? What if it made shopping recommendations that tapped into your deepest desires? Better yet, what if it then made buying completely seamless? Would you ever stop shopping? Amazon shareholders may like the answers to those questions. The company that revolutionized the way we buy has now gotten serious about selling the […]

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Tackling the Internet’s Central Villain: The Advertising Business

from NYTs Pretend you are the lead detective on a hit new show, “CSI: Terrible Stuff on the Internet.” In the first episode, you set up one of those crazy walls plastered with headlines and headshots, looking for hidden connections between everything awful that’s been happening online recently. There’s a lot of dark stuff. In one corner, you have the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election with digital propaganda. In another, a rash of repugnant videos on YouTube, with children being mock-abused, cartoon characters bizarrely committing suicide on the kids’ channel and a popular vlogger recording a body […]

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Apple Does Right By Users And Advertisers Are Displeased

from EFF With the new Safari 11 update, Apple takes an important step to protect your privacy, specifically how your browsing habits are tracked and shared with parties other than the sites you visit. In response, Apple is getting criticized by the advertising industry for “destroying the Internet’s economic model.” While the advertising industry is trying to shift the conversation to what they call the economic model of the Internet, the conversation must instead focus on the indiscriminate tracking of users and the violation of their privacy. When you browse the web, you might think that your information only lives […]

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The Reason We Need The FDA (Hint: It’s Marketers)

from Seth’s Blog Here’s the original ad for Coca-Cola: French Wine Coca is indorsed (sic) by over 20,000 of the most learned and scientific medical men in the world . . .  Americans are the most nervous people in the world . . .  All who are suffering from any nervous complaints we commend to use the wonderful and delightful remedy, French Wine Coca, infallible in curing all who are afflicted with any nerve trouble, dyspepsia, mental and physical exhaustion, all chronic wasting diseases, gastric irritability, constipation, sick headache, neuralgia, etc. is quickly cured by the Coca Wine  …   Coca is […]

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A New Coors Light Docu-Series Ditches The Mountains To Tell Stories Of Resiliency

from co.Create When I say the words “Coors Light advertising,” chances are the first couple images that flash before your eyes will be mountains and snow (maybe with a side of Van Damme) the can that tells you your beer is cold, and maybe some dude-bro Olympics. But for the brand’s first-ever swing at branded content, created by agency 72andSunny, the silver bullet has eschewed cliche beer ad fare in favor of personal stories of inspiration. Of course, this theme itself is well-trod territory for brands at this point but coming from Coors Light it’s an unexpected twist. More here.

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Facebook Is Watching And Tracking You More Than You Probably Realize

from USAToday Whenever you’re on Facebook, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? An ad pops up that’s right up your alley, or three new articles show up in your feed that are similar to something you’ve just clicked on. Sometimes it seems like Facebook knows you personally, and that’s because it does. It has algorithms that track what you like, watch and click on. Facebook uses this information to target ads to users on behalf of advertisers. Facebook itself isn’t the only culprit. Tons of companies use Facebook’s platform as a way to track you. In fact, […]

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Privacy And Advertising In Windows 10: Both Sides Of The Story

from Infoworld While Microsoft’s been collecting personally identified information of various kinds for more than a decade, Windows 10’s going to turn that trickle into a gusher. You can curb some of the data-gathering proclivities with various tools and websites, but you won’t be able to turn it off entirely without disabling some features that you’ll probably want to use. And no matter how you shake it, Windows needs access to that info in order to provide you with the services you likely want. The decrease in privacy and concomitant increase in advertising in Windows 10 is a multi-edged sword. […]

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