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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Major brands pulling their ads from Youtube

    Olivia Solon
    25 March 2017

    It’s been a bad week for Google, with major brands pulling millions of dollars in advertising amid rows over extremist content on YouTube.

    In America, telecom companies AT&T and Verizon, as well as pharmaceutical company GSK, Pepsi, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and car rental firm Enterprise, have all pulled advertising from Google’s video sharing platform, a contagion spreading from Europe where a number of high-profile advertisers pulled out of YouTube following an investigation by the Times.

    Major brands were found to be appearing next to videos promoting extremist views or hate speech, with a cut of the advertising spend going to the creators – the row has now spilled across the Atlantic to the US.

    Verizon’s ads featured alongside videos made by Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim, who was banned from the US over extremism and hate preacher Hanif Qureshi, whose preachings inspired the murder of a politician in Pakistan.

    “We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” an AT&T spokesman said in a statement. “Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.”

    Following the exodus of some of its high-profile advertisers, Google has publicly apologized and pledged to give brands more control over where their ads appear.

    “This marks a turning point for YouTube. For the first time it’s dealing not only with reputation damage but revenue damage,” said Alex Krasodomski-Jones, a researcher at thinktank Demos.

    YouTube might purport to be a video sharing service, but as with Google’s search engine and Facebook’s social network, the platform is really about one thing: advertising. “So when there’s a problem with advertising like this, it’s a big problem,” Krasodomski-Jones said.

    The row highlights an uncomfortable fact about advertising in a digital age: most brands don’t know exactly where their online advertising is running. Black box machines are now largely responsible for the placement of ads online, using complex trading systems that try to get the right message in front of the right person at the right time for the the cheapest possible price. This process is called programmatic advertising. When an ad appears against a piece of content, it’s not always clear whether it’s been shown based on a person’s previous browsing behavior, interests, demographic data or because the brand is affiliated with a particular content creator, such as a YouTube star.

    “There has always been good placements of ads and bad placements of ads and media buying companies have always prided themselves on trying to get the context right,” said Charlie Crowe, chairman of media and marketing publisher C Squared. “The difference in the online world is that it’s all done by an algorithm. The human element is taken out of the equation, so there are problems.”

    “Programmatic advertising has been largely fraudulent since its inception and there are many companies in the marketplace including Google to have made vast profits out of the naiveté of the advertisers who haven’t really known what they’ve been buying.”

    The dispute adds weight to demands for companies like Google to take more responsibility for what is on their websites, as Facebook was forced to do in the wake of the “fake news” scandal.

    YouTube already provides “brand safety” controls for advertisers, allowing them to pick what types of videos they are happy to be associated with based on keywords. The platform also advises creators about the types of videos not considered “advertiser friendly”, including content that’s sexually suggestive, violent or dealing with a controversial subject matter. However, with 400 hours of video uploaded to the platform each minute it’s a challenge to keep unpalatable content completely quarantined from paying customers.

    Fifteen minutes of browsing YouTube by the Guardian was enough to find T-Mobile ads on videos about abortion, Minecraft banners on videos about snorting cocaine and pre-roll ads for Novartis heart medication running on clips titled “feminism is cancer”.

    “They need to get better at the management of what is brand safe and what isn’t,” said Gabe Winslow, from digital marketing agency Ansira.

    Advertisers and agencies also have a responsibility to audit their campaigns to ensure that their ads appear in the desired location, he said.

    This squabble is indicative of growing tensions between the advertising industry and technology companies like Facebook and Google, who have become indispensable partners and, in some cases, competitors.

    Silicon Valley technology companies completely dominate the online advertising market. According to a 2016 study, these two technology companies accounted for 90% of the growth in the online advertising industry. All other online media companies are competing for the scraps.

    The more powerful they become at the expense of traditional media companies, the harder it has become for advertisers to negotiate favourable terms. The current YouTube boycott offers some leverage for demanding better, independently verified data and controls.

    “There’s increasing resentment among agencies and publishers [towards Google] that’s difficult to talk about given its sheer power,” Crowe said. “This issue has given them a sense of schadenfreude.”


  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010


    Dozens of YouTube videos promoting Combat 18, a violent pro-Nazi group, Isis or hate speech from al- Qaeda preachers, all run pop-up ads from reputable brands such as Marie Curie, the hospice charity, and Mercedes-Benz.


  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    More brands, Starbucks included, pull ads from YouTube

    Wal-Mart, PepsiCo join other major advertisers in suspending ads on YouTube after discovering their campaigns were placed alongside offensive videos.

    Mark Bergen and Lucas Shaw
    March 24, 2017

    Four years ago, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s business lead, confessed a mistake. “I thought that YouTube was like TV. But it isn’t,” he said at Google’s annual advertising show. “YouTube talks back. It’s interactive. And YouTube is everywhere.”

    Kyncl’s message resonated with advertisers. Gross ad revenue at YouTube soared from roughly $4 billion in 2013 to $11 billion last year, brokerage firm Monness Crespi Hardt estimates. At the same event in 2016, Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki boasted about taking ad dollars from traditional TV networks.

    Yet now the same traits Kyncl said made YouTube better than TV have plunged the video service into crisis. Some of the world’s largest advertisers, from Verizon Communications to Johnson & Johnson, stopped spending on YouTube because of concern their ads could appear next to offensive videos.

    More big companies pulled back on Friday, including PepsiCo, Starbucks and Wal-Mart Stores, after The Wall Street Journal reported their ads had been automatically placed by Google next to racist content on YouTube.

    “We were shocked to learn about our brand being depicted in an inappropriate way,” a Starbucks spokesperson said Friday, noting its advertising had been removed. “We are currently in discussions with Google/YouTube to determine the best way to prevent this moving forward and have pulled our ads until we are confident that measures will be in place to adhere to our brand guidelines.”

    This week, $26 billion was knocked off parent company Alphabet’s market value.

    Rob Griffin, chief innovation officer at marketing agency Almighty, said the controversy “will dent their long-term prospect of making YouTube an alternative to TV.”

    While the shift to online video viewing favors YouTube, it is scrambling to reassure companies and ad agencies they’ve made the right decision to spend money on the site. It must convince them YouTube will protect their ads from offensive material in the future.

    Google attempted to curb the controversy Monday, pledging publicly to roll out new controls for marketers. In a memo sent to partners later in the week, Google described more detailed changes, including a new video-verification process, long sought by advertisers, and a staff hotline dedicated to brand safety.

    Another feature Google promised will use machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, to flag suspect videos. The new approach would now yank ads if offensive language appeared on a T-shirt in a video, for instance, something that didn’t happen before, according to the memo.

    Google aims to implement most of the changes by Sunday, according to the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on Friday.

    Even if the company meets that deadline, it may struggle to solve the issue. While TV companies have almost total control over what appears on a given channel, creating a safe space for brands, YouTube opens itself up to anyone who wants to post a video.

    Advertisers often buy ads across the whole site, or large groups of popular videos, instead of buying ads for a specific channel. The company has safeguards to block offensive content, but the volume of video being uploaded is too great to identify every infringing video.

    YouTube warned as much in its memo. Forthcoming changes “should give [advertisers] confidence that their ads will not appear against inappropriate content,” the memo read, “albeit with the volume of content involved this can never be 100% guaranteed.” Google noted that four of the 48 videos highlighted by news outlets over the past month would, even under the new policies, not automatically disable ads.

    “What they have done clearly is not enough,” said Paul Verna, an analyst with EMarketer. “They must sit down with advertisers and literally show them how they are changing these algorithms.”

    Advertisers are now urging Google to let outside companies track issues like safe content, measurement and fraudulent ads on YouTube, according to David Cohen, North American president for Magna Global.

    In its memo to advertisers this week, Google said it will offer detailed reporting at the level of specific videos and YouTube channels.

    That includes “Google Preferred,” a premium service that lets advertisers pair their ads with top-performing videos. One industry executive said this is an important change giving more advertisers more insight into where their ads run.

    Advertisers have long bemoaned the lack of information they get from YouTube and are seizing an opportunity to extract a bit more, said James Cakmak, an analyst with Monness Crespi Hardt & Co.

    “It’s a power struggle. If you see an opening against Google, you take it,” he added.

    “The stakes have never been higher in the competition between legacy TV players and digital,” Magna’s Cohen said. “But linear television is an eroding asset.”


  4. #4
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    YouTube Advertiser Exodus Highlights Perils of Online Ads

    MARCH 23, 2017

    When Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion, it was considered a pricey gamble, one made with the belief that an online service known for pirated videos and vapid user-generated content could appeal to major advertisers.

    The bet paid off. YouTube is now one of the pillars of Google’s advertising business and the most valuable video platform on the internet. In recent years, advertisers, unable to ignore its massive audience, flocked to YouTube to reach younger people who have started to shun traditional broadcast television.

    But the technology underpinning YouTube’s advertising business has come under intense scrutiny in recent days, with AT&T, Johnson & Johnson and other deep-pocketed marketers announcing that they would pull their ads from the service. Their reason: The automated system in which ads are bought and placed online has too often resulted in brands appearing next to offensive material on YouTube such as hate speech.

    On Thursday, the ride-sharing service Lyft became the latest example, removing their ads after they appeared next to videos from a racist skinhead group.

    “This is beyond offensive,” a Lyft spokesman, Scott Coriell, said. “As soon as we learned of it, we pulled our advertising on YouTube.”

    The pullback from advertisers strikes to the core of YouTube’s appeal. Unlike television, with specific programming during which brands choose to run their advertising, YouTube mirrors the internet’s sprawl, specializing in niche content that may not appeal to a mainstream audience but attracts engaged viewers. This provides YouTube with an enormous audience watching one billion hours of videos a day, perfect for new ad technology that minutely slices and dices an audience so that companies can target specific viewers.

    That technology, known as programmatic advertising, allows advertisers to lay out the general parameters of what kind of person they want to reach — say, a young man under 25 — and trust that their ad will find that person, no matter where he might be on the internet. This approach plays to the strengths of tech giants like Google and Facebook, allowing advertisers to use automation and data to cheaply and efficiently reach their own audiences, funneling money through a complicated system of agencies and third-party networks.

    But more than 400 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and while Google has noted that it prevents ads from running near inappropriate material “in the vast majority of cases,” it has proved unable to totally police that amount of content in real time. And that has advertisers increasingly concerned.

    “The simple truth is that the same tech that allows the posting of a recipe, the joyous video of a child or the exposure of an excessive act from law enforcement allows the creation, posting or sharing of the video of a murder,” Rob Norman, the chief digital officer of GroupM, the media buying arm of WPP, wrote this week in Campaign, a trade publication.

    Marketers have seen programmatic advertising as a groundbreaking development in media — a technologically efficient way to leverage the expanse of the internet so that, for example, Pampers can reach a new mom on a local blog or an instructional video about how to deal with a newborn’s baby acne. This has opened up the whole of the internet to brands, which typically opt to remove their ads after they have appeared on unsavory sites, rather than restrict the ads to a list of preapproved locations.

    That is a radical departure. Not long ago, brands like Procter & Gamble were in fact funding TV shows such as “Gilmore Girls,” “7th Heaven” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” because they wanted more platforms for “family friendly” content. The main concern for advertisers on the web used to be appearing next to pornography, a fear that still ranks high for some, but now seems almost quaint considering the increasing amount of content tied to terrorism, violence and hate speech.

    It’s not limited to YouTube — automated advertising has landed airline ads on news stories about plane crashes, enabled counterfeit clothing companies to flourish on Facebook and even put money in the hands of Russian cybercriminals. Most recently, it has contributed to the proliferation of so-called fake news and conspiracy theories.

    “I distinctly remember doing presentations years and years ago, and there was some stat at the time that there were a million ad-supported websites and I thought that was mind-blowing,” said Eric Franchi, co-founder of Undertone, an ad technology company. “Now fast-forward to 2017, and Google’s display network alone has two million sites. It’s a lot harder to maintain brand safety today than what it was because of the sheer number of sites coming into these exchanges every day.”

    That sheer scale, coupled with its reliance on algorithms rather than humans to filter out the objectionable content after it appears, has been Google’s main defense. More than two million websites are a part of its display advertising network — the equivalent of one for every resident of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

    “What we do is, we match ads and the content, but because we source the ads from everywhere, every once in a while somebody gets underneath the algorithm and they put in something that doesn’t match. We’ve had to tighten our policies and actually increase our manual review time, and so I think we’re going to be O.K.,” Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said in an interview on Thursday with Fox Business Network.

    While brands have expressed concern about showing up next to unsavory photos and videos uploaded to digital platforms by users — like pornography on Snapchat — the situation with YouTube is particularly jarring. YouTube splits advertising revenue with its users, meaning advertisers risk directly funding creators of hateful, misogynistic or terrorism-related content.

    The revenue-sharing model has minted stars, some of whom gain cultlike followings for edgy and inappropriate content. Last month, the platform cut business ties with its biggest star, Felix Kjellberg, known to his 54 million subscribers as PewDiePie, after The Wall Street Journal reported on crude anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi imagery in his comedy videos. He was part of YouTube’s premium advertising product called Google Preferred — a category of popular, “brand safe” videos on YouTube.

    The latest black eye came from the far less visible trenches of the platform, as The Times of London reported on ads from prominent brands and the British government appearing on YouTube videos posted by extremist groups.

    Google has pledged that YouTube will tighten safeguards against ads showing up alongside “hateful, offensive and derogatory content” while reviewing guidelines for what type of content is allowable on the platform.

    “While we recognize that no system will be 100 percent perfect, we believe these major steps will further safeguard our advertisers’ brands, and we are committed to being vigilant and continuing to improve over time,” Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, said in a statement on Thursday.

    There’s a lot at stake for YouTube and Alphabet. Search advertising is not growing as fast as it once did, and television ad budgets are still larger than total spending on digital advertising. YouTube and Facebook have made no secret of their desire for television advertising funds. Internet ad revenue in the United States, which is growing quickly, reached about $60 billion in 2015 while television accounted for about $66 billion, according to a study from IAB and PwC.

    James Dix, a senior media analyst at Wedbush Securities, estimates that YouTube accounted for revenue of about $13 billion, or roughly 20 percent of all advertising revenue on Google’s internet properties in 2016. Alphabet does not disclose YouTube revenue.

    “If this company is going to look for new growth at scale, it has to pull money from television,” Mr. Dix said. “Period.”

    A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2017, on Page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: YouTube’s Advertiser Exodus Highlights the Perils of Online Ads.


  5. #5
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Fake News and the Digital Duopoly

    Google and Facebook have created a dysfunctional and socially destructive information ecosystem.

    Robert Thomson

    ‘Fake news” has seemingly, suddenly, become fashionable. In reality, the fake has proliferated for a decade or more, but the faux, the flawed and the fraudulent are now pressing issues because the full scale of the changes wrought upon the integrity of news and advertising by the digital duopoly—Google and Facebook —has become far more obvious.

    Google’s commodification of content knowingly, willfully undermined provenance for profit. That was followed by the Facebook stream, with its journalistic jetsam and fake flotsam. Together, the two most powerful news publishers in human history have created an ecosystem that is dysfunctional and socially destructive.

    Both companies could have done far more to highlight that there is a hierarchy of content, but instead they have prospered mightily by peddling a flat-earth philosophy that doesn’t distinguish between the fake and the real because they make copious amounts of money from both.

    Depending on which source you believe, they have close to two-thirds of the digital advertising market—and let me be clear that we compete with them for that share. The Interactive Advertising Bureau estimates they accounted for more than 90% of the incremental increase in digital advertising over the past year. The only cost of content for these companies has been lucrative contracts for lobbyists and lawyers, but the social cost of that strategy is far more profound.

    It is beyond risible that Google and its subsidiary YouTube, which have earned many billions of dollars from other people’s content, should now be lamenting that they can’t possibly be held responsible for monitoring that content. Monetizing yes, monitoring no—but it turns out that free money does come at a price.

    We all have to work with these companies, and we are hoping, mostly against hope, that they will finally take meaningful action, not only to allow premium content models that fund premium journalism, but also to purge their sites of the rampant piracy that undermines creativity. Your business model can’t be simultaneously based on both intimate, granular details about users and no clue whatsoever about rather obvious pirate sites.

    Another area that urgently needs much attention is the algorithms that Silicon Valley companies, and Amazon, routinely cite as a supposedly objective source of wisdom and insight. These algorithms are obviously set, tuned and repeatedly adjusted to suit their commercial needs. Yet they also blame autonomous, anarchic algorithms and not themselves when neofascist content surfaces or when a search leads to obviously biased results in favor of their own products.

    Look at how Google games searches. A study reported in The Wall Street Journal found that in 25,000 random Google searches ads for Google products appeared in the most prominent slot 91% of the time. How is that not the unfair leveraging of search dominance and the abuse of algorithm? All 1,000 searches for “laptops” started with an ad for Google’s Chromebook—100% of the time. Kim Jong Un would be envious of results like that at election time.

    And then there are the recently launched Google snippets, which stylistically highlight search results as if they were written on stone tablets and carried down from the mountain. Their sheer visual physicality gives them apparent moral force. The word Orwellian is flagrantly abused, but when it comes to the all-powerful algorithms of Google, Amazon and Facebook, Orwellian is underused.

    As for news, institutional neglect has left us perched on the edge of the slippery slope of censorship. There is no Silicon Valley tradition, as there is at great newspapers, of each day arguing over rights and wrongs, of fretful, thoughtful agonizing over social responsibility and freedom of speech.

    What we now have is a backlash with which these omnipotent companies are uniquely ill-equipped to cope. Their responses tend to be political and politically correct. Regardless of your own views, you should be concerned that we are entering an era in which these immensely influential publishers will routinely and selectively “unpublish” certain views and news.

    We stumble into this egregious era at a moment when the political volume in many countries is turned to 10. The echo chamber has never been larger and the reverb room rarely more cacophonous. This is not an entirely new trend, but it has a compounding effect with the combination of “holier than thou” and “louder than thou.”

    Curiously, this outcome is, in part, a result of the idealism of the Silicon Valley set, and there’s no doubt about the self-proclaimed ideals. They devoutly believe they are connecting people and informing them, which is true, even though some of the connections become conspiracies and much of the information is skimmed without concern to intellectual property rights.

    Ideas aside, we were supposed to be in a magic age of metrics and data. Yet instead of perfect precision we have the cynical arbitraging of ambiguity—particularly in the world of audiences. Some advertising agencies are also clearly at fault because they, too, have been arbitraging and prospering from digital ambiguity as money in the ad business has shifted from actually making ads to aggregating digital audiences and ad tech, better known as fad tech.

    And so, as the Times of London has reported, socially aware, image-conscious advertisers find themselves in extremely disreputable places—hardcore porn sites, neofascist sites, Islamist sites. The embarrassment for these advertisers juxtaposed with jaundice is understandable, but the situation is far more serious than mere loss of face.

    If these sites are getting a cut of the commission, the advertisers are technically funding these nefarious activities. Depending on the type of advertising, it is estimated by the ad industry that a YouTube partner could earn about 55% of the revenue from a video. In recent years, how many millions of dollars have been channeled to organizations or individuals that are an existential threat to our societies?

    Provenance is profound, and in this age of augmented reality and virtual reality, actual reality will surely make a comeback. Authenticated authenticity is an asset of increasing value in an age of the artificial—understanding the ebb and flow of humanity will not be based on fake news or ersatz empathy, but on real insight.

    Mr. Thomson is the chief executive of News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal. This is adapted from a speech he delivered on March 29 to the Asia Society in Hong Kong.

    Appeared in the Apr. 05, 2017, print edition.


  6. #6
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Facebook faces increased publisher resistance to Instant Articles

    Lucia Moses
    April 11, 2017

    Facebook’s Instant Article push is in danger of fizzling.

    Many publishers are deeply unhappy with the monetization on these pages, with major partners like The New York Times throwing in the towel and many others cutting back the amount of content pushed to the IA platform. In response, Facebook is making making concessions to publishers, including new subscription options, in a rare show of weakness for the platform juggernaut.

    The Times is among an elite group of publishers that’s regularly tapped by Facebook to launch new products, and as such, it was one of the first batch of publishers to pilot Instant. But it stopped using Instant Articles after a test last fall that found that links back to the Times’ own site monetized better than Instant Articles, said Kinsey Wilson, evp of product and technology at the Times. People were also more likely to subscribe to the Times if they came directly to the site rather than through Facebook, he said. Thus, for the Times, IA simply isn’t worth it. Even a Facebook-dependent publisher like LittleThings, which depends on Facebook for 80 percent of its visitors, is only pushing 20 percent of its content to IA.

    Enthusiasm has cooled elsewhere. It’s an about-face from two years ago, when publishers were champing at the bit to join the party. “It’s just a matter of time,” Hearst Digital president Troy Young said at the time. Cosmopolitan was the first Hearst brand to launch, in October that year. Now, Hearst is absent from the program, having determined the monetization isn’t paying off. Hearst declined to comment on the record.

    Business news sites Forbes and Quartz are also absent from Instant Articles. Forbes experimented with it last year but found monetization lacking, chief product officer Lewis D’Vorkin recently said. “It left a lot to be desired in terms of monetization,” he said. Condé Nast’s priority is to drive readers back to its own sites, which is why its brands use Instant Articles only sparingly.

    Instant Articles has been controversial since Facebook launched the fast-loading mobile articles feature in 2015 to keep users on the social platform longer. In Instant, publishers’ articles, signified with a lightning bolt, would load super fast. But many publishers say it doesn’t monetize as well as old-fashioned links that take readers back to the publisher’s own site. It’s also hard to see if there’s an engagement benefit to the program.

    Facebook has been trying to be more responsive to publishers’ concerns. It’s launching call-to-action units that let publishers serve messages in Instant Articles stories inviting people to sign up for a newsletter or “like” their Facebook pages, after testing these with about 100 publishers since the beginning of the year. It’s also testing trial subscription signups and mobile app install promos within Instant Articles with The Washington Post, Bild and The Telegraph.

    But in the past year, the ad market has become harder, forcing many publishers to look harder at pushing the subscription lever. And that’s an area where Facebook still falls short. Beyond the free digital subscription trial, Facebook hasn’t said it’s committed to letting publishers test paid subscription signups, much less lay out a timeline for doing so. Facebook still doesn’t have a way for publishers to paywalls to Instant Articles. Some would like to be able to regularly test how well Instant Articles are performing compared to old-fashioned links, as the Times did. (The Washington Post is running what it says is the first such test right now with Facebook.)

    There are also a lot of details to be worked out when it comes to subscription signups on Instant, such as who owns the customer relationship, what data the publisher gets and how the revenue is shared, Wilson added. “The devil’s in the details.” (A Facebook rep said that for now, with the free digital trials, the publisher owns the relationship once the user signs up.)

    For other publishers that aren’t heavily dependent on subscriptions as the Times is, or have lucrative direct ad sales businesses, Facebook Instant may still makes sense, though. The Washington Post is still aggressively trying to grow its subscription signups, so it’s been publishing all its articles as Instant posts because the user experience is better.


  7. #7
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

  8. #8
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Facebook: child porn, terrorist content

    Alexi Mostrous‏ @AlexiMostrous 13 hours ago

    "Welcome to the darkest corners of the internet". Our @facebook long read

    Alexi Mostrous‏ @AlexiMostrous 13 hours ago

    Read our Facebook investigation revealing how site kept up potentially illegal child porn, terrorist content.

    Alexi Mostrous‏ @AlexiMostrous 15 hours ago

    We found horrific content on @facebook - and it was kept up by mods even after we flagged it. By doing so, FB could be breaking the law.

    Jihadist material relating to the Westminster terror attack was found freely available on Facebook by The Times

    Alexi Mostrous‏ @AlexiMostrous 13 hours ago

    Facebook algorithms suggest jihadi groups and friends to potential jihadis.

    View Isis videos and befriend hundreds of jihadists on facebook within days

    Alexi Mostrous
    April 13 2017

    Illegal pro-terrorist content is freely available on Facebook, an analysis found.

    Using a fake profile in the name of a Briton in his thirties, The Times befriended more than 100 jihadists using the social network. The fake profile was soon flooded with pro-Islamic State propaganda, including detailed videos on how to make a ball-bearing bomb, how to evade detection using a computer or mobile phone, and which body parts to shoot at in order to inflict maximum damage.

    The 15-minute bomb-making video, made by the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Foundation and shared by a jihadist account with almost 2,000 “friends”, shows a white-gloved man pouring thousands of metal balls into a glass beaker before carefully placing the explosive and fuse on top.



    The social media company failed to take down dozens of images and videos that were “flagged” to its moderators, including paedophilic cartoons

    Facebook publishing child pornography

    Alexi Mostrous, Head of Investigations
    April 13 2017

    Social media giant apologises for refusing to remove images
    Company could be prosecuted as jihadist posts also exposed

    Facebook is at risk of a criminal prosecution in Britain for refusing to remove potentially illegal terrorist and child pornography content despite being told it was on the site, The Times can reveal.

    The social media company failed to take down dozens of images and videos that were “flagged” to its moderators, including one showing an Islamic State beheading, several violent paedophilic cartoons, a video of an apparent sexual assault on a child and propaganda posters glorifying recent terrorist attacks in London and Egypt. Instead of removing the content, moderators said that the posts did not breach the site’s “community standards”.

    Facebook’s algorithms even promoted some of the offensive material by suggesting that users join groups and profiles that had published it.



  9. #9
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Facebook Suspends Account of Outspoken Chinese Billionaire

    APRIL 21, 2017

    Guo Wengui, a Chinese-born billionaire who lives in America, has recently publicized accusations of corruption against family members of top-ranking Chinese Communist Party officials. This week, China’s government asked Interpol to issue a request for his arrest.

    On Friday, Facebook suspended Mr. Guo’s account. After Mr. Guo complained publicly, Facebook said the suspension had been a mistake, and his account was restored.

    The incident comes in the middle of a full-court press by the Chinese government to push back against the accusations from the eccentric billionaire. It highlights a persistent problem for Facebook, which must manage matters as varied as bad manners and high-stakes political battles on a website with nearly two billion users.

    Facebook has been in a protracted and public courtship with China, which blocks the social network but has the world’s largest internet-using population. The New York Times reported last year that Facebook had developed a tool that would let third parties censor the social network as part of its attempt to gain entry into the market.

    Just after midnight on Friday morning, Mr. Guo posted a message on Twitter that said his public Facebook account had been suspended.

    “What does this mean, Facebook blocked me?” he wrote in part in the post. “They must have gotten really scared! Can this stop my revelations? This is truly lawless. This is very interesting. Their fear and worry makes me think that the value of my various evidence is bigger than what I had imagined.”

    Some responded to Mr. Guo’s message by posting photos of Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, meeting with high-profile Chinese politicians.

    A Facebook spokeswoman said that the company’s automated systems had erroneously suspended Mr. Guo’s account and that once the company was able to investigate the error, it had restored the profile. The precise reason for the suspension would be difficult to determine, the spokeswoman said, adding that publicizing the reasons could allow others to manipulate the system.

    Mr. Guo did not respond to requests for comment.

    Mr. Guo, who is also a member of the Mar-a-Lago resort, owned by President Trump, has attracted plenty of attention this week. Hours before he gave an interview on Wednesday to Voice of America — which Mr. Guo had said would include a “nuclear bomb” of allegations — China asked Interpol, the global police organization, to arrest the billionaire. A Voice of America official said the Chinese government had pressured the broadcaster not to show the interview.

    Mr. Guo has been living outside China for two years after a deal to acquire a brokerage went bad. He has been accused of giving about $8 million in bribes to a former top intelligence official, according to a report from The South China Morning Post. In the Voice of America interview, Mr. Guo denied those allegations.

    Facebook has previously caused controversy by blocking content from a high-profile Chinese activist that involved nudity and a post by a Tibetan activist that showed a self-immolation.

    Some Chinese activists have complained about accounts being sporadically suspended on Facebook and other sites without explanation. In response to Mr. Guo’s post on Twitter, some users brought up a theory that China’s government uses a collection of foreign social media accounts to report accounts like Mr. Guo’s so they will be suspended.

    The Facebook spokeswoman said the company does not remove content based simply on how many times it has been reported.


  10. #10
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    The Guardian pulls out of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News

    Jessica Davies
    April 21, 2017

    Publishers aren’t happy with the deal platforms are cutting them. Now, the Guardian has dropped both Facebook’s fast-loading Instant Article format and will no longer publish content on Apple News.

    The publisher had gone all-in on Instant Articles, running every single Guardian article via the format for the last year. It was one of first U.K. media owners to adopt the Facebook format, alongside BBC News in the spring of 2015. The Guardian was also among the first publishers to join the Apple News app when it launched in the U.K. in October 2015. It ran all its articles in the app.

    A Guardian News and Media spokesperson confirmed the removal, and issued the following statement to Digiday: “We have run extensive trials on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News to assess how they fit with our editorial and commercial objectives. Having evaluated these trials, we have decided to stop publishing in those formats on both platforms. Our primary objective is to bring audiences to the trusted environment of the Guardian to support building deeper relationships with our readers, and growing membership and contributions to fund our world-class journalism.”

    The publisher ceased running content through both Apple News and Instant Articles today. The move is a clear sign of displeasure in how these platform-publishing initiatives have treated the business needs of the Guardian. Many publishers have complained the money they make off visits to IA pages, for example, do not measure up to what they get on their own sites.

    The Guardian isn’t the only publisher that has lately cooled on Instant Articles, with several publishers are running far fewer articles within that format, according to analysis by NewsWhip. BBC News, National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal barely seem to be using Instant Articles either. The New York Times has pulled out altogether.

    Plenty of publishers remain on IA, of course, but the loss of marquee publishers like The New York Times and the Guardian is not exactly a great sign of health. Other publishers are likely to take a hard look at where their interests intersect with Facebook’s. The same goes for Apple News, although signs point to many publishers seeing promise there.

    The draw of Instant Articles was that they load much faster than the Facebook links that take readers back to most publishers’ own sites. Engagement is also supposedly higher on those articles than regular Facebook links. But Instant Articles keep people within the Facebook app, rather than sending readers through to a publisher’s own sites, where they can monetize them more effectively, and have better control of reader data.

    The Guardian, under pressure to cut costs and boost revenue, is pushing forwards with its paying membership scheme, and for it to keep building that successfully it must prioritize driving readers back to its own site, where it can ask them to donate or become a paying member, as well as serve advertising.

    It has notched up 200,000 paying members, and over 100,000 one-off donations in the past year. The goal: to reach 1 million paying subscribers by 2019. Although the Guardian hasn’t confirmed the specific revenue made, 200,000 members paying the minimum price tier of £5 a month (£60/$76 a year), would equate to £1 million ($1.3 million) a month, £12 million ($15 million) a year. If the million paying supporters paid the minimum membership of £60 ($77) a year, that would create £60 million ($77 million) in revenue.


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