Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
How Is Disinformation Gaming Ad Tech? [pdf] (disinformationindex.org)
55 points by DyslexicAtheist 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments



The rise of fake news, disinformation and the subsequent flaring of ignorance and hate are directly related to the currency of the web - ad imps.

This is not new but has been exaggerated by the scale and the lack of any human oversight that Google and other ad exchanges offer. Pair in the ability to cookie match based on "intent" and thousands of other psycho-graphic and historical data points, and you have a definitive problem.

For the longest time the issue was with the publishers themselves not being vetted. As bot filters and traffic reviews became better, they switched from sites themselves, to ads distributed.

But the real issue is that media (not just digital) has ZERO incentive to change their practices. Attention is the currency of media and since controversy and sensationalism draw more eyeballs, they are used by actors across the spectrum to enhance their audience size and their revenue. Google and FB use this to their advantage by providing no market basis for their price.

IMHO Facebook's problem is not the ads, its the fact that content distribution is sold as ads and 99/100 people cannot tell the difference between a friend sharing something and that something having been a paid boost or placement.

The funny thing is that almost all of our current social issues are directly tied to advertising pushing the wrong message to the wrong people and the wrong time. Its the only reason we have Trump, or Kardashian for that matter and is the reason words no longer have any actual meaning. Dont believe me? Just look at words like Unlimited, guaranteed, free, etc for examples of this perversion.

When we allowed the use of words without any legal blowback, we started down the slippery slope that ended with Trump. A man who is neither virtuous nor experienced at anything but playing the media sensationalism card better than anyone...


The problem of unqualified freedom of speech is that it amounts to freedom to lie without consequence for those that have power. And once you can lie with impunity, you have a mechanism to consolidate that power, either by disrupting those hostile to you (fake news, astroturfing, etc) or by providing support to those that support your goals.


You’re kind of right, but not quite.

When the bolsheviks took power the first thing they did was seize the means of communication in order to control speech. They became the only authorized voice to speak.

So it’s not freedom of speech but control of speech by a single entity that establishes “narrative” that is the problem.


So maybe whats important is striving for an greater equality of power to speak? Power is both politics and money, and if you have enough of it, you can control the narrative and cause problems.


The problem with restricting speech to only "true" speech is that then the truth is defined by those in power and those who disagree may not speak.


Freedom is indeed freedom to lie, bit it is also freedom to tell inconvenient truths. The two seem to balance quite well.


This isnt "free speech", this is unfettered capitalism and greed.

Free speech is about the Govt limiting what you can and cannot say. This is about how you can pay to manipulate the truth by leveraging a false sense of trust inherent in media.

More akin to "Truth in Advertising" than free speech. People should not be allowed to misrepresent themselves or the facts without some blowback, either criminally (fraud) or civil (libel).

[Digital] advertising is responsible for destroying trust.


IMHO The core problem is unsourced quotes.

Just like HTTP vs HTTPS.

Everyone can still say whatever they want. But any unsigned (unclaimed) statement is just gossip.


>But the real issue is that media (not just digital) has ZERO incentive to change their practices. Attention is the currency of media and since controversy and sensationalism draw more eyeballs, they are used by actors across the spectrum to enhance their audience size and their revenue. Google and FB use this to their advantage by providing no market basis for their price.

Why include "media" in this? This is uniquely a Google and Facebook problem. The old world of media had dedicated ad sellers, and rudimentary demographic information, to pitch and price their ad inventory to ad buyers. It's a world of people actually vetting things at every stage.

Podcast ads still work this way because Apple isn't an ad-tech company and they have dominant share of podcast players. Spotify is trying to "ad-techify" podcast advertising as we speak.


Not at all true. Mediums such as (film, broadcastTV, CableTV, print, radio all use the same tactics to enhance their ratings / viewers / audience. Media is a word to describe the sector - communications, distribution, etc.

The so-called traditional media skirt any so-called ethics and publish what gets them the most attention. Their ads are not subject to any overview aside from the FTC's loose rules on TIA and the whims of management. This is why Fox News is able to thrive, there is no requirement to be correct or accurate or even fair... Hence the irony of their long time tag line.

Next time you see that ad for unlimited bandwidth or a money back guarantee or a "free" what ever, note the medium. Its everywhere on every medium.


Not give the example that proves the rule but...

Don't watch him much but from what I've seen Chris Wallace from what I've seen actually tries to practice professional journalism on fox.


It has recently come to light how Google helped fake news sites in Brazil:

https://theintercept.com/2019/11/19/fake-news-google-bloguei...

Apparently, the advertisers were not aware of where their ads were being shown.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: