Kidtech startup SuperAwesome is now valued at $100+ million and profitable

 Technology companies like Facebook and Google are scrambling to catch up to the fact that the kids have joined a web originally built for adults, and are using it the way adults do – by liking and commenting, sharing, clicking through on personalized recommendations, and viewing ads. But the technology underpinning apps and sites built for kids can’t operate the same way as it does… Read More

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Google cancels UK ads from shady rehab clinic referrers already banned in US

 Another day, another way tech giants are found to be profiting handsomely from unsavory ad practices. Today brings the news, as reported by the Sunday Times, that Google has reaped “millions” from shady companies advertising online as help lines for people suffering from addiction, but in reality funnel those people to expensive private clinics, earning huge commissions. Read More

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Thousands of major sites are taking silent anti-ad-blocking measures

 It’s no secret that ad blockers are putting a dent in advertising-based business models on the web. This has produced a range of reactions, from relatively polite whitelisting asks to dynamic redeployment of ads to avoid blocking. A new study finds that nearly a third of the top 10,000 sites on the web are taking ad blocking countermeasures, many silent and highly sophisticated. Read More

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Apple introduces a new pay-per-install ad product called Search Ads Basic

 Apple today is introducing a new way for app developers to acquire users for their apps: it’s launching a pay-per-install advertising product called Search Ads Basic. The “basic” branding signals that this product is being aimed at smaller developers compared with the existing Search Ads product, which is now being renamed to Search Ads Advanced. Launched last year, Search… Read More

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Facebook will temporarily disable a tool that lets advertisers exclude people of color

 Facebook has been under fire for its practices and policies that enable advertisers to exclude “multicultural affinity” groups from the audiences they reach via the social network. Now, in light of a ProPublica investigation and pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus, Facebook says it’s committed to taking a closer look at its advertising policies, its COO Sheryl… Read More

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Pinterest rolls out its own version of QR codes

 If you are walking around a retailer, you might have seen a sign or something along those lines posted to check out its Pinterest account for additional content or products – but there was not really a seamless way to get to that account without a lot of tapping around. Taking a cue from some of the prevalence of QR codes around the world, like China, Pinterest said today that it is… Read More

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Covert influence is the new money laundering

 As more media companies realize Russia bought advertising space or promoted news stories — fake and otherwise — on their platforms, covert influence has become the new money laundering. Both activities hide below the surface of legitimate enterprises, cast a shadow of disrepute on those very enterprises and can be neutralized through transparency and accountability. Read More

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Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election

 In a textbook illustration of the conflict of interest between Facebook and Google’s ostensible dedication to free speech and their ostensible espousal of progressive values, the internet giants reportedly took millions in advertising money from a major anti-immigration group at the same time as both were engaged in pro-immigration advocacy. Read More

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Facebook’s ad targeting tools could be a valuable supplement to census data

 Official census forms are an invaluable source for demographic data throughout the country, but for trends that occur on the scale of weeks or months rather than years, they’re a bit lacking. But a new study shows that similar data used by Facebook to target ads could help fill in that blind spot. Read More

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