• 12 hours The TSA Could Decide The Fate Of The Government
  • 16 hours Markets Downbeat On China Trade Data
  • 19 hours Private Firms Spent Record $93 Billion On Natural Resources
  • 21 hours Tesla Cuts Full-Time Employees To Keep A Lid On Spending
  • 2 days Remaining Private Is Becoming More Expensive
  • 2 days Why Are Solar Investments Plummeting?
  • 3 days Workers Walk A Tightrope As Shutdown Puts Paychecks On Hold
  • 3 days Key Indicators Suggest A Recession Is Closer Than We Thought
  • 4 days Palladium Surpasses Gold As Demand Continues To Rise
  • 4 days Is Another Gold Rally On The Horizon?
  • 5 days Most Crypto Investors Don’t Know This Tax Loophole
  • 5 days How Tech Is Decentralizing The Energy Industry
  • 5 days Dissecting Europe's Massive Tennis Match-Fixing Scandal
  • 5 days This Gold Deal Could Be A Boon For The Mining Industry
  • 6 days 5 Companies That Could Win Big As The U.S. Legalizes Sports Betting
  • 6 days May Survives No-Confidence Vote Despite Huge Loss On Brexit Deal
  • 6 days U.S. Trade Deficit With China Grows To Record High
  • 6 days Big Oil Doubles Down On Blockchain Tech
  • 6 days What Top Financial Analysts Are Saying About Brexit
  • 7 days Billion Dollar Opportunity In The World’s Most Exciting Sector
If It’s Digital, It’s Vulnerable

If It’s Digital, It’s Vulnerable

The digital age has created…

Hackers Tap Into The U.S. Electric Grid

Hackers Tap Into The U.S. Electric Grid

Hackers recently tapped into the…

  1. Home
  2. Tech
  3. Tech News

Facebook’s War On Propaganda

Facebook

Facebook continues to be a moneymaking powerhouse as the company's latest quarterly report aptly reminded even its doubters; but a massive scandal over data privacy is at least making it blink—and now it’s going after one of its own cash cows, video ads.

Facebook has always expressed its displeasure at users who abuse its numerous ad platforms and touted its commitment to keeping the platform safe and free from political rhetoric.

Now, FB appears keen to put its money where its mouth is as it embarks on one of its most aggressive clean-up exercises.

But is the company being too aggressive with its anti-political drive, while at the same time not doing nearly enough on the data privacy side of things?

Another Adword Conspiracy?

There was a huge outcry back in 2012 when Google undertook a massive clean-up exercise of its popular Adword platform. The giant ad company proceeded to ban thousands of advertisers from the platform who it claimed were gaming the system in what came to be known as the “Adword Conspiracy”.

Related: What Really Drives Gold Prices?

FB seems to have learned from the best and has launched a similar exercise, though it's likely to eventually make Google's Adword conspiracy look like child's play.

Facebook has officially started to enforce new rules for political advertising. The company is hell-bent on weeding out the bad actors, banning videos that are deemed to be carrying even the slightest political innuendo at the drop of a dime, and even going overboard by doing the same to seemingly innocuous ones.

A case in point is Showtime, whose string of trailers showcasing its new documentary series The Fourth Estate were recently axed from the site by FB. Facebook said it banned the videos because they violated its new rules, which require strict verification of any account promoting political content.

The verification process is rigorous to say the least--marketers are required to obtain a government-issued ID that is used to trigger a verification code that's then sent to a U.S. mailing address. The whole process requires significant coordination and can take several days.

In yet another demonstration of FB's new-found hypervigilance, The Verge says that it discovered 85 of its posts had fallen afoul of FB's new rules in the first week alone, including completely innocent graduation speeches by the British royal family.

Trump / Russia in particular seems to trigger FB's first-line of filters, meaning ads are blocked first, and questions asked later.

And, just like Google, FB has threatened to ban accounts found in violation.

Double Standards?

Reached for comment by The Verge, FB acknowledged that its current iteration of filters could be extreme.

But while FB has been going for overkill with its campaign against political advertising, recent events suggest that it's not nearly as averse to sharing user data with third parties.

Related: The Yuan Could Become Africa’s New Trade Currency

FB is currently going through a messy split with WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton due to Facebook's insistence on using ad-targeting to monetize WhatsApp--something the two are firmly against.

Apparently, the two WhatsApp founders feel strongly enough about FB's data privacy violations, with Acton having forfeited $900 million in unvested stock options after leaving in the fall, and Koum willing to follow suit by leaving $400 million on the table when he departs in August.

Washington State has today sued FB and Google for failing to keep records about political ad buyers. It's going to be interesting to see how the two cope with the likely barrage of European GDPR-related privacy data lawsuits that might be coming their way.

By Alex Kimani for Safehaven.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment