Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: YouTube and the programmatic problem

17 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    Chris Keall has pointed out to me that Xero has blacklisted Breibart News, so its ads won't appear there.

    From their comms person:

    “The sites blacklisted tend to be global sites but there will be local sites,” Ms Mercer says.

    Which ones? She won’t say.

    “We don't have relationships with the sites themselves. These are through Google Ad Exchanges which work with hundreds of thousands of sites.

    “We regularly review sites that come up on our radar and that do not reflect our values. We don't tend to make these site exclusions public because they tend to change over time.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Ram,

    Attachment

    Rugby.

    Since Mar 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Ram, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    They still had some slipping through after that announcement. WorkFlow Max is their product. The methods for exclusion aren't perfect.

    Since Mar 2008 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    how much of what ads a person is subject to is the site not the user - i.e. do ads follow a user (IP address I guess)? I know if I look at a item in a online store I am then advertised strongly to for that product & store across multiple sites - what I'm asking is were the juicy and jetstar ads on the USA supreme site there because of placement or your visit?

    Isn't the solution for those companies et al wanting to protect their image by not associating with what must be acceptable accounts and sites to simply nor use the ad placement mechanism - if double-click, google or whatever aren't doing what a client wants don't use those services???

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd imagine Jucy and Jetstar buy up lots of cheap space targeted at anyone from NZ - it's probably not more subtle than that. It's a cheap method of advertising, not least because of the low work factor for the advertiser - they don't need to make a business decision as to where they want to place ads or engage with the individual site owners.

    And they can easily measure this stuff - when they sell an air ticket or rent a van through a click through from a site, they can see that the customer found them through a web ad and measure how many dollars they spend on ads for each dollar of revenue.

    [Of course, this doesn't directly measure people who decide *not* to use them because of a misplaced ad, or people who become aware of their existence through ads and browse to the website directly].

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I’d imagine Jucy and Jetstar buy up lots of cheap space targeted at anyone from NZ – it’s probably not more subtle than that.

    That’s exactly how it works. They set a budget and some parameters and the black box finds them their audience as cheaply and effectively as possible.

    It’s a cheap method of advertising, not least because of the low work factor for the advertiser – they don’t need to make a business decision as to where they want to place ads or engage with the individual site owners.

    Yes, certainly. And they get a report saying how many 30+ men in Auckland they reached or whatever. Those two brands are probably less concerned about reputational impact than others might be.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    how much of what ads a person is subject to is the site not the user – i.e. do ads follow a user (IP address I guess)?

    Not IP address, thank god. It's done with cookies – and tracking cookies in particular. Facebook even tracks your non-Facebook traffic, because it knows information about you that it can sell.

    I know if I look at a item in a online store I am then advertised strongly to for that product & store across multiple sites – what I’m asking is were the juicy and jetstar ads on the USA supreme site there because of placement or your visit?

    Because of my visit. I'm a New Zealander they want to reach, doesn't matter where. Except where it might matter because it's Nazis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    More from Mashable:

    Like all of Google's ads, YouTube ads are placed through automated exchanges that sort them, based on what's known about a given user's demographic.

    Advertisers can choose to exclude their promotions from appearing on certain topics or categories of video, as a way of further controlling where their ads are seen.

    The company also announced more tools this week that'll allow them to blacklist specific channels or categories of video.

    Here's the problem: No matter what settings a brand picks, Google claims it never places ads on videos "with hate speech, gory, or offensive content."

    Naturally, given the billions of videos on the site, it's nearly impossible to enforce this to a tee.

    But there seems to be some gaping holes.

    For instance, on a channel where the notoriously awful hate group Westboro Baptist Church posts strange, homophobic pop song parodies, an ad for Google's own computer science student program popped up on a video called, "Fat Bottomed Whores."

    The song is a reimagining of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" that includes the lyrics: "Oh, will God destroy the whore tonight? Oh, when will we see that fiery sight?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And because Congressional Republicans seem to have a lust for doing stupid, evil things, this:

    Internet service providers will soon be allowed to sell your browsing history, financial and health data, and other personal information to third-parties according to a bill passed by the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon ...

    The Obama-era rules that the new law will nullify mandated that internet service providers ask for opt-in consent from users before selling sensitive information to advertisers, a revenue stream that ISPs have long wanted to tap.

    “If the bill is signed into law, companies like Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon will have free rein to hijack your searches, sell your data, and hammer you with unwanted advertisements,” Electronic Frontier Foundation legislative counsel Ernesto Falcon wrote in a blog post.

    Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press Action Fund, said in a statement that House Republicans “voted to take away the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of Americans just so a few giant companies could pad their already considerable profits.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I wonder how much ads from recognisable, reputable companies lends credibility or legitimacy to marginal news sites. I suspect many people rely on exactly these kinds of spurious cues in assessing whether what they are reading can be trusted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I wonder how much ads from recognisable, reputable companies lends credibility or legitimacy to marginal news sites. I suspect many people rely on exactly these kinds of spurious cues in assessing whether what they are reading can be trusted.

    You make an excellent point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Scott G,

    Every device I have has ad blocker and tracker blockers installed. I just never see this stuff. Or anything else. This form of advertising is either a blunt instrument or creepily invasive and I want nothing to do with it. Also, it generally just distracts from the content.

    Since Mar 2016 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ahh I should have known that.... so if ads follow the cookies they'd only turn up on a nazi site if I went to said site

    In which case isn't the problem with those individuals companies are targeting via tracked cookies not the sites themselves? Even nazis want insurance, juicy rentals and banking I am guessing - please note I'm not a nazi, nor visitor of such sites, and no one can prove I am until my ISP sells my search/browser history... *sigh*

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bob daktari,

    Even nazis want insurance, juicy rentals and banking I am guessing

    They do. But people who are offended majorly by Nazis probably object to anyone effectively paying Nazis to do their Nazi thing. Without making a conscious decision, we associate things presented together, that's why/how advertising works. And that works for association of positive feelings and negative feelings alike. If the negative feelings are particularly strong, the advertising could do a lot more damage than the returns made from selling stuff to Nazis.

    Which is quite aside from any moral objections the advertisers themselves might have to Nazis. I'd be willing to bet that those are not insignificant drivers of companies pulling their advertising. I'd do it if I were an advertiser, just on principle - there's no way I'd even want a small dribble of money going to the kind of people advocating for a group of bastards who literally rendered large numbers of humans down for the fat in their bodies and then made consumables out of it, as just one example of the millions standing in the collective consciousness and strongly associated with Nazism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Scott G,

    Every device I have has ad blocker and tracker blockers installed. I just never see this stuff.

    I used to do that. But then I stopped bothering and found that I never see it anyway. I pretty much look away, do something else, mute the sound, whenever advertising presents. Turns out it was not as onerous as I'd thought before when I used to obsess about keeping impure content out of my mind. It's essentially invisible to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    Every device I have has ad blocker and tracker blockers installed. I just never see this stuff.

    I used to do that. But then I stopped bothering and found that I never see it anyway. I pretty much look away, do something else, mute the sound, whenever advertising presents. Turns out it was not as onerous as I'd thought before when I used to obsess about keeping impure content out of my mind. It's essentially invisible to me.

    It's intrusive in certain circumstances, for example if you're running a YouTube automatically-generated music playlist in the background while working in the foreground. I installed adblock to prevent being forcibly pulled out of my work trance every few minutes by some overly-upbeat idiot attempting to convince me of the benefits of...whatever, and having to then go and find the right window and hit the 'skip now' button in order to get rid of them.

    Having said that, it does seem to make some browsers slightly unstable. I've had some minor issues on Firefox which I suspect might be related. I've also found that it's quite jarring to switch to another browser where it isn't installed and be confronted with a vomit of primary colours splashed across the page rather than soothing white.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The online activist group Sleeping Giants has been doing some groundwork in helping to de-fund sites like Breitbart. However, tech giants Amazon and Facebook have so far not responded to the call. Is it going to take Breitbart to go full-on kompromat on Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg for them to get arse into gear?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

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