MediaShift Podcast #241: Social Platforms Help Target Ads to Racist Groups; ‘Report for America’ Tries Public Service Journalism; NYC Media Lab’s Justin Hendrix

In the news this week, journalists found that Facebook, Google and Twitter all allowed them to target ads toward racist groups like “Jew haters” and “black people ruin neighborhoods.” The social platforms quickly removed those terms. A new initiative called Report for America aims to place 1,000 public service journalists into newsrooms over the next five years. Can a Peace Corps idea help boost local journalism? And the creator of the Pepe the Frog cartoon is taking legal action against alt-right groups for selling merchandise with his image. Our Metric of the Week is ARPU, and we go one-on-one with Justin Hendrix, executive director of the NYC Media Lab, to discuss his upcoming Summit next week and a new center focused on virtual and augmented reality. Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to get a roundup of the week’s top news? Then check out
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Facebook Agrees to Provide to Congress Russian-Purchased Ads for 2016 Election

Facebook confirmed today that they will provide copies of roughly 3,000 political ads Russian accounts purchased by Russian accounts during last year’s presidential election. This reverses the company’s decision to only show Congress the ads but not leave them with copies to study. Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg announced the decision on Facebook Live this afternoon, pointing out that after he did an extensive legal and policy review, he felt it was extremely “important” to cooperate with Congress and that this wouldn’t endanger user privacy. It was reported earlier this month that a Russian troll farm had purchased roughly $100,000 worth of political ads that focused largely on divisive political and social issues. Congressional investigators had complained about a lack of cooperation from Facebook regarding these ads, claiming the social media company wasn’t cooperating with the Russia election interference probe. Watch the clip above, via Facebook. [image via screengrab] — Follow Continue reading "Facebook Agrees to Provide to Congress Russian-Purchased Ads for 2016 Election"

This guy watched a full 24 hours of Facebook Watch (so you don’t have to) and thinks it’ll work

“Dog Who Lost Her Legs Was Determined To Walk Again.” “Two Zombies Go on a Blind Date in VR.” “SHE HAS 20 CARS!” If you haven’t yet waded into Watch — the original video tab that Facebook launched earlier this month — then please know that somebody else spent the equivalent of a day there and then wrote up what he found. Henry Goldman, who was head of video at BuzzFeed News until last month, watched 24 hours of video on Facebook Watch (over the course of about a week) to “to figure out what might work and what seems weird, at least, so far.” (He even made a spreadsheet to track what he watched.) A few of his notes: — “I watched a total of 162 ‘shows,’ with an average run time of 8.9 minutes.” Some videos on Facebook Watch are Continue reading "This guy watched a full 24 hours of Facebook Watch (so you don’t have to) and thinks it’ll work"

BuzzFeed’s strategy for getting content to do well on all platforms? Adaptation and a lot of A/B testing

OMG: BuzzFeed gets so many of its posts — from Facebook videos to quizzes to listicles (though apparently it no longer refers internally to articles in numbered format as ‘listicles’) to go viral through tailoring subject matters to the platforms with the most receptive audiences, plus constant A/B testing. BuzzFeed data infrastructure engineer Walter Menendez shared an overview of the publisher’s strategy at a talk at MIT on Thursday night. There’s no one secret sauce, and many other digitally savvy publishers employ related tactics (though there were internal benchmarks and metrics BuzzFeed uses that Menendez declined to share during the talk). “The core secret, I guess, is that we’re focused on people. When we’re thinking about ways that we make content, we focus ultimately on the end user engagement and the emotional state they’ll have after reading our content,” Menendez said. “We want to focus on making sure we’re not just
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MediaShift Podcast #240: Apple Moves to the High End; Regulation Coming for Tech Giants?; Facebook’s Jason White

In the news this week, Apple announced its new line of iPhones, including a $1000 iPhone X and Apple TV with 4K support. Can it win at higher price points? And Google, Facebook and other tech giants are coming under pressure from conservatives and liberals for their growing power, which could lead to government regulation. And with hurricanes Harvey and Irma there was increased saturation video coverage from the Washington Post, as well as questions about TV correspondents being blown around in the storms. Our Metric of the Week is Feature Metrics, and Facebook’s Jason White joins us to discuss the social giant’s moves to work better with publishers and ferret out fake news.  Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to get a roundup of the week’s top news? Then check out our Digital Media Brief below!

MediaShift Podcast

Digital Media Brief

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Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #240: Apple Moves to the High End; Regulation Coming for Tech Giants?; Facebook’s Jason White"

MediaShift Podcast #240: Apple Moves to the High End; Regulation Coming for Tech Giants?; Facebook’s Jason White

In the news this week, Apple announced its new line of iPhones, including a $1000 iPhone X and Apple TV with 4K support. Can it win at higher price points? And Google, Facebook and other tech giants are coming under pressure from conservatives and liberals for their growing power, which could lead to government regulation. And with hurricanes Harvey and Irma there was increased saturation video coverage from the Washington Post, as well as questions about TV correspondents being blown around in the storms. Our Metric of the Week is Feature Metrics, and Facebook’s Jason White joins us to discuss the social giant’s moves to work better with publishers and ferret out fake news.  Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to get a roundup of the week’s top news? Then check out our Digital Media Brief below!

MediaShift Podcast

Digital Media Brief

Listen to
Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #240: Apple Moves to the High End; Regulation Coming for Tech Giants?; Facebook’s Jason White"

Facebook Allowed Advertisers To Direct Their Ads to ‘Jew Haters’

Facebook is under fire for enabling advertisers to actively reach anti-Semitic accounts. A report from ProPublica shows that up until this week, the social media giant allowed advertisers to narrow their target audience to roughly 2,300 people who have expressed interests in topics “Jew hater” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’” To test their reporting, ProPublica paid $30 to target those groups with three “promoted posts,” which were just standard articles from its site. Facebook approved the ads within 15 minutes. When ProPublica reached out to Facebook for comment, Facebook removed all the anti-Semitic categories, which they insist were created by an algorithm based on the interests of Facebook users and not Facebook itself. They said they would “explore ways to fix the problem, such as limiting the number of categories available or scrutinizing them before they are displayed to buyers.”   Facebook Product Management Director Rob Continue reading "Facebook Allowed Advertisers To Direct Their Ads to ‘Jew Haters’"