Publishers’ Secret Weapon Against Facebook & Google: Brand Safety

By now, you know about the recent brand safety crises surrounding Facebook and YouTube, where brand ads were displayed alongside controversial or inappropriate content. There’s been no shortage of backlash. In fact, the anger among marketers was so great that YouTube lost five percent of its top advertisers before its most recent NewFronts course-correct instilled enough confidence in marketers to rethink abandoning the platform altogether. In the wake of this controversy, publishers are presented with a unique opportunity to capitalize on the increasing importance of brand safety and credibility. They’re now in prime position to attract advertisers over many powerful competitors. Publishers can lean on promises of brand safety to calm the nerves of buyers, and win business over the biggest social platforms. But what does marketing brand safety look like, exactly? What tactics and approaches can be emphasized? Here are the top ways that publishers can present themselves as
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MediaShift Podcast #247: Tech Giants Under Scrutiny in DC; Amazon an Ad Powerhouse; Politico’s Cally Baute on Subscription Biz

In the news this week, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter faced the angry music in Washington, with senators upset at the tech platforms for their slow response to Russian ads that sowed discord during the election. The execs promised to do better, but lawmakers might regulate them instead. Amazon passed an important milestone, selling more than $1 billion in online ads in the last quarter. And as more media men are caught up in sexual harassment charges, Nick Denton points out how his old site Gawker had gossip on many of the miscreants ahead of the deeper reporting. Our Metric of the Week is Flyby Readers, and Politico’s Cally Baute talks tough competition for political news online, and their high-priced subscription products. 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
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Is Facebook Secretly Listening to Your Conversations? This Video Says Yes

We never got hoverboards, but we did get thin slabs of plastic that can access the entirety of human knowledge, plus Tinder. Apps get us food on demand. Games keep us entertained. Social media services let us connect with friends and loved ones. As philosopher Paul Virilio once said,  “When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck.” So, what disasters lay in wait for our tech-obsessed culture? It could be argued we’ve already seen the worst of it. Facebook seems to have been an unwitting accomplice to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Internet comment boards consistently shine a light on humanity’s baser instincts. Our president controls the media cycle by bashing out crude, and often misspelled, micro-statements on Twitter. There’s one shipwreck that has long floated underneath the surface of Internet life, popping into our collective consciousness every now and then, like a sudden Continue reading "Is Facebook Secretly Listening to Your Conversations? This Video Says Yes"

Former Russia Troll Factory Staffer Claims They Made Fake Hillary Clinton Sex Tape

Over the last several weeks, it has been revealed that a Russian troll factory headed by Vladimir Putin‘s pal Yevgeny Prigozhin was responsible for creating a number of highly visited political accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has acknowledged the Russian-linked accounts purchased $100,000 worth of political ads during 2016 election season. We are now getting an inside look at the organization’s operation, thanks to a former staffer who has now gone on the record. In an interview with TV Rain via The Daily Beast, Alan Baskaev explained that the factory, known as Internet Research Agency, may have been behind sowing chaos and discord in American politics, but that those writing the propaganda pieces didn’t take the job too seriously. “You know, there’s this meme about the troll factory, people sitting in black caps, masks, behind them there’s a photo of Putin and a Russian flag. They’re so Continue reading "Former Russia Troll Factory Staffer Claims They Made Fake Hillary Clinton Sex Tape"

This Strategically Placed Logo Drove Fans Absolutely Batty During the World Series

Check out the clip above from Tuesday night’s Game 1 of the World Series. Oh, sorry. Did we say clip? We meant, check out the photo that looks for all the world like it’s a video clip but it’s actually not because YouTube apparently wants to torture us all. Give YouTube credit for this one. The Internet video behemoth placed an ad behind home plate through much of the game featuring their signature red and white play button. When a right-handed batter was in the box, that play button appeared to be right in the middle of the screen — in a spot where one would normally click on it. The ad placement was equal parts brilliant and diabolical. And it drove fans batty watching at home. Here’s a small sampling of the reaction from Twitter:

Must Reads in Media & Technology: July 21

Must Reads is MediaShift’s daily curation of the big stories about media and technology from across the web. Sign up here to get these delivered right to your inbox.
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Watch: Selfie-Taking Woman Stumbles, Causes $200,000 of Damage to Art Exhibit

In a video that has gone viral, a woman at a Los Angeles art exhibit can be seen knocking over a row of pillars, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, according to the artist. The exhibit, by Hong Kong-based multimedia artist Simon Birch, featured rows of pillars with crowns carefully placed on top. The crowns were 3D printed and made of a variety of materials, such nylon, brass, granite, and marble. While viewing the exhibit, the young woman squatted in front of one row of pillars to take a selfie. She ended up losing her balance and fell back into the front post. This triggered a domino effect and 16 pillars toppled over, with all of the crowns falling off. Birch told the New York Times that the ill-fated selfie caused $200,000 worth of damage. In a Facebook post, Birch explained that each crown is valued Continue reading "Watch: Selfie-Taking Woman Stumbles, Causes $200,000 of Damage to Art Exhibit"