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Facebook and Google are taking unprecedented steps to crack down on bad ads

by Jason
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The world of online advertising remains split: there’s the Wild West and then there’s the corporate dystopia. In the wild west, dozens of shadowy firms churn out annoying two-bit ads for a quick buck; fake news sites feed off ad exchanges not entirely unlike those that serve the country’s paper of record; Russian cybercriminals routinely bilk the world’s biggest brands out of millions through ad fraud. SEE ALSO: Can Google’s ad blocker save the online ad industry from itself? Then there’s the corporate dystopia, in which the vast majority of online ad dollars are vacuumed up by two companies: Google […]

Facebook is testing a new tool that makes stalking so easy

by Jason
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Image: mashable Facebook is testing a simultaneously useful and creepy feature for profiles. I opened my Facebook profile Friday morning and discovered a tiny new box at the top, below my profile picturea search bar. SEE ALSO: In search of Facebooks conscience But doesn’t Facebook already have a search bar? Yes, they do, but this one apparently is limited to searching within my own profile. The search bar also appears on every one of my friend’s profiles for searching within theirs. Image: facebook screenshot It’s not a new test, and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for all of us, it’s going […]

Facebook wants to crush terrorism on its network using a new algorithm

by Jason
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Image: Shutterstock / Prazis Facebook has a terrorism problem, and its vowing to fix it. On Thursday, the social media giant announced new plans to use artificial intelligence to scrape words, images, and video in order to wipe terrorist propaganda from its network entirely. The only catch? It still requires a team of 150 counterterrorism experts as well as plenty of other people to fight extremism on the platform. We can only hope this new AI tool is as sophisticated as Facebook claims it is. SEE ALSO: In search of Facebooks conscience “We are currently focusing our most cutting edge […]

Instagram finally accepts branded content with official tool

by Jason
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Listen up, Kardashian Klan and all you wannabe models and socialites shilling products on Instagram. SEE ALSO: Get ready to see less #ad and #spon on Instagram The Facebook-owned app released a tool Wednesday for disclosing sponsored content. Now, when you’re getting paid to take a photo with a Volvo XC90, for example, you can include a tag at the top of the post that reads “Paid partnership with volvocarusa” or insert whatever the Instagram account name of the sponsor is. Here’s what it looks like as a traditional Instagram post and as a post in an Instagram Story, featuring […]

Snapchat releases new research that says its for close friends

by Jason
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Image: snap inc. Snap’s got a message for their haters, naysayers, and short-sellers pointing to their supposedly slowing growth: New users are overrated (especially when our existing users are so engaged). At a time when Snap’s stock is hovering at a disappointingly low $18 while Facebook rolls out copycat product after copycat product, Snap released two new studies on Monday showing who’s using Snapchat, and why that is. SEE ALSO: Beware Snapchatters: Apple’s iOS 11 makes it much, much easier to record snaps Snap’s new research shows that engagement on the app’s high, and influential, tooamong other ways they demonstrate […]