2019.11.15 Last Week in Digital Media


Here’s your last week in digital media and all the news you may have missed:





  • twitter has shared a draft of a new policy for how it will manage fake content or what it calls “synthetic and manipulated media”. If you want to provide feedback, there’s a ~5min survey you can complete (I strongly recommend you do this) but you must do so before close on Wed, Nov. 27 at 11:59 p.m GMT.
  • also in twitter policy news, details have emerged about twitter’s new political ad policy that will come into effect November 22. It includes a ban on ads by politicians and political parties. “Cause based” ads (which is somewhat similar to Facebook’s issue ads) will be restricted in terms of targeted advertising and requires a certification process to run.
  • Facebook published its quarterly transparency report (and included some Instagram data for the first time). The report breaks down details by category of content, outside of safety (where Facebook removed 54MM pieces of content) probably the biggest on of concern to advertisers is Fake Accounts (as the can cause inauthentic ad views). Last quarter Facebook disabled 1.7B (yes billion) fake accounts with 99.7% found and flagged by automated systems before users reported them. If you don’t have time to read the full report, there’s a summary press release here.
  • There were reports during the week that Facebook was activating the phone camera to track people browsing their feeds. It appears this Facebook camera issue was a bug and Facebook claims nothing was filmed, stored, or used. If you’re still concerned, best to disable camera permissions for the Facebook app.
  • There’s a good study out of Yale University on the “Economics of Social Data” (PDF link) which is full of interesting analysis, including that the social dimension of data reduces the costs of data acquisition; and that the economic surplus generated by major platforms is a result of their efficiency in data collection.

Have a great week.


PS. This doesn’t neatly fit into the typical categories, but there’s a great read on MIT Technology Review about “Shadow Wars” and what is effectively information warfare. Personally, I think a lot of this is a heads up to brands as well – as there is evidence that attacking corporations and brand disinformation is part of the shadow war strategy.