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June 5, 2017

Fake News, Ad Fraud, and Ad Blocking

Revcontent Asks Fake News Readers to Report Fake News

Business Wire

Revcontent drives traffic to client Web sites by putting links to relevant articles on other sites. It’s been criticized for driving traffic and revenue to fake news sites. The company has just launched a “Truth in Media Initiative” that lets consumers report articles they believe to be fake. I'm skeptical: the people reading those articles probably think they’re true, while partisans and partisan-bots are likely to attack accurate news as fake. 

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Digital Ad Fraud Rates Are Falling But Advertisers Could Do Better: ANA and White Ops Study

White Ops

Fake news may be a tad less harmful if many of the viewers are actually robots, but those fraudulent clicks still boost the publishers’ revenue. In a rare bit of good news, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and White Ops reports that revenue lost to ad fraud is down 10% in 2017 from the prior year. The study found that demands for transparency by advertisers can reduce fraud from over 10% to under 2% of spend.

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Ad Blocking Hits 40% And Rising: AdBlock Plus and Global Web Index

Global Web Index

Ad blocking by consumers isn’t a response to fake news, although it does threaten the economics of both legitimate and illegitimate publishers. A study from AdBlock Plus and Global Web Index found that 40% of respondents used an ad blocker in the past month. Ad blocking is likely to increase since it's more common among younger users, just over half the respondents still don't know ad blockers are available, of U.S. and mobile ad blocking happens less often in the U.S. (so far) than in Asia.

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