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Category: Advertising

Academic research finds that targeted ads, based on online dossiers of everyone, do not actually work

Academic research finds that targeted ads, based on online dossiers of everyone, do not actually work

The business model of the Internet is spying. Supposedly, by knowing everything about everyone, marketers selling products, services and political B.S., can target their ad (aka propaganda) messages precisely to each individual. An academic study finds these targeted ad do not work well and do not deliver a value commiserate with their higher price.

Amazon blocked ads with ‘religious content’

Amazon blocked ads with ‘religious content’

Amazon, for some time, blocked advertisers from running ads that were said to contain “religious content”. This included gifts and clothing items with “biblical quotes and religious language”. Amazon has now announced this was done in error. This is another in our series of how large publishers and corporations use their online dominance to control online speech and thought.

Fake reviews now being written by bad AI software

Fake reviews now being written by bad AI software

Fake news, fake reviews – its all the same after a while. Any web service relying on user contributed content has devolved into the noise of fake posts. Now, AI is being applied to writing fake reviews, in an attempt to get around the AI code that seeks to detect fake reviews.

The end of #Youtube user generated content and comments?

The end of #Youtube user generated content and comments?

Youtube just axed comments from tens of millions of videos featuring children – such as, you know, actual family friendly videos – and says they will not run ads on videos that may have “inappropriate comments”. In effect, to make Youtube family friendly, Youtube has just killed off family friendly channels.

Fear is a powerful motivator in propaganda messaging: How its used to sell third party solar

Fear is a powerful motivator in propaganda messaging: How its used to sell third party solar

Third party companies offer to install solar PV arrays on your home and promise to save you money on your monthly electric utility costs. Bloomberg found they use a mix of false assertions, lies, cherry picking and fear as sales methods, to persuade homeowners to sign up and lease the solar PV system for decades. Over time, the lease costs increase such that the homeowner spends far more in the future, while the third party company collects large government subsidies. Few homeowners understand what they got in to. When they go to sell their home, the lease is transferred to the buyer – in effect, TPO solar PV arrays become a dead weight on the home’s future sales potential, particularly to informed buyers who understand the game.

How online news manipulates your perspectives on events by running the same story each day

How online news manipulates your perspectives on events by running the same story each day

Have you noticed that many online news web sites – both newspapers and TV stations – will run a news story and then leave it prominently on their web page for days – even weeks? The stories are typically ones that inflame reader or viewer emotions – and the effect of turning them into semi-permanent stories is to distort the perception of the importance of the story. The primary purpose is likely “click-bait” to drive advertising clicks, but they may also distort the public’s perception on important policy issues.

How marketing propaganda persuades us to buy stuff we often do not need

How marketing propaganda persuades us to buy stuff we often do not need

We are surrounded by marketing propaganda that has enlisted networks of individuals posting online reviews. These ecosystems seem like organic grass roots “from the people” reviews. But most are marketing “astro turf” operations. That is, they are corporate sponsored activities designed to look like they are “from the people”.