Facebook’s Misinfo Problems Continue; Vizio’s Inscape Limits Data Use

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Falling Short?

Facebook updated its misinformation policy to include vaccine-related content, as the company continues fighting against claims that it isn’t doing enough to protect its billions of users. The Wall Street Journal reports that the social networking giant will over the coming weeks start removing false claims and conspiracy theories about vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram. The company said the policy update reflects anticipation of vaccines becoming available soon. But Facebook continues to have problems corralling misinformation in other topics. According to Business Insider, a new report found that ahead of two pivotal runoff elections in Georgia – which could decide whether Republicans or Democrats control the US Senate – Facebook is failing to add fact-check labels to the majority of the most viral posts containing fake news about elections in the state, and falling short of its promise to crack down on election-related misinformation. The report found that Facebook didn't apply fact-check labels to 60% of the top-performing posts containing false election claims – or any label at all to 30% of posts – even though third-party fact-checkers had debunked their claims. Read on. [Related: Facebook Used AI To Identify 95% Of The Hate Speech It Removed In Q3].

“I Am Altering The Deal …”

Like a millennial, Vizio’s data selling unit Inscape was born, left home and returned. But now that Inscape is once again fully integrated into Vizio, it is no longer the free spirit spreading its smart TV data to the rest of the advertising world. Per Andrew Blustein of Adweek, “Vizio is restructuring contracts with Inscape customers to limit retargeting and other use cases of Inscape data that would cannibalize or otherwise compete with Vizio’s emerging ad business.” These deals came prior to Vizio launching its own in-house ad selling business and before it brought Inscape back into the fold. This move underscores how the owners of CTV inventory are starting to close up shop, from Amazon severing its relationship with The Trade Desk, to the way Roku and Samsung heavily guard their first-party data, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on where you sit in the industry.

Travel 2.0

It’s no surprise that the travel industry is facing financial ruin in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But The Drum reports that there is a bright spot on the horizon. Citing McKinsey research, travel demand was recovering even before news of a vaccine – but travelers face the reality of destinations with fewer activities than before the pandemic. Still, Jo McClintock, senior director of global marketing of brand and content at flight comparison tool Skyscanner, said it is “anticipating a multi-speed return to pre-coronavirus levels of global travel over the next few years.” Skyscanner attributes the recent demand surge to news of vaccine progress, coupled with Black Friday and travel’s usual peak sales period approaching. Justin Reid, director of EMEA destination marketing at TripAdvisor, describes it as a travel “reboot” following shutdowns across the industry – although travelers are more closely researching safety and cleanliness before they book their getaways. Marketing conversations have recently changed from reassurance to reengagement. Geotargeted programmatic spend is up, tailored to local restrictions by region. “Our programmatic demand is back at pre-coronavirus levels. The targeting is vital right now.” But what messages are being targeted? Read on

Fresh Critics

Google just can’t catch a break (if you overlook its pile of cash, stock price, guaranteed security in the post-cookie world, etc). Business Insider writes that the tech giant is facing fresh criticism from smaller search engine rivals after announcing the results of its latest Android "choice screen" auction in Europe, in which competitors bid for space on Android devices. European Android phone owners can choose their top search engine through a dedicated choice screen. The development came after the EU slapped Google with a $5 billion fine for anti-competitive behavior in 2018, saying it had abused its dominant Android mobile operating system to cement the popularity of Google apps and services. The choice screen offers up to four different search engines, including Google’s, and different EU markets will see different search engine options. German rival Ecosia blasted the tech giant's "profit-sapping" practices, and called on the EU to ramp up antitrust proceedings. "The process, engineered by Google, not only discourages smaller search alternatives from participating. Slots tend to be allocated to for-profit enterprises with significant financial backing," said Sophie Dembinski, Ecosia's head of UK public policy. Google maintains that Android “provides people with unprecedented choice in deciding which applications they install, use and set as default on their devices.”

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