Twitter Traces Russian Ad Buys; Amazon’s NFL Results

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Twitter’s Turn

You may have heard: Twitter found a total of 201 bots with ties to Russian election interference. Twenty-two of those accounts were tied to accounts flagged by Facebook, although none were registered advertisers on Twitter. All of the accounts have since been suspended. Twitter also looked into ads purchased by accounts associated with Russia’s government-owned media outlet, Russia Today (RT), which spent over $274,000 on Twitter in 2016. Three accounts associated with RT promoted 1,823 tweets that “definitely or potentially” targeted US voters. Twitter said of its investigation, “With hundreds of millions of Tweets globally every day, scaling these efforts continues to be a challenge.” Read it.


Amazon raked in 2 million viewers for its first live stream of Thursday Night Football last week, according to the NFL. Twitter pulled in slightly more viewers (2.3 million) when it streamed its first NFL game last year, but Amazon viewers watched longer. Amazon’s offer to NFL advertisers is unique compared to other digital platforms because it can tack on closed-loop attribution for items bought over its platform. “Streaming live sports is a new, integral part of Amazon’s strategy to encourage more people to sign up to its Prime shopping club and spend more on retail goods,” Reuters reports. More.

Out Of The Blocks

A group of former Disney software engineers recreated an internal blockchain project dubbed Dragonchain as an independent business, Dragonchain Inc. The goal is to offer a blockchain platform without the transparency concerns in blockchain-based advertising. More at Business Insider. Blockchains allow for more precise attribution and could address digital media fraud. But since a single digital ad can “touch” marketing vendors, exchanges, supply vendors, data contributors and analytics before reaching its media destination, too much transparency can be a bad thing. “As you start adding proxies, vendors and data that impacts the logic and delivery of campaigns, it gets technically challenging,” blockchain advertising company MetaX CEO Ken Brooks told AdExchanger [check out The Marketer’s Guide To Blockchain]. Dragonchain plans to raise funds through an initial coin offering. Disney has no involvement.

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