Facebook Links Ads To Russian Election Meddlers; Momentum For Blockchain

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Nyet Again

In a blog post, Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said Facebook traced about $100,000 in ad spend back to 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages operated out of Russia that are likely connected to each other. While a majority of the accounts “didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate,” Stamos writes, they did appear to “focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum.” About one quarter of the ads purchased by these accounts were geographically targeted. Facebook said it will work to apply its technology that identifies fake accounts to Pages and the ads that run on them and be more efficient in catching these accounts before they are created. Read the blog post.

Chain Of Command

The blockchain-based ad startup Amino Payments is going into beta with AppNexus and Dstillery as partners and T-Mobile as an advertiser, reports Mike Shields at Business Insider. The main selling point for a blockchain-based approach is to rinse the supply chain of domain spoofers and unwanted intermediaries. Major brands are in a position to demand dramatically higher standards from digital media, says Amino founder Will Luttrell, who also co-founded Integral Ad Science. “If you control all the money, you can control a host of problems, because you control transparency.” More. Related in AdExchanger: The Marketer’s Guide To Blockchain.

You’ve Been “Demonetized”

When a wave of major brands pulled YouTube advertising over brand safety concerns, Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler wrote that Google would make changes, but “act carefully, preserving the value we currently provide to advertisers, publishers and creators of all sizes.” The problem: Sometimes preserving value for one stakeholder must undercut another. In this case, YouTube creators are absorbing the losses. The company must automate video “demonetization” or some brand-unsafe content will see ads until a flag is raised. And that process is going to hurt some content creators, including those with legitimate videos that relate to blockable content (like, say, domestic abuse networks or news services that cover terrorism). More at Digiday.

Giving Away The Store

Kohl’s will open up 1,000 square feet of in-store real estate in 10 locations for Amazon to sell products like the Echo speaker and Fire tablet (and potentially other branded or private-label products). It’s an old idea for department stores, but it’s the first time Amazon will be allowed in the front door by one of the big chains that increasingly view Amazon as a direct threat, and not a frenemy. Kohl’s share price was up 5% on the day, after dropping by almost a fifth in the past year. More at Bloomberg.

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