Google Defends Itself Against Fraud Claims; YouTube Ad Guidelines Confuse Content Makers

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Browser Flimflam

A grabbing WSJ headline, “Microsoft and Google Browsers Had High Ad Fraud Rate,” obscures a relatively benign study from FraudLogix on browser-based fraud rates, which claims Internet Explorer and Chrome are the most affected. Of course, it’s all within a relatively small range (sub-5% nonhuman traffic), and the higher fraud shows up in older versions of Chrome. Internet Explorer is discontinued, as Microsoft has moved on to Edge. In a statement, Google said that “measuring ad fraud per browser has not been a helpful way of understanding this issue,” since bot developers routinely program their malware to look like a different browser. More.

No Ads For You

The past week or so has seen a groundswell of YouTube content creators posting notices that some of their videos had been flagged and would not be monetized. Kotaku reports, “A lot of the confusion seems to be a related to the ‘YouTube’s Advertiser-friendly content guidelines’ page, which says that swearing, sexually suggestive content, violence, drug use, or usage of controversial subjects are not advertiser friendly.” Many of the videos weren’t controversial, but vloggers were quick to state the notices had a chilling effect. Others announced they were moving to Canada… er, Facebook. YouTube said its policies haven’t changed, and it sent the emails to make it easier for YouTubers to appeal incorrectly flagged content. More.

Snapback To Reality

Has Snapchat proven its viability as a media channel? The Drum chronicles the messaging app’s summer of ad product launches and brand deal inkings. Advertisers are pleased with Snapchat’s personalized touch and access to millennials. But! “There is likely to be increasing scrutiny from the various advertising watchdogs as celebrities begin to use the platform for product endorsements, and Snapchat’s current reluctance to share much in the way of data can be a turn off,” said Alex Whittaker, head of social strategy at agency Possible. Brands are also wary of the high price tag on Snapchat’s geofilters and ad offers. Snapchat, on the other hand, thinks brands might not really understand its “rough and ready feel,” and it fears their tendency for a more polished look might disconnect the platform from its audience. More.

Pokemon Privacy

Pokémon Go has found itself in hot water over aggressive data collection, some of which the company said was a mistake and fixed in an app update. In a written response to queries from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) about the game’s data practices, developer Niantic noted a nuance: It may not sell the user data it collects, but does use outside companies to collect and interpret data about players for marketing-related analytics (although never for children under 13). That said, according to Niantic general counsel Courtney Greene Power, the company “does not and has no plans to sell Pokemon Go user data – aggregated, de-identified or otherwise – to any third party.” More at MediaPost.

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