The Big Story: Ukrainian Ad Tech’s Fight Against Misinformation

The Big Story podcast

Sergii Denisenko is the CEO of MGID, a native advertising platform with 550 employees living in Ukraine – and he’s working to keep his family and his people safe during the ongoing war.

This week, he joined The Big Story to talk about the role misinformation is playing in this conflict. MGID, in collaboration with others in the ad industry, is countering Russian state-sponsored propaganda by buying ads that disprove the official narratives supporting the war.

Most of the buying is being broadly geotargeted to Russia, but MGID is also getting more specific where it can. For example, it’s targeting ads at Russian moms that contain information about what their sons are really facing in the combat zone.

In the second half of the episode, we switch from an immediate conflict to one that’s been simmering for more than two years, since the summer of 2020. BIPOC creators are often paid less than white creators. BIPOC influencers also face discoverability issues, including sometimes being left out of automated platforms that surface creators. In some cases, content creators – for example, a YouTube influencer that focuses on Black hair or a comedian who exclusively makes jokes about the Southern Black experience – are perceived as too niche.

We talk about what’s gotten better, where the industry still needs to go and the opacity of platform-sponsored creator funds. Although platforms collectively dole out billions to support creators, it’s not clear whether creators are being compensated equitably.


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