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Breaking the Alt-Right’s Piggy Bank

Surprised by Alt-Right and White Supremacist content on YouTube and Other sites…With Advertising for Coke or Pepsi right beside it?

While the tech companies were fine with it, and did little to filter it out – the big companies who buy ads aren’t happy at all.

Smack-down for the racist enabling tech companies.

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Major companies pulling advertisements a sign that many doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos

PepsiCo, Walmart and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have suspended their advertising on YouTube, joining a growing boycott in a sign that big companies doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos.

The companies pulled their ads after the Wall Street Journal found that Google’s automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. AT&T, Verizon, Volkswagen and several other companies pulled ads earlier this week.

“The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values,” Walmart said in a Friday statement.

Besides suspending their spending on YouTube, Walmart, Pepsi and several other companies have said they will stop buying ads that Google places on more than 2m other third-party websites.

The defections are continuing even after Google apologized for tainting brands and outlined steps to ensure ads don’t appear alongside unsavory videos.

If Google can’t lure back advertisers, it could result in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Most analysts, though, doubt the ad boycott will seriously hurt Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet. Alphabet shares have fallen more than 3% since Monday, closing at $839.65 on Thursday.

Although they have been growing rapidly, YouTube’s ads still only represent a relatively small financial piece of Alphabet, whose revenue totaled $73.5bn last year after subtracting commissions paid to Google’s partners. YouTube accounted for $5.6bn, or nearly 8%, of that total, based on estimates from the research firm eMarketer.

Whether the recent events are a mere blip on the radar for Google or a harbinger of bigger problems to come may depend on whether the company can quickly improve its technical tools to give advertisers more control over where their ads appear.

YouTube has begun reviewing its advertising policies and will take steps to give advertisers more control, Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, wrote in a blogpost this week. Google also plans to hire more people for its review team and refine its artificial intelligence – a key step, since much of the ad-serving is handled by automation.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, acknowledged in a Fox News interview that ads appearing next to videos promoting hate speech or advocating violence had slipped through the digital cracks in Google’s elaborate ad-serving systems.

“We match ads and the content, but because we source the ads from everywhere, every once in a while somebody gets underneath the algorithm and they put in something that doesn’t match,” Schmidt said. “We’ve had to tighten our policies and actually increase our manual review time and so I think we’re going to be OK.”

But Google’s public statements have done little to assuage advertisers’ fears, said David Cohen, president, North America, for the media buying firm Magna Global.

Even before the most recent revelations about YouTube, control over online ad placement had become a hot-button topic for advertisers. Social networks and news aggregators came under fire during and after the US presidential election for spreading fake news reports, and advertisers have also sought to avoid having their brands appear beside content that they categorize as hate speech.

“Between non-human traffic and fraud, fake news and hate speech, brands are more concerned than ever,” said Marc Goldberg, CEO of Trust Metrics, a New York-based company that addresses ad fraud.

 

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Google/YouTube Monetizing Hate – Advertisers Flee

Funding for Richard Spencer, David Duke and other white-racist hate groups has traditionally been scarce. Your typical white-wing racist is no Rocket Scientist. The Internet provides the alt-right not only the opportunity to spread their message – but through advertising add-ons to make money with each click. Pull up a racist video, and get an Amazon ad in the margins. For each view the advertiser pays Google, who pays the bigots. Google and companies like Facebook have long ignored the content and environment of their streams, allowing hate groups and trolls to fester while taking a position that it is someone else’s fault.

Looks like Google is trying that again.

Perhaps one of the reasons Google has little sensitivity to the issue, is hey hire so few minorities?

Google Accused Of Making ‘Profit From Hatred’ As Major Advertisers Pull Out From YouTube

Google has been thrown onto the back foot by a mass withdrawal of advertising from YouTube, triggered by concerns about extremist content.

Having apparently failed to realise until now that their ads have been showing up next to hate speech and homophobia, corporations and media agencies have said they plan to pull their entire ad spend from the Google-owned company.

One of the latest to do so is the UK arm of France’s Havas, one of the world’s largest ad agencies, whose clients include Domino’s, Emirates and the BBC. It has pulled all its UK advertising – currently worth around £175 million ($217 million) a year: “@Havas_MGUK has made decision to protect brands it represents in absence of reassurance or change of policy from YT,” tweets CEO and country manager Paul Frampton Calero.

Corporations including the BBC and the Guardian have also pulled their ads, along with L’Oreal, Honda and major supermarket chain Sainsbury’s; and GroupM, part of ad giant WPP, has hinted it could follow suit.

The row really began with a report from The Times that revealed that extremist YouTube videos from the likes of American white nationalist David Duke and Holocaust-denying fundamentalist pastor Steven Anderson were carrying mainstream ads.

The ads are placed by the company’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange Service, AdX,  which uses programmatic trading to allocate ads automatically. These ads have been making money for the extremists – around £6 per 1,000 pageviews – as well as for Google itself.

As the row rumbled on, the company was called for talks at the UK Cabinet Office this afternoon, with Home Affairs Select Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper describing its activities as ‘extremely troubling’.

“It is inexplicable to us that Google can move very fast to remove material from YouTube when it is found to be copyrighted, but that the same prompt action is not taken when the material involves proscribed organisations and hateful and illegal content,” she wrote in a letter to the company.

“The Committee expects to hear from you on how you are using some of YouTube’s very significant revenue to put this problem right by devoting sufficient resources to ensure that vile and illegal material is removed proactively from your platforms, and that neither you nor those that create these videos profit from hatred.”

The government has now pulled all advertising, including military recruitment and blood donation campaigns – and demanded to know whether Google will give it a refund.

“It is totally unacceptable that taxpayer-funded advertising has appeared next to inappropriate internet content – and that message was conveyed very clearly to Google,” a government spokesperson tells Forbes.

“The Cabinet Office has told Google it expects to see a plan and a timetable for work to improve protection of government adverts to ensure this doesn’t happen again. YouTube advertising remains on hold while that work is carried out.”

And, says the spokesperson, Google will be called back next week for a follow-up meeting at which it will be expected to promise further action.

Google is, well, practically grovelling.

“We’ve heard from our advertisers and agencies loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content,” says UK managing director Ronan Harris in a statement.

“While we have a wide variety of tools to give advertisers and agencies control over where their ads appear, such as topic exclusions and site category exclusions, we can do a better job of addressing the small number of inappropriately monetized videos and content.”

He adds that the company is now reviewing its policies and plans to make changes.

However, the cynic might note that these changes will, he says, ‘give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network’. In other words, they will put the ball in the advertisers’ court.

Next time this sort of thing happens – and it will – Google will be able to pass on at least some of the blame.

 

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Destroying the Alt-right

A tried and true methodology of limiting the right wing Trump racists…Cut off their money supply.

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Howard Dean rallies the Internet with plan to ‘destroy’ Breitbart — and it’s already working

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean (D) on Sunday called on progressives to help cripple Breitbart News’ business model with an aggressive and shrewd campaign of boycotting advertisers.

In a tweet on Sunday, Dean encouraged his followers to share a plan highlighted in a recent New York Times article titled “How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News.”

Thanks to NYT article I am going to look at Breitbart next week and refuse to buy any product I see advertised there. Please RT.

According to the Times, a group called Sleeping Giants have been successful at forcing advertisers to blacklist Breitbart by taking screen shots of advertisements that appear next to hate speech on the conservative website. The group then uses the screen shots to shame the advertisers on social media.

The tactic has been surprisingly successful, according to Sleeping Giants. Zappos, 3M, Patagonia and Warby Parker have all reportedly pulled their ads. Conservatives threatened to boycott Kellogg’s after it became one of the first advertisers to ban Breitbart. But the company received unexpected public relations and sales benefits when people opposed to fake news started an effort to donate Kellogg’s products to soup kitchens.

Participatory Culture Foundation board member Nicholas Reville, who has coordinated with the Sleeping Giants group, told the Times that companies realize the importance of embracing diversity.

“You have to be inclusionary if you’re going to try to sell to a very large audience,” he explained.

The following is a list of companies which have pulled advertising from Breitbart. Recently looked at the site to see Toyota was still up…Maybe it is time to consider buying a Ford.

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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Second American Revolution

 

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After Takeover of Internet, Cats Take Over Subway Station

There is a rapidly rising groundswell both in the US and Europe against increasingly intrusive and ubiquitous advertising on every inch of out Internet and real world. On the Internet, rejection of intrusive ads, and popups has resulted in rapidly increasing numbers of people installing Ad Blocker type software to cut down the noise level. Ads, simply have become too intrusive, are consuming megabits you pay for, and are causing content to load slowly.

Seems the folks in London, who have an extensive Subway and Trains System have decided to make a point and protest!

New campaign looks to replace London subway ads with cat photos

A group in London has a new humorous solution to mitigating consumer-focused advertisements in a “Tube” or subway station in London. The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service organization is launching a new crowd sourcing campaign that seeks to replace every single ad in an undisclosed London Tube station with pictures of cats.

The new campaign is hosted by Kickstarter and looks to raise $33,000 in order to buy out every ad slot in an unspecified London Tube station.

According to the organization’s online fundraising page, the main reason behind the unordinary proposition is because “it would look amazing” and is a way to mitigate consumer-focused ads that are commonly displayed on rail commuter systems.

“It’s exhausting being asked to buy stuff all the time,” the description says.

According to the organization, if a stuffiest amount of money is raised to purchase all advertising slots, the organization will be allowed to transition an entire station “into a roaring festival of cats,” the description adds.

Laugh if you will – however the online fundraiser has generated more than $6,500 in donations from more than 220 supporters. The pledge drive ends May 21.

The organization hosting the campaign is composed of a group of “friends and cat lovers from London,” the fundraising page says.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Redskins WR Pierre Garçon Sues FanDuel

Had thought this was going to happen for a while. The Sports Fantasy games use the players names and likenesses in their advertising, which is key to marketing their business. DraftKings one of the two largest of the gambling enterprises recently cut a deal with the NFL Players Association to compensate the Union through a licensing agreement (although the exact terms are not public), and as such (one would hope) the players downstream. I can’t believe the NFL is far behind on this one, as the games have become massively profitable, and I can’t see the owners not wanting a piece of the pie.

Here’s why an NFL player is suing FanDuel

Amidst ongoing scrutiny of daily fantasy sports companies, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon, through his attorney, filed a class action lawsuit against FanDuel on Friday.

There has been a slew of class action lawsuits brought against FanDuel and its competitor DraftKings in the past few weeks, but they have been brought by users of the companies alleging unfair play by insiders. The lawsuits came in the wake of a major scandal over a DraftKings employee who won $250,000 playing on FanDuel.

But Garçon’s lawsuit is different. It’s not about insider play, nor is it concerned with whether daily fantasy sports is gambling, which has been the focus of recent regulatory scrutiny. It’s about player permission, and whether FanDuel illegally uses player names and likenesses. He has filed it “on behalf” of all NFL players, but for now the suit is coming only from Garçon.

According to a statement released by Garçon’s lawyers, the receiver argues that FanDuel, “knowingly and improperly exploits the popularity and performance of Garçon, along with all the other National Football League (“NFL”) players at offensive skilled positions without their authority or a valid license.”

The complaint also addresses FanDuel’s advertising: “Through a comprehensive television advertising campaign… FanDuel routinely uses the names and likenesses of some of these NFL players without authorization to promote FanDuel’s commercial enterprise.”

In other words, the lawsuit addresses two different realms: the product itself (FanDuel’s website and app, where it uses player names and a small photo of each) and the company’s ads. To the former complaint, there is some legal precedent that favors FanDuel, though it was in a different sport: in 2006 a federal judge ruled that fantasy sports leagues can use the names and likenesses of MLB players. The latter may be the stronger argument for Garçon: Last month, DraftKings scored a deal with the NFL Players’ Associationthat allows the company to use any NFL players in its advertisements with or without the player’s individual permission; this is why DraftKings isn’t part of Garçon’s lawsuit.

FanDuel has no such deal. It has not used Garçon’s face in its advertisements (in fact FanDuel has sought to differentiate its advertising from DraftKings by utilizing regular people, not celebrity spokespeople), but it has shown screens with his name listed among other players.

“I am bringing this lawsuit against FanDuel for using my name, image, and likeness in both daily fantasy contests and through advertising on TV ads and infomercials,” Garçon said in a statement. But as Twitter users were quick to point out on Friday, the suit represents a change of heart by the receiver, who repeatedly shilled for FanDuel in the past, up until one year ago.

 

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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Billboards – Religious Weapon of Choice

There have been a number of instances in the past few years where one group or another has rented billboards to push their message out to the public. Alveda King, MLK’s daughter, who is the spokesperson for an anti-abortion group  has leased billboards in a number of cities to advance her group’s pro-life message. Even black conservative political groups have used the medium to advance their controversial message – such as Raging Elephants, and the National Black Republican Association‘s “MLK Was a Republican” Boards which appear now each election cycle…

Now the Black Atheists are striking back!

Atheism Billboard Planned For Dallas Sparks Controversy

Members of the Dallas religious community are speaking up about a national organization’s controversial plans to display an Atheist message on a prominent billboard, the Christian Chronicle reports.

The billboard was proposed by the national organization African Americans for Humanism as part of their country-wide Black History Month campaign aimed at encouraging African Americans to look critically at their faith, according to KDAF TV.

The message was scheduled to be posted Monday, but the billboard remains blank as community members continue to voice strong opinions on the plans, some of whom have even sent hate mail to African Americans for Humanism members.

David Lane, the pastor of a church about a mile down the road from the billboard site, told reporters he believes the plans will lead to important discussion in the African American community, where faith has long held a strong place.

“Traditionally African Americans come out of a tradition that is led and motivated by faith. We are where we are and we are who we are primarily because we’ve chosen to believe in a power that’s bigger than ourselves,” Lane told Fox 4 News. “It will create a lot of dialogue. There will be congregations of all kinds in this area who will be challenged by the fact that such a movement is at our door.”

But other members of the religious community have not been so welcoming. After a similar billboard was put up in Chicago, a representative at African American for Humanism’s headquarters therereceived a series of angry letters and e-mails, according to the Dallas Observer.

One such e-mail read:

.WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.I have looked at your web cite [sic] and your billboards in Dallas. Your black Athiest Organizations make me sick. There is nothing worse than a bunch of blacks supporting Gays and Lesbians.. You are infesting are [sic] cities with your foolish beliefs! What is your reasoning behind your Athiest [sic] beliefs? It is groups like yours that are screwing up lives.

 But supporters of the billboard argue that it’s not meant to threaten religious beliefs, but rather provide a space for thought with people who may be in doubt.

Alix Jules, a member of the Dallas-Forth Worth Coalition of Reason, whose face will appear on the billboard, spoke to the Dallas Observer about the challenges many African Americans face when doubting their faith.

“When you wind up saying you don’t believe, then you’re walking away from a mating pool,” Jules told the paper. “You’re not going to be able to do that because now you’re deemed unfit. And you wind up throwing back into your parent’s face the belief they gave you isn’t good enough for you.”

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Old Spice Guy… He’s Baaaack!

In what had to be the funniest commercials of 2010, Isaiah Mustafa, a former NFL football player hammed it up in his role as the “Old Spice Guy”.  Commercials starring Mustafa were a huge hit both on the TV and the Internet. Old Spice has contracted with Mustafa for a new round of commercials starting in February. Here is Mustafa’s “press release” about the upcoming commercials…

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in General

 

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