In the last US presidential elections, a series of sites became a source of viral links to news related to the campaign that were shared on Facebook. The links achieved engagement, reached multiple feeds (American of course) and got clicks.Behind all that news – 100% fake news – was a group of Macedonians, who had set up a disinformation industry in their town simply for the money. A Buzzfeed investigation had found them. The creators of the media had seen that it was a booming market, they published the type of news that used to perform better in terms of traffic and they monetized all that with programmatic advertising services. It was very profitable for them.The story of Macedonian fake news went viral at the time, but the truth is that it is not the only case recorded. Media that feed disinformation and circulate fake news feed on programmatic advertising to generate revenue. They have been doing it before and during the coronavirus crisis, so much in this case that it is possible to extract figures and reach potential variables of how much money they have earned by publishing this type of content.The data is especially painful in this context, not only because of the impact that this false content has on the health of consumers and their behavior in the face of the disease, but also because legitimate media have seen their income fall in recent months. The “real” media have lost advertising revenue because of the adjustments that advertisers have made to their accounts, but also because of these illegitimate media that publish false or disinformation content.

A study by the Global Disinformation Index has taken into account how much money they have French Guiana Email List taken and also where this flow of income has come from. To make their calculations, they have studied the announcements that have been published between January and June in 480 media identified as sources of misinformation about the coronavirus.It is important to bear in mind that his analysis has focused on media that publish in English – although his final calculations have a global vision – and on a specific content format. As explained in Bloomberg , for their estimates they have not taken into account social networks or online video advertising, so it is possible that the final accounts are much higher than the figure presented.

Taking into account what has happened with online disinformation media, advertisers will deliver $ 25 million this year to sites that publish fake news and disinformation about the coronavirus. Among the list of brands they are making are many of the great ones in world trade. The programmatic advertisements of L “Oreal or Canon are some of those that, for example, have ended up being placed in these means of fake news.How do the ads reach this type of media? The key is in programmatic advertising services. It is not that L “Oreal or any brand buys advertising on a fake news site, but rather that when they buy advertising space on programmatic advertising platforms, they end up serving them on these sites.

Furthermore, they do so when they buy on advertising platforms fully mainstream programmatic.Of every 4 dollars that fake news sites receive in advertising revenue, 3 come directly from Google. Google’s programmatic advertising services are responsible for 19 million of the 25 in advertising revenue. It vastly outperforms the following key platforms, OpenX (which is where 10% of ad revenue comes from) and Amazon (7%).According to those responsible for the study and as reported by Bloomberg , the researchers have presented the data to these platforms, but have not received a response from any of them.

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