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What we’re reading: On ad transparency, internet, Facebook & more


‘We’re not getting full disclosure’: Native ad distribution has a transparency problem – Digiday

Agencies say it’s OK for paid social to be part of the mix, but they want to know that the audience is as good as the people who are on a publisher’s own site. Organic reach is considered better but it’s limited; paid traffic can ensure that a campaign reaches a bigger audience, but if people are force-fed the ad, they may be more likely to dismiss it. (Not to mention paid social eats into publishers’ profit margins.)


Report: Ad tech (and the garbage #content it funds) is killing the web – Nieman Journalism Lab

The number of people using adblockers — especially on mobile — is continuing to grow. Twenty-two percent of the 1.9 billion global smartphone users now utilize an adblocker, a 90 percent increase from January 2015, according to a report released this week by PageFair.


Facebook’s trending stories leak shows that it isn’t too different from average news orgs: flawed, human, a little biased – Nieman Lab

There’s also the question of how much responsibility Facebook has to both promote stories that it thinks that people should read and suppress stories that spread misinformation, as it’s already done with with hoaxes that go viral. In that respect, the biases of human editors might be a feature, not a bug. News organizations regularly make similar editorial judgments. As Facebook becomes an increasingly central news source for its users, there’s a lot more pressure for it to act like a legitimate one.


Inside Evan Spiegel’s very private Snapchat Story – Recode

Like in June 2012, when Spiegel walked across a makeshift stage erected inside Stanford University’s football stadium to collect a diploma he hadn’t actually earned. Spiegel, then 22, was still a few credits short of graduating with his degree in product design. Stanford let him walk at its graduation ceremony with the assumption that he’d eventually finish his schoolwork.


The Ukrainian Hacker Who Became the FBI’s Best Weapon—And Worst Nightmare – Wired

The once-friendly FBI agents threw Popov in an isolation room, then returned an hour later with a federal prosecutor, a defense attorney, and a take-it-or-leave-it offer: Popov was going to be their informant, working all day, every day, to lure his crime partners into an FBI trap. If he refused, he’d go to prison.


Iran vs the World Wide Web – Mint

Iran is working very hard to develop its own National Internet Project (akin to developing its own Internet) to replace the World Wide Web. While Iran teaches us how to strengthen Internet penetration within a country, I believe we must also simultaneously understand that we don’t need to block the Internet to create a rich domestic Internet.

Read previous articles from this series here.

Image source: Flickr user Robert under CC BY-NC 2.0

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