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TikTok & Facebook Ads Still Spreading Misinformation Recent Study Finds Both Platforms Approving Ads

author image Written by: Julia Cashion           Categories - Digital Marketing, In The News, Social Media

Remember a couple of months ago when TikTok said they were rolling out a political fundraising campaign ban? Many U.S policymakers voiced concerns about the mounting volume of political misinformation on the app.

Read More: TikTok Is Cracking Down On Political Campaigns

For TikTok, it looks like those concerns went in one ear and out the other. The mega-popular platform is still approving ads that contain political misinformation, and they aren’t alone in this. Facebook has been accused of the same posting practices. Making both social platforms in the position of violating ad policies.

The Report That Revealed It All

TikTok was already under the microscope for promoting political misinformation, and we all know Facebook’s history with fake news. So it’s no surprise researchers caught them red-handed.

The Cybersecurity for Democracy (C4D) team at NYU alongside Global Witness Group have been keeping tabs on TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. They published a report looking at the platforms “ability to detect and remove election disinformation in the run-up to the US midterm elections.”

Read More: TikTok Announces New Program For Ads

Content Manager Andrew Hutchinson says “in order to test the ad approval processes for each platform, the researchers submitted 20 ads each, via dummy accounts, to YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.”

Inaccurate information about voting, specifically how to vote and inaccurate voting procedures like voting by mail, were all present in the ads submitted, the report summary states.

Here are the main findings of the report:

  • Facebook endorsed two of the deceptive English ads and five of the Spanish ads.
  • All advertisements were approved by TikTok, with the exception of two (one in English and one in Spanish)
  • All advertisements on YouTube were disabled.

Based on these findings, Facebook and TikTok should have some responses to make.

How TikTok and Facebook Responded To Accusations

Now that this report has everyone’s attention, Facebook’s response appears to be trying to assure users that misinformation is not welcome on the app.

Content Manager Andrew Hutchinson notes Meta’s response to the report below:

“These reports were based on a very small sample of ads. They aren’t representative given the number of political ads we review daily across the world. Our ads review process has several layers of analysis and detection, both before and after an ad goes live. We invest significant resources to protect elections, from our industry-leading transparency efforts to our enforcement of strict protocols on ads about social issues, elections, or politics – and we will continue to do so.”

TikTok seems to have acknowledged the feedback and says that it should help with their misinformation policies.

Regardless YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok have some changes to make. This recent data, namely for TikTok might increase worries about how the platform might be used for political influence. Additionally, it can raise more concerns about any possible links to the Chinese government.

Julia Cashion

Google Crawling Happening Outside the U.S

11/25/2022

Do you live outside of the U.S. and wish that Google would crawl your site’s pages? Well, your wish has just come true, kind of. This is all news to us too but this surprise started with an announcement by a Google representative.

Where Is Google Crawling Then?

Search Engine Roundtable reports that a Google representative named Gary Illyes announced that Googlebot could now crawl outside of the United States. Googlebot is the title used to refer to Google’s web crawler which is used on desktop sites and mobile sites.

Read More: Google Just Dropped A Bunch Of New Features!

Illyes states that the “system to handle this is currently live but may not be used in all cases or it may not be used at all for your site,” Search Engine Roundtable reports. However, after he read reports stating that he had made claims crawling was currently happening outside of the United States, he clarifies his claim.

Especially, since in the past Google has said that crawling outside the United States wouldn’t prove to be as useful as one would think. That can be seen in the video hangout just below.

Gary Illyes says that he was discussing Google’s crawling abilities outside of the Unites States. Specifically, in reference to the IP block that have been assigned to countries which could be used in the future for crawling externally.

Read More: Is Google Re-Writing Your Titles?

Twitter Chatter

Others have spoken on the matter of Googlebot crawling outside of the United States. Webmaster and Google Products Expert Kenichi Suzuki took to Twitter to explain the claim. Here’s what he had to say about the matter.

For now it seems like Googlebot is going to stay crawling in the Unites States and external crawling might be tabled for now. Keep an eye on Twitter feeds and Webmaster world for more word in the future!

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Google’s Newest Resources For Ranking Algorithms

11/24/2022

You heard right! Google has released a centralized resources listing live and “notable” ranking updates. Found under the Ranking and search appearance menu on Google Search Central, a complete guide listing all you need to know about Google’s search ranking.

Read More: You Guessed It! Another Google Algorithm Update  

What’s New In

The search engine’s Guide To Google Search Ranking System is perfect for any user who wants a run down of all Google’s historical and current systems. Historical systems as in one that are no longer running or involved with other algorithms. Current systems as in system still active and in use.

According to a blog post, the guide is intended to be a one-stop shop for creators to learn about how Google’s ranking systems work and how they can change. The post also explained that Google is transitioning to using systems ‘instead’ of ‘update’ as language to notify users of changes to Google’s Ranking.

So keep an eye out for ranking updates, or should we say ranking systems in the future.

Active and Inactive Ranking Systems

One of the great things about Google’s new ranking system guide is that it lists all the systems that are both active and inactive. Search Engine Roundtable reports some of the active systems include MUM, local news systems, products reviews system, helpful content system, and many more.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update  

On the flip side, systems like Hummingbird, Mobile-friendly ranking, Page speed, and panda are no longer actively used in search ranking.

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