Friday, August 16, 2019

Legacy publishers, as well as independent creators, now complain about advertiser (keyword-based) blacklists on controversial or important news content

The Wall Street Journal notes in a story by Suzanne Vranica (front page) that “Advertiser blacklists hobble publishers”.  

Advertisers have long lists of keywords that they don’t want to appear in articles (online or possibly print) next to ads.

One of the most commonly banned words is “Trump”.
David Pakman and to some extent Tim Pool and Ford Fischer have repeatedly noted that YouTube has shunned monetizing issue- or politically oriented videos from independent creators in favor of legacy media (which is more likely to be leftist but does include Fox).  But the Wall Street Journal article maintains that newspapers and legacy larger media companies are now having a problem with getting ads placed near important news stories. 
Some publishers (like Vice Media) are starting to refuse blacklists of some words, especially those relating to LGBTQ content or to faith-based content. 
On Blogger, I have found more posts don't get ads in the past two or three years.  But some posts with very sensitive content still do.  I segregate some of the most sensitive content to twp separate blogs ("cf" and "fil") to reduce the effect. 
What seems so notable to me is that the corporate world (including the social media companies) are uncomfortable that so many “intellectuals” and “individualists” (who like to spout their theories on YouTube and blogs) have decreasing interest in consumerism, social solidarity, and often organized charity.  I noticed this in the job market as early as maybe 2002 and the following years, where I would be contacted to see if I wanted to sell life insurance (and other financial things) since I had spent 12 years in IT in the business, and were met with a degree of diffidence from me.  Wasn’t that my expertise?
This is also a good time to make a note about YouTube subscriptions.  David Pakman has noted that some of them “disappear”.  Subscriptions only through YouTube don’t result in charges.  If you “subscribe” through Patreon or Subscribestar, then you are charged, which on many channels allows you to see additional content.  Other channels don’t to this, and regard this as a form of crowdfunding.  A number of months ago, the banning of some persons from Patreon and the difficulties Subscribestar had getting allowed to use payment processors when persons kicked off Patreon tried to use it, created controversy last winter and now has resulted in some FTC investigation. But the difference between truly paying for content and offering patronage could itself become controversial in the future, and I expect to get into this again.  Having a single corporate sponsor for a video is a way to "pay" for it, perhaps more legitimate than "clickbait" advertising. 
Update: Aug. 18 

Here's a story from the Guardian on how the "Advertising Standards Authority" in the UK banned ads for Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Volkswagen for "gender stereotyping." 

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