October 18, 2022

Advertising Week New York: Ad tech's disinformation problem

Advertising Week New York convenes over 10,000 professionals from across marketing, technology, and media industries. As these industry experts and practitioners gather, one critical topic needs to be on the agenda: disinformation. 

Despite recent initiatives such as GARM and the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) continues to observe high profile brands funding sources of disinformation online. This funding pipeline is established through online advertising — often without the brand’s knowledge of where their ads are being placed. These ad placements increase the risk of damage to brands’ reputations and undermine the public stances taken by many brands against hateful attitudes and beliefs.

Image shows an example of an Intel ad being served by Amazon on harmful anti-LGBTQ+ disinformation.

How does this happen? Ad tech vendors provide services to the sites carrying harmful disinformation. To illustrate this problem, GDI has conducted a new study which found Gold and Corporate partners of this year’s Advertising Week New York convention funding disinformation. 

By partnering with disinformation websites, these ad tech vendors are allowing the monetisation of content that infringes their own publisher supply quality policies.

This chart shows the relevant language from Amazon, Criteo and Google policies that are meant to address harmful content such as adversarial narratives, hate speech and more.

The examples provided in this deck were captured through monitoring of websites previously rated by GDI as high risk for disinformation.

Websites are manually assessed by GDI using our adversarial narrative conflict framework to determine disinformation risk.

Learn more by downloading the full report.

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