Facebook Advertising, FTC, Google Maps, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, October 25, 2018


Reuters: Exxon, Ben & Jerry’s among buyers of $256 million in political ads on Facebook. “Facebook Inc’s new searchable database of U.S. political ads reveals that companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp, Ben & Jerry’s and Penzeys Spices are cumulatively spending millions of dollars to encourage voting and influence how Americans vote.”


From earlier in October, but I missed it. FTC: FTC is Making Consumer Complaint Data More Accessible. “Starting today, the FTC will be making this information more accessible by releasing its aggregated consumer complaint data on a quarterly basis in a new interactive online format. Up until now, the FTC has released aggregated consumer complaint data collected through our Consumer Sentinel Network on an annual basis. Our new tool will provide a more timely snapshot of what consumers are reporting, while empowering users to explore the data by types of fraud, state, and a variety of other dimensions.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Maps Now Provides Accessibility Information for Over 40 Million Places. “Google has announced that Maps now provides accessibility information for more than 40 million listings. The company attributes this accomplishment to an initiative launched last year.”

The Verge: Google is making it easier to wipe out your search history. “Google stores a record of everything you search for on if you’re logged into your Google Account. You can clear your local browser history, but that won’t clear what’s stored on Google’s servers. While you’ve been able to dig into the Google Account page and find an activity stream of search history, Google is making it a lot easier to delete this history within search itself today.”


New York Times: Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model?. “Google is on a mission to teach children how to be safe online. That is the message behind ‘Be Internet Awesome,’ a so-called digital-citizenship education program that the technology giant developed for schools…. But critics say the company’s recent woes — including revelations that it was developing a censored version of its search engine for the Chinese market and had tracked the whereabouts of users who had explicitly turned off their location history — should disqualify Google from promoting itself in schools as a model of proper digital conduct.”

The Guardian: Government’s rogue landlord list empty after six months. “The government’s new rogue landlord database was billed as a key tool for local councils to target the country’s worst landlords, but, more than six months after the system started, not a single name has been added – and even when some are added, the public will not be able to find out.”

Business Insider Australia: For 8 years, Google’s satellites wouldn’t map an obscure area in Nevada where an experimental military site exists — and there’s still no explanation about why. “The area in question is a series of dry lake beds in the Tonopah Test Range where extensive military weapons testing has reportedly taken place. Between 2008 and 2016, Google did not update the satellite imagery of this area, which is the longest period a stretch of the continental US has gone without an update, according to Motherboard. Updates, according to a Google Earth blog, typically take place every 30 days.”


Nieman Lab: Younger generations are actually better at telling news from opinion than those over age 50. “Those pesky kids with their smartphones don’t know the days of print newspapers separating the news pages from the opinion section. But they’re not necessarily the ones we have to worry about discerning news statements from opinions, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center.”

Duo Security: Anatomy of Twitter Bots: Fake Followers. “We recently presented a technical research paper at Black Hat USA 2018 called Don’t @ Me: Hunting Twitter Bots at Scale. This paper provides an in-depth look at the entire process of gathering a large Twitter dataset and using a practical data science approach to identify automated accounts within that dataset.”


Artnet: Satellites Are Taking Data-Based Images of the Earth and the Colors Are Spectacular—See Them Here. “Experience Earth art as you’ve never seen it before in a stunning new set of satellite images that depicts the globe’s landscape in otherworldly hues. Last month, the United States Geological Survey released the fifth installment of the ‘Earth as Art’ series drawn from imagery taken by the Landsat satellite program.” Goodafternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply