That’s not fake egg on Zuck’s face

Doc Searls
Nov 13, 2016 · 2 min read
Image for post
Image for post
How are you going to deal with fake news when you can’t even stop fake ads?

What you see above are fake ads next to a post about fake news by Facebook’s Head Face. In that post he says “on Facebook more than 99% of what people see is authentic.” Kinda pegs the irony meter.

I’d guess that most of the ads I see on Facebook are fake news items like the two above. (23 November update: Ev Williams notices the same thing next to the same post.)

Be clear, these ads are not from espn.com. They’re from http://espn.com-magazines.online. They are also clickbait for a topic switch, since they’re actually about a diet supplement I won’t flatter by naming. So we’ve got two fakes in one: outright lies from a forged source. How many fraud laws does that break? Surely at least one, I would hope.

It can’t be that hard for Facebook not to run this kind of obviously dishonest and misleading advertising, especially since this story itself is old news. (See here.) Why hasn’t it been stopped? (Is ESPN aware of this, or doing anything about it? Be nice to know.)

I’m guessing the answer is a technical one: that Facebook’s advertising system is too easy a hack for dishonest advertisers to resist, and too hard to change.

Either that, or the money they make from ad fraud more than offsets the cost of egg on their CEO’s face.


Original version published at blogs.harvard.edu on November 13, 2016.

Doc Searls

Written by

Author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Fellow of CITS at UCSB, alumnus Fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.

Doc Searls

Written by

Author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Fellow of CITS at UCSB, alumnus Fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.

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