Our Journey to a New Advertising Industry Standard
Let’s flashback to 2016.
The problem of harmful and misleading content affected millions of internet users regardless of nation, region or language.
Since day one, we have been driven by a vision:
Stop misleading, misguided, unclear, extreme, biased and fake news articles from being created and spread, again and again — and again.
To understand the problem, we had to understand why content like that exists in the first place. The first pattern we identified was content like that generates traffic in strides, not in baby steps.
And what’s the easiest way to cash in on all that traffic? Ads.
But before you dive into the complex world of ads, how do you use technology to truly understand messy and dynamic language from content that is multi-dimensional?
From News to Data
Our first prototype flagged articles either green, yellow or red. Even Nieman Lab (Harvard) took for it a spin and found it highly accurate.
But there’s no flexibility with a single, definitive result. There’s just no transparency. It felt like a black-box solution with no tangible value.
Over the next two years, we worked closely with experienced journalists and experts from academia. We worked on the results, generated case studies and charts; we even created a side-product.
We began to understand more about the core components of every article: the sentiment, the author, the level of the reporting, the reputation of the source, the quality of the language, its depth, coverage and length.
We figured out that all these different components should work creatively together, not independently.
We eventually called these components: dimensions.
How can we help advertisers avoid harmful and misleading content by taking advantage of these dimensions?
News Analysis for Advertising
Think about a competition to win a free trip to Spain, targeted at young adults. It’s displayed on one article about “fun lifehacks when you’re broke” and another about “the top summer destinations for millennials”.
The audience is the same, but the context is different — your exciting free trip giveaway ends up tying your brand, subconsciously, to negative and sad content about your target audience.
That’s because an ad impression is a lot more than audience and campaign data. It’s also about the stories and experiences your audience interacts with; the stories and experiences on which you display your ad.
News analysis data offers new options of including and excluding content based on all the different dimensions. These dimensions extend well beyond a category, the sentiment or a keyword. They affect each other in very real and human ways. They can also be combined in more than 900 different ways.
Advertisers can leverage these dimensions to optimize their campaigns to an unprecedented new level of effectiveness and control, both in terms of brand safety and contextual targeting.
And that brings us to 2019. We believe that there’s a massive shift underway in advertising, especially programmatic.
Advertisers are looking for more transparency, while faced with the problems that have surfaced from privacy laws, regulations impacting audience data and personal data leaks.
Brand safety and contextual targeting can ensure that ad spending is done efficiently, on context that truly matters.
By empowering ad platforms and advertisers with the right tools, we are minimizing and removing the financial motives behind creating harmful and misleading content.
To achieve this, we secured a 2nd investment round early 2019, expanded our team and upgraded our technology to serve the needs of the industry.
It’s time to unlock the true potential of programmatic advertising.
This post was co-authored by Valentinos Tzekas and George Kary from the team at FightHoax. Feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.