The security and privacy advice website, Comparitech.com, is warning businesses that use programmatic advertising platforms to be wary of their ads ending up on fake news or hate speech websites. In a stand to crack down on the spread of fake news, Comparitech.com is urging brands to blacklist known fake news and hate speech websites from their ad platforms, with a guide on how to blacklist certain websites from featuring their ads.
“Fake news websites have wreaked havoc around the world, spreading fear and hatred with little regard for the truth,” said Paul Bischoff, security and privacy advocate for Comparitech.com. “Our hope is that cutting them off from reputable advertisers will put a dent in their operations.”
Businesses need not scrap their ad networks and campaigns altogether to take action. Most bidding platforms, including Google AdWords, allow advertisers to add specific websites to a blacklist where they don’t want their ads to appear. A full tutorial on how to blacklist known fake news websites on Google AdWords is available in a blog on the Comparitech.com website.
Bischoff argues that removing ads from fake news sites not only serves to stem the flow of money to fake news sites, it can also help businesses better allocate their advertising budgets, especially in light of research that shows that advertisements on fake news sites aren’t worth the money. Last year, online marketing company Wordstream analyzed advertisements on Breitbart and found them to consistently underperform with low click through rates, poor conversion rates and high cost per click.
“It is not our intention to lean left or right, as fake news is a problem on both sides of the aisle. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to prevent their ads from ending up in the wrong place,” said Bischoff. “Blacklisting websites yourself is a proactive way to make a tangible difference.”
Comparitech.com’s mission is to help consumers make more savvy decisions when they subscribe to tech services such as VPNs, antivirus and online security products, cloud backup and more. First and foremost it is a pro-consumer website providing information, tools and comparison to help consumers in the US, UK and further afield to research, compare tech services.