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Issue #238 | February 26, 2021 

Advertising

Scoop: Google to lift political ad ban put in place following Capitol siege
Axios.com
"Google and Facebook are the two biggest digital platforms for political ads. Their bans over the past few months have meant that more advertisers have shifted dollars to other digital platforms, like smart TVs, that don't offer the same level of transparency."

Google's Back for Campaigns While Consultants Wait on Facebook
CampaignsandElections.com
"But the targeting restrictions that the company is continuing to enforce mean that its offerings aren’t as attractive as they once were. 'These restrictions make finding the right people effectively and efficiently a much tougher proposition than it once was,' said Kowalczyk."

Campaigns

Trump reportedly submitted an appeal to Facebook Oversight Board
BusinessInsider.com
"The Facebook Oversight board, which launched last year and has ruled on five cases so far, announced on January 21 that it will review the company's decision to suspend Trump. The board has 90 days total to decide whether Trump can remain on the platform. Decisions made by the Board cannot be overturned."

Content

Inside the new $65 million push from progressives to compete with conservative media
Vox.com/Recode
"The new push will consist of two entities, according to the document: A 501(c)(3) public foundation called the Good Information Project, which will grant money to nonprofit media companies, and a public benefit corporation (a so-called B Corp) called Good Information Inc., which will invest in for-profit media companies."

A quarter of Democrats and Republicans only get news from outlets with audiences that share their political views
NiemanLab.org
"The research is based on three surveys and Pew defines Republicans who exclusively used sources with right-leaning audiences and Democrats who exclusively used sources with left-leaning audiences in two or more of those surveys as “consistently” turning to media bubbles."

Disinformation

How memes became a major vehicle for misinformation
Axios.com
"New research from media intelligence firm Zignal Labs shows how memes became a powerful agent for spreading misinformation online around the COVID vaccine. The data shows that a single meme, first circulated late last December, has helped to drive thousands of new mentions of a conspiracy tying the COVID-19 vaccine to 5G."

Social Media

How Koo became India’s Hindu nationalist–approved Twitter alternative
RestofWorld.org
"After weeks of battling with Twitter, some of India’s most prominent Hindu nationalist politicians took to their social accounts and instructed their followers to leave Western social networks for Koo, a local, free-speech platform."

Parler's Founder Said He Was Banned By Parler
BuzzfeedNews.com
"Screenshots that Matze shared on a Telegram channel showed that his account had been made 'private' on Friday after he'd made a post asking his 722,000 Parler followers what they thought the 'fair market value' of the company was."

Facebook Strikes Deal to Restore News Sharing in Australia
NYTimes.com
"Under several amendments to the code, Facebook would get more time to cut deals with publishers so it would not be immediately forced into making payments. The amendments also suggested that if digital platforms had significantly contributed to the Australian news industry, the companies could avoid the code entirely, at least for now."

"Mark Changed The Rules": How Facebook Went Easy On Alex Jones And Other Right-Wing Figures
BuzzfeedNews.com
"Zuckerberg’s 'more nuanced policy' set off a cascading effect, the two former employees said, which delayed the company’s efforts to remove right-wing militant organizations such as the Oath Keepers, which were involved the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol."

Technology

Big Tech Employees Opened Wallets for Biden Campaign
WSJ.com
"Employees of Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., and Microsoft Corp. , Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. were the five largest sources of money for Mr. Biden’s campaign and joint fundraising committees among those identifying corporate employers, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of campaign finance reports."

Enview streamlines how advocacy groups track legislation
FastCompany.com
"Our users are advocates in nonprofits, lobbyists, and folks who work within a company’s government affairs team. Essential parts of their policy work include monitoring proposed laws as they are revised in the legislative process, communicating relevant updates to their organization, and working with others to strategize and influence policy."

Bloomberg-backed 'Tech co.' prepares to emerge from stealth
Protocol.com
"A new company backed by Michael Bloomberg's daughter Emma Bloomberg has been quietly buying political tech firms and going on a hiring spree, as it seeks to create a digital organizing platform that operates 'outside of a traditional 'Red/Blue' partisan paradigm.'"
Got a link you think should be included? Just email me: eric@learntestoptimize.com

Learn Test Optimize is a project of the Center for Campaign Innovation, a nonprofit research and training center guiding conservatives through the digital transformation of politics.
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