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As Biden seeks to ban targeted ads, activists seek to use them to bring news to the Russian people

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from be careful what you wish for department

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, one of President Joe Biden’s promises regarding the internet was that he wanted to ban targeted advertising. A lot of people applauded that, because many of people absolutely to hate targeted advertising – which is sometimes, incorrectly, called “surveillance capitalism”. My own opinion on this is that basically it’s all overrated. I don’t think targeted advertising works that well, and I think we’d be better off if companies didn’t rely on it so much – but I also think that even if we got rid of it, people would still be mad at other something these companies have done. Plus, part of the reason people hate targeted advertising so much is because it’s just not that good. If it actually worked, I’m not sure people would be so crazy about it.

That said, I really don’t see the effectiveness or utility of a ban on targeted advertising. And, at the very least, it would prevent creative uses of targeted advertising like a group of activists seeking to use targeted advertising to circumvent the Russian government’s desire to block all news of its invasion of Ukraine to citizens. Russians.

Vladimir Putin is afraid of the truth. That’s why he shut down independent media and social media.

The Russian people deserve better. Yet they struggle to get unbiased information.

But it is very difficult for Putin to stop online advertising. So we will use digital ads to show Russians independent information about Ukraine.

These advertisements will be shown to people in Russia and Russian-occupied Ukraine. We will use modern digital advertising to show real news about what is happening in Ukraine, from high quality sources.

The Russian people can form their own opinion about what is happening in Ukraine. And when they see it, we are convinced that Putin will be weakened.

We have assembled a team of digital campaign experts who can circumvent Russian government restrictions. We’ve already launched Ad Tests today, showing people news from independent news websites.

To see? This seems like a pretty powerful and (dare I say it?) useful application of targeted advertising. But under the Biden administration’s plan, it would be banned.

At some point, people have to realize that not all targeted ads are problematic. the real The problem is that no one really knows what information companies hold about them, or how it is shared and used. The problem is not so much targeting, but the data itself and the lack of transparency and control by end users. Calling for an outright ban on targeted advertising, once again, misdiagnoses the “problem” and offers an overly broad solution that seems less than helpful.

Filed Under: activism, advertising, censorship, joe biden, news, russia, state of the union, targeted ads, targeted advertising, ukraine