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Facebook adds labels identifying state-controlled media

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Facebook will soon add labels to news outlets owned or otherwise controlled by a government, marking that information as, if not necessarily false or unreliable, at least worth considering the origin of. Those so labeled will also be banned from buying ads starting this summer.

The company announced its plan to do this a few months ago as one part of its ongoing “election integrity efforts,” along with such things as requiring a confirmed owner for pages and banning anti-voting ads.

Under the new policy, which should roll out to all users over the next week, news organizations “that may be under the influence of a government” will have a subtle but clear label as such, as will their posts. You can see what one of those labels looks like in the top image, and here’s how it would look in the “about” and details pages:

The warning reads: “This publisher is wholly or partially under the editorial control of a state. This is determined by a range of factors, including but not limited to funding, structure and journalistic standards.”

These organizations have immense reach even outside the countries they’re based in: Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Project has tracked this engagement and the strategies used to accomplish it closely in an ongoing series of papers.

The process of identifying state-run news is not quite as straightforward as it may seem. Certainly there are many openly state-run news organizations in many countries, like China Daily, Sputnik and so on. But governments may be pulling the strings behind far more, either by funding (or defunding) them, interfering with or directing editorial coverage or operating a whole news organization via unacknowledged means.

Facebook turned to experts to analyze and classify the many news organizations on the platform, which seems to have clearly advised that there are many factors that should be considered. As a result, Facebook bases its “state-controlled” label based on official statements, ownership structure and stakeholders, editorial leadership and guidelines, policies and oversight and, last but not least, the state of media freedom in the host country. Outlets can appeal the label if they think it has been applied in error.

Notably the label will not be applied to news posts or organizations that merely reference or base their reporting on state-controlled media. Nor is the information published by these labeled organizations subject to special scrutiny or fact-checking.

“Nevertheless,” writes the company’s cybersecurity policy head Nathaniel Gleicher in a blog post, “later this summer we will begin blocking ads from these outlets in the US out of an abundance of caution to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate ahead of the November 2020 election in the US.”

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Outside the U.S. those ads will not be blocked, but they will be labeled.

TechCrunch

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5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests

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Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 

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These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.

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Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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