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X Refutes NewsGuard Report Which Claims That its Displaying Ads Alongside Harmful Content



X Deactivates Old Media Links Amid Changes to Back-End Elements

X continues to dig in its heels amid more reports which indicate that the platform’s brand safety measures are not functioning as intended.

Today, ad monitoring organization NewsGuard has published a new report, which details how its researchers discovered more than 200 ads on viral posts that contained misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war in the app.

As explained by NewsGuard:

From Nov. 13 to Nov. 22, 2023, NewsGuard analysts reviewed programmatic ads that appeared in the feeds below 30 viral tweets that contained false or egregiously misleading information about the war […] In total, NewsGuard analysts cumulatively identified 200 ads from 86 major brands, nonprofits, educational institutions, and governments that appeared in the feeds below 24 of the 30 tweets containing false or egregiously misleading claims about the Israel-Hamas war.

NewsGuard has also shared a full list of the posts in question (NewsGuard is referring to them as “tweets” but “posts” is now what X calls them), so you can check for yourself whether ads are being shown in the reply streams of each. Ads in replies could qualify the post creators to claim a share of ad revenue from X as a result of such content, if they meet the other requirements of X’s creator ad revenue share program.

NewsGuard also notes that the posts in question were displayed to over 92 million people in the app, based on X’s view counts.

“The 30 tweets advanced some of the most egregious false or misleading claims about the war, which NewsGuard had previously debunked. These include that the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack against Israel was a “false flag” and that CNN staged footage of an October 2023 rocket attack on a news crew in Israel.”

One positive note for X’s new moderation process is that 15 of the 30 posts identified by NewsGuard were also marked with a fact-check via Community Notes, which X is increasingly relying on to moderate content. According to X’s guidelines, that should also have excluded these posts from monetization, but NewsGuard says that such restrictions were not, seemingly, applied.

 “Ads for major brands, such as Pizza HutAirbnbMicrosoftParamount, and Oracle, were found by NewsGuard on posts with and without a Community Note.”

So some significant flaws here. First, the fact that X is seemingly amplifying misinformation is a concern, while X is also displaying ads alongside such, so it’s technically profiting from misleading claims. Finally, the Community Notes system is seemingly not working as intended, in regards to blocking monetization of “noted” posts.

In response, or actually, in advance of the new report, X got on the front foot:

As noted, NewsGuard has also shared details and links to the posts in question, so the claims can be verified to a large degree. The actual ads shown to each user will vary, however, so technically, there’s no way for NewsGuard to definitively provide all the evidence, other than via screenshots. But then, X owner Elon Musk has also accused other reports of “manufacturing” screenshots to support their hypothesis, so X would likely dismiss that as well.

Essentially, X is now the subject of at least four reports from major news monitoring organizations, all of which have provided evidence which suggests that X’s programmatic ad system is displaying ads alongside posts that include overt racism, anti-Semitism, misinformation, and references to dangerous conspiracy theories.   

In almost every case, X has refuted the claims out of hand, made reactive defamatory remarks (via Musk), and threatened legal action as a result:

And now, NewsGuard is the latest organization in Musk’s firing line, for publishing research that essentially outlines something counter to what he wants to believe is the case.

And while it could be possible that some of the overall findings across these reports is flawed, and that some of the data is not 100% correct, the fact that so many issues are being highlighted, consistently, across various organizations, would suggest that there are likely some concerns here for X to investigate.

That’s especially true given that you can re-create many of these placements yourself by loading the posts in question and scrolling through the replies.

The logical, corporate approach, then, would be for X to work with these groups to address these problems, and improve its ad placement systems. But evidently, that’s not how Musk is planning to operate, which is likely exacerbating concerns from ad partners, who are boycotting the app because of these reports.

Though, of course, it’s not just these reports that are prompting advertisers to take pause at this stage.

Musk himself regularly amplifies conspiracy theories and other potentially harmful opinions and reports, which, given that he’s the most followed user in the app, is also significant. That’s seemingly the main cause for the advertiser re-think, but Musk is also trying to convince them that everything is fine, that these reports are lying, and that these groups are somehow working in concert to attack him, even though he himself is a key distributor of the content in question.

It’s a confusing, illogical state of affairs, yet, somehow, the idea that there’s a vast collusion of media entities and organizations working to oppose Musk for exposing “the truth” is more believable to some than the evidence presented right before them, and provided as a means to prompt further action from X to address such concerns.

Which is what these organizations are actually pushing for, to get X to update its systems in order to counter the spread of harmful content, while also halting the monetization of such claims.  

That’s technically what X is now opposing, as it tries to enact more freedom in what people can post in the app, offensive or not, under the banner of “free speech”. In that sense, X doesn’t want to police such claims, it wants users to do it, in the form of Community Notes, which it believes is a more accurate, accountable method of moderation.

But clearly, it’s not working, but Musk and Co., don’t want to hear that, so they’re using the threat of legal action as a means to silence opposition, in the hopes that they’ll simply give up reporting on such.

But that’s not likely. And with X losing millions in ad dollars every day, it’s almost like a game of chicken, where one side will eventually need to cut its losses first.

Which, overall, seems like a flawed strategy for X. But Musk has repeatedly planted his flag on “Free Speech” hill, and he seems determined to stick to that, even if it means burning down the platform formerly known as Twitter in the process.

Which is looking more likely every day, as Musk continues to re-state his defiance, and the reports continue to show that X is indeed amplifying and monetizing harmful content.  

Maybe, as Musk says, it’s all worth it to make a stand. But it’s looking like a costly showcase to prove a flawed point.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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