They are computer scientists, teachers, retirees … they live in Toulouse, Montpellier or Paris. For “further investigation”, they accepted a mission: for seven weeks, they browsed websites that reported fraudulent content by several information verification companies.
Sites that suggest that carrot juice can cure cancer, or that the Rothschild family controls the World Bank and the US government … Between May and June, at the request of journalists, these citizens seized screens of all advertisements displayed there. They sent them to Ad Favre and Sylvain Lovett, who signed the document to be seen on September 2, 2021, in “Appreciation D’Utus”.
For their investigation into funding “fake news”, they saw ads for big brands every time they consulted a site that specialized in spreading false information. For example, in the US site Breitbart, which views global warming as “a myth”, Orange promotes the use of money transfer …
How do the big brands appear next to the “fake news”? On the web, advertisers target audiences without selecting the media in which their campaigns appear. Personalized ads are then followed when consumers browse the web …
Unprecedented level of experience
What are the French brands that fund advertising, conspiracy or misinformation? To identify as many as possible, “Praise D’Toots” launched this experiment on an unprecedented scale. To create this group of people of all ages and all social backgrounds, journalists began calling in April 2020 on social networks.
At the end of this seven-week experience, between May and June 2020 they were able to establish a ranking of French brands on the twenty misinformation sites that their team consulted.
Here is their first 5 La Post: 173 ads; Bouygues Telecom: 195; PayPal: 198; Orange: 205; Home: 545.
In response, the holiday rental expert and ranking head said: “We use strict security restrictions to ensure that our ads are not displayed on sites with inappropriate content. Please note that our ads are on sites contrary to our values and we will take appropriate action to block these pages.” Provided by brands – but only in email.
Part of “Fake News, Cash Machine”, See a document “Further Inquiry” September 2, 2021.
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