The crackdown on "influencers" engaging in undisclosed paid endorsement roiled Instagram last year, but now the crackdown on sexual misconduct on influencers
is affecting readership at Mic, Upworthy, GOOD, and Slate, who quietly paid influencers like George Takei to promote their articles on their personal accounts.
The disastrous Fyre Festival, heavily promoted by young influencers, started things off. In September, the FTC handed down the first of many settlements against influencers. now party time is over for the sites that used their VC money to pay celebrities to promote their feel-good content.
Via The Outline:
A story on Mic reveals that Slate, Upworthy, GOOD, Futurism, and Mic itself have ended partnerships in which they paid Takei to promote their stories on his Facebook page. Alongside debates on abortion and a study about astronauts, his page posted links to clickbait such as “Famous Quotes That Are Always Taken Out Of Context” or “Common Mistakes You're Making with Your Eyeliner,” prefaced with a pun or one-liner, and never appended with a disclosure. The page steadily shares a post an hour — a pace which doesn't appear to have slowed following the accusations or the dropped partnerships.
Given how well clickbait promotion pays, it's no surprise celebrities do it. Takei is far from the only one, and Lil Wayne and Jersey Shore cast regular DJ Pauly D reportedly do the same — but it should be clearly marked as sponsored content, the FTC notes. Earlier this year, the regulator sent out 90 letters warning celebrities using Instagram to shill products and promote brands that they need to admit as much to their followers.
• Publishers paying George Takei to promote stories isn’t just weird — it’s an FTC violation
Images: Pexels, Wikimedia
Everyone loves sloths, and that has led to a huge black market in their capture for use in “safari selfies,” where eco-tourists travel to exotic locales and pose for social media posts with local fauna.
A new report from the New America Foundation uses the current fear that Russian government elements manipulated the 2016 US election to explore the relationship between advertising technology, surveillance capitalism, and "precision propaganda," showing how the toolsuite developed for the advertising industry is readily repurposable by even modestly competent actors to spread disinformation campaigns.
Benjamin Mako Hill (previously) collaborated with colleagues involved in critical technology studies to write a textbook chapter analyzing the use of computational methods in social science and providing advice for social scientists who want to delve into data-based social science.
More often than not, you won’t see an accident coming, which means it pays to be proactive and ensure you have the right tools on-hand before you need them. Whether you find yourself in the middle of a power outage or having car trouble at night, you can make sure you’re still capable of navigating […]
Trains may not be the most popular means of conveyance nowadays, but chances are you grew up playing with toy trains or building a model set to wrap around the Christmas tree. In either case, it’s safe to say that locomotives have long carried a unique sense of awe and scale, especially when they’re hundreds […]
When it comes to redesigning or renovating a living space, envisioning changes before they occur can be tricky for most. Thankfully, the web is home to tools that can remove some of the guesswork, like Live Home 3D Pro for Mac. This app lets you create detailed and furnished floor plans for everything from sheds and […]