Good grief. Take a look at this ridiculous article in the UK Guardian about Facebook post boosts/ads. Feel free to imagine ominous music as you read. It enhances the moment. Perhaps we need a good old fashioned slogan?
About vaccines! Take a look! We'll tell you all on.... Face Book!
Most of us don't have two nickels to rub together for advertising. 54% of all the ads is how much?? This article is NONSENSE. Oh and dig this: US healthcare and pharmaceutical advertisers will increase their digital ad spending by 20.1% to $3.62 billion in 2019.
Majority of anti-vaxx ads on Facebook are funded by just two organizations
Study finds Robert F Kennedy Jr’s World Mercury Project and Larry Cook’s Stop Mandatory Vaccinations bought 54% of ads
The majority of Facebook ads spreading misinformation about vaccines are funded by two organizations run by well-known anti-vaccination activists, a new study in the journal Vaccine has found.
The World Mercury Project chaired by Robert F Kennedy Jr, and Stop Mandatory Vaccinations, a project of campaigner Larry Cook, bought 54% of the anti-vaccine ads shown on the platform during the study period.
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“Absolutely we were surprised,” said David Broniatowski, a professor of engineering at George Washington University, one of the authors of the report. “These two individuals were generating the majority of the content.”
Cook uses crowd-funding platforms to raise money for Facebook ads and his personal expenses. The crowd-funding platform GoFundMe banned Cook’s fundraisers in March 2019. YouTube has demonetized Cook’s videos. Read more here.
Kennedy is the son of the former US attorney general Bobby Kennedy. He also has a nonprofit focused on environmental causes. Kennedy’s brother, sister and niece publicly criticized his “dangerous misinformation” about vaccines in May. They called his work against vaccination, “tragically wrong”.
The Vaccine journal study is the first to analyze anti-vaccine ads in Facebook’s advertising archive. The archive is an ad disclosure database Facebook created after the platform was criticized for spreading untraceable misinformation during the Brexit referendum and 2016 US presidential campaign.
Facebook has more than two billion users and roughly 68% of Americans get their news from the platform, the study said. In 2019, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy as one of the world’s top 10 global health threats.
Facebook’s micro-targeting algorithms, unlike television, radio or newspapers, have allowed anti-vaccine groups to home in on individuals who might be susceptible to doubts about vaccines. In particular, women and parents of young children have been targeted by Stop Mandatory Vaccination, and Cook was even censured by the UK Advertising Standards Authority last year.
“Unless you’re in the target audience you’re not going to see an ad, so it’s hard to know what other organizations might be running,” said Emily Lowther, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Hospitals Association, which has had pro-vaccination ads automatically removed from Facebook. It is unclear why Facebook removed the ads.