October 1, 2018

FACEBOOK

Up to 90 million Facebook accounts attacked

Last Tuesday, Facebook’s engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts.

A vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted “View As”, a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else, got exploited.

Hackers were able to steal access tokens, digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook. It seems hackers did not get access to the passwords of these accounts.

Facebook reset the access tokens of 50 million accounts that were affected plus another 40 million accounts that might have been hacked as well. If you were prompted to re-login on Friday your account might be affected.

Facebook once again said that “People’s privacy and security is incredibly important, and we’re sorry this happened.”

The breach comes at a time when the firm is struggling to convince lawmakers in the US and beyond, that it is capable of protecting user data.

But that’s not the end of the bad news for Facebook. Facebook’s automated content flagging tools blocked users from posting some stories about its security breach.

People who tried to share stories from the Guardian or the Associated Press got presented an error message from Facebook saying “Our security systems have detected that a lot of people are posting the same content, which could mean that it’s spam. Please try a different post.”

While the bug got resolved a few hours later it still keeps a bad aftertaste and clearly doesn’t make Facebook look good once again.

By the way…

If you are using automation tools like Revealbot, go and check if it didn’t lose connection. Because Facebook reset the access tokens on these accounts, your tool might not work anymore.


GENERAL

The Telegraph tries to pull a Cambridge Analytica

You’ve heard about Cambridge Analytica and their dealings with personal data of tens of millions of people in their campaigns for the 2016 US elections. It was quite the scandal because of how they acquired the data.

But then the question also rose about how they were using it to make decisions, and that also got a bit creepy. Well, here’s a treat…

British newspaper The Telegraph found interest in the business model of psychologically analyzing your target audience. Just what CA was doing…

Here’s a quote from Digiday’s original article that tells the whole story, in our view.

The Telegraph is building a panel of 50,000 and in the coming months will use it to ask questions like what values they associate with a brand.

By early next year, The Telegraph plans to build out clusters of psychographic audience segments of people making big life changes, like buying a car or starting a family, to model out to its whole audience through its data-management platform and sell to advertisers, moving from demographics to need states, from behavioral to mindsets.

Unlike publishers that are using articles to target audiences based on their mood, The Telegraph wants to discern the mood of audiences on an individual level.

Their ultimate goal is to bring the whole process in-house, but for now they’ve been using third-party companies like Neuro-Insight, who work with groups of volunteers whose reactions to content they analyze and process.

Here’s what Simon Peaple, their head of commercial insight said.:

“We know exactly how The Telegraph audience responds to stimulus, whether that’s campaign creative or contextual targeting.

Our audience acts differently to other audiences. If you want to optimize your campaign with us and get standout results, you need an extra layer about our audience that only we can do.”

In other words? They’re doing what Cambridge Analytica did, but with their own data. So much for GDPR and less creepy data use…

You know what’s strange? There’s no outrage over it – that’s because they’re not using it to sway elections.

People are much more invested in their political views than their chosen toothpaste.

Lesson is, if you influence consumers to buy Coke instead of Pepsi using psychographic profiles that should creep some people out – it’s all good

German publishers unite on unified log-in to combat Facebook and Google

In two weeks, an alliance of 20 media, e-commerce, agency ISP businesses in Germany will officially launch a unified consumer login product.

The concept is that users will be assigned a centralized privacy-settings center that they can manage, which will work across all the partnersites.

CEO Sven Bornemann says: “With the dominance of Google and Facebook, user data is drifting away to the walled gardens and leaving the German market, meaning publishers and agencies are’t able to use that data anymore.”

In March, the alliance established a not-for-profit European NetID Foundation, a neutral body that will oversee the unified ID system. The idea is to be able to manage all your settings from there, without sharing to FB or Google and having to “feed the beasts”.

It seems Facebook’s security breach comes right at the right time and shows the downsides of accessing other third party apps through your Facebook login.

We aren’t sure if NetID is the solution but it will probably try to ride the anti-FB wave. And that gives it a good shot, at least in Germany.


INFLUENCER MARKETING

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How to deal with very disorganized influencers?

Although we’ve had some good experience with influencer marketing ourselves and we do recommend others trying it too, it doesn’t always work out.

Sometimes because of the influencer, but sometimes because of you, the person hiring the influencer.

And we’ve found an example where Aleenah Morales brought up a so-far-unsuccessful campaign in the Ecom Empires group.

Her main complaint? The influencers didn’t post her product 3 weeks after they got the product.

Well, people in the comments were quick to explain that without a clear agreement, where the influencers has the date locked in, there’s always a big risk your post gets delayed over and over again.

While it’s great if the influencer is structured and guides you through the process of running an ad with them, it’s your responsibility to discover what their workflow is.

From contacting them, to agreeing on price, post type and post date to then following up on performance, next steps and whatever else you have in mind.

You’re the one spending the money, so take the lead in the process if the other person doesn’t!


SPONSORED

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If only there was an award for the newsletter with best puns we’d probably win it.

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That sort of inventory works with just about any vertical because it allows you to tailor a complete message, that won’t be missed by the viewer. That includes:

  • Gaming
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  • Casino/Gambling

They also have the standard banner and pop-under formats of course, if you’re more familiar with them to start off.

A typical question: Can mainstream offers work on adult traffic?

Yes, if the advertiser/offer owner doesn’t mind their product associated with adult content. It’s just a bunch of people, mostly guys – if your product solves a problem and you have the right angle, they’ll be interested.

So, go sign up with TrafficForce – their team’s simple focus is to make sure you take advantage of their great inventory, technology and create profitable campaigns.


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POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The most expensive 420 joke ever?

We generally like Elon, he’s been very successful and for the most part, he is definitely a very smart individual.

Even so, he is not immune to making extremely dumb mistakes. That’s why we said “for the most part”.

You might know that a few weeks ago he tweeted that he wants to take Tesla private at $420 per share and that funding is secured.

Well, with Tesla being a public company and all, it means representatives, like the freaking CEO, cannot make these statements lightly.

So the SEC looked into it and in the end, Elon has to pay for misleading investors. He will step down as chairman, but will stay CEO. He will also have to pay a $20 mil fine – we told ya’ it was an expensive joke!

Oh and the price? Well, the usual premium would have put the price per share at $419. Elon wanted to make a joke for his girlfriend, and said $420 instead…

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