October 25, 2018


There is hope for FB’s machine learning!

Thanks to the new AI machine learning technology Facebook removed 8.7 million pieces of content last quarter that violated its rules against child exploitation. 99 percent of those posts got removed before anyone reported them.

But Facebook’s moderation technology isn’t perfect, with many parents complaining that innocuous photos of their kids have been removed. Facebook likes to brag only about the correct results, they don’t account the false positives.

Facebook has also been criticized for removing content like the iconic 1972 photo of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, known as the “Napalm Girl,” or taking down a photo of the 30,000-year-old statue of a naked woman, Venus of Willendorf.

Despite not being perfect there is another huge benefit in using AI for social media content moderation besides being able to take down potentially harmful content faster.

Imagine a job where you have to look at disturbing content all day long. Last month, a former Facebook content moderator sued the company claiming that screening thousands of violent images had caused her to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder.

Most of Facebook’s moderators are contractors. Many of them complained about the psychological burden the job brings with it and that Facebook doesn’t offer enough training and support to cope with the job’s side effects.

And being just contractors, they obviously don’t know the ins and outs of Facebook, which explains some of the fails when you get ads rejected for manual reviews, then approved on appeal, then rejected again.


Stay on top of shopping trends with this tool from Google

It’s called Shopping Insights and it’s the tool Google offers you to uncover products, to see if they are trending up or down and how these insights vary by regions.

Google says they have data on more than 55,000 products and 45,000 brands over 5,000 categories.

If you’re familiar with Google Trends for Search, you will then feel right at home in Shopping Insights too.

You can compare popularity over time compared to other brands, you can see search volume over time too. Last but not least, you can subscribe to get personalized reports delivered over email.

All in all seems like a great tool to keep you on top of your e-commerce game. There’s one downside for now though: it only has data for the US.


This is a massive email marketing report if we’ve ever seen one!

We know a lot of you are very much focused on media buying. But you can’t ever dismiss email, because when done right, it’s still one of the best ways to connect to your audience and potential customers.

That’s why we think you’ll find this Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census for 2018 quite interesting.

It breaks down how companies approach email, how they measure success, and how much they make from email compared to other channels.

What struck us as very interesting is that over half of the respondents spend under 25k GBP a year on email.

Coming from a media buyer background, that figure sounds very low. And might explain why most people don’t care for marketing emails. Not enough thought put into them for the most part. Yes, we know some do it really well, just probably not those who spend no money on email.

The stat we liked the most? ~50% are using GIFs in their emails! A step in the right direction!

Apple likes privacy but hates taxes

We’re not sure how to feel about this. It straight up looks like Apple, through their CEO Tim Cook, are just arguing the side that favours them the most.

Let us update you on what we mean. Apple has been taking jabs at Facebook and others (but mostly at Facebook) because their business model is selling ads… Targeted ads, which is more or less like selling the customer’s data, in Tim’s opinion.

So, because of that, he quite likes GDPR and privacy laws that squeeze Facebook’s business model out and favours a business model like Apple’s. Where the customer pays for every single bit of service almost.

On the other hand, when it comes to a potential change that could hurt Apple’s bottom line, Tim does a U-turn.

The company has been using the so-called Double Irish arrangement to avoid taxes on all non-US profits. Apple is famous for having hundreds of billions that they cannot bring into the US, without a big tax hammer hitting.

Well, recently the EU has ruled that Apple has to pay taxes because the Double Irish arrangement was an unfair practice, that ruins competition.

In other words, most companies cannot compete with Apple if the fellows have 0% tax. When it comes to this, Tim Cook is very much against Apple taking a hit…

Maybe that’s what you want in a CEO – fighting for the best of the company, at all times. But as spectators without any special interest, we think Tim’s kind of cherry picking here.

Also, we’re not huge fans of taxes. Who is, right? We’d want the lowest taxes possible, but not just for those who can spend millions per year on lawyers.

But even lawyers might not help anymore, because the EU has plans… Read on to see!

Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Uber… What do they have in common?

These tech giants make over 750 million euros per year globally, and have sales from taxable digital services within the EU above 50 million euros. And they are all subject to the new minimum global tech tax by the EU. A levy on revenue.

Tech companies, according to the European Commission, only pay 9.3% average tax rate, opposed to 23.2% average tax of traditional firms! Most of these companies have their headquarters in Ireland, due to its favourable tax breaks.

How will it work? Let’s say Facebook sells an ad based on a user in Brussels. Facebook’s revenue from this sale would be taxed by 3%, which would be paid in Belgium, and not in Ireland, where FB has their international headquarters.

It is to no surprise that Ireland is against such tax law because it would lose revenue. Nordic states are also against, saying that it would stifle innovation and may lead to a trade war with the US, as most affected companies are US based.

It is, however, important to note that all 28 EU member states have to agree on a new EU-wide tax law. Because of this, the possibility of this proposal not going into effect is high. That’s why many member states already work on national tax laws for tech giants.

But what about us? The customers, advertisers, people who live from e-commerce? For now, we don’t know. The 3% do have to come from somewhere. The companies won’t give up easily on their gains.

Facebook could adjust their algorithm to charge higher CPMs, Amazon could increase pricing on Prime and other services, like FBA. Uber could tax every ride in the EU. One way or another, us, the customers and users, will pay for the EU’s decision, not the companies.

Germany and France are working tirelessly to reach a compromise at the end of the year, so all members are willing to sign. Until then, our future lies in the stars of the EU flag.

Twitter tries to boost engagement

Twitter is testing new features that make it easier for users to know when others want to start a conversation.

It’s considering highlighting replies in a different colour, to make it easier for users to keep track of back-and-forth conversations with an individual.

Twitter also wants to test out adding a prompt encouraging users to reply below every single tweet.

Furthermore, the Birdie wants to show when a user is online. It also wants to add the ability to pin an “icebreaker” question to the top of the profile that asks for replies and tweets about a specific topic.

All these changes are designed to help users engage with other people who want to have a conversation about a specific topic. And of course, they are designed to give a boost to Twitters slow-growing number of monthly active users.

Which in turn means more interest for advertisers on their platform…


We’ve reached the Summit!

Is that even a good pun here? Anyway…

We have some news… News that we think is pretty cool.

WHAT THE AFF is going to be an official media partner for Affiliate Summit West that is taking place in Vegas, between 6-8 January.

We’ve been around for only 6 months and this partnership is another recognition of our hard work but also our impact on the industry. Feels good!

We wanna give a big thank you to the Affiliate Summit team for working with us!

And more importantly, the biggest “Thank you!” to you ladies and gents who’ve made this newsletter your daily read.

Without you reading this, The WTAFF Crew would be standing in line at the unemployment office, looking for a job. OK, slightly exaggerating… but we definitely couldn’t do this without you!


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

Musk makes it rain for Tesla and its shareholders

‘Bout time!

Tesla just reported its first profit in two years.

It seems all the sleeping in the office, working day and night on streamlining production has paid off big time for the car maker.

Tesla reported a profit of $312 mil this quarter. That’s almost $1bil better than last year over the same period when the company lost over $600 mil.

Not bad… Especially after all the heat (and fines) Musk has been getting over his Twitter habits.

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