Google Limiting Political Ad Targeting Worldwide; Facebook Looks at Limiting Pol Ad Microtargeting; PayPal Picking up Honey; Tesla Cybertruck Reveal Tonight

Google is going to begin limiting political ads worldwide. According to 9to5google.com, ‘the company’s advertising networks are limiting election ads audience targeting to age, gender, and general location (postal code level). This includes Search, YouTube, and display ads that appear on third-party sites.’ Before now, Google’s basic political targeting in the US allowed ads to be served based on public voter records and general political affiliations like left-leaning, right-leaning, or independent. The changes start next week in Britain ahead of elections there, and in the EU by the end of the year. They will be in place worldwide on January 6th. While it isn’t an outright ban like on Twitter, it will have a major effect on ‘deep fakes,’ misleading claims, and other ‘demonstrably false claims’ that have been made in some political ads.

Facebook is considering changing its rues around political ads. The Washington Post says the present microtargeting tech from Facebook allows advertisers to focus on specific groups of users and deliver messaging directly to them. One major user is already objecting to Facebook limiting microtargeting….the Trump campaign…which has used it extensively and is doing so right now. This may be a reason Trump hosted Zuckerberg at the White House for dinner last month. Up to now, Facebook has refused to limit political ads, or even police them for false information. Twitter has banned them outright, and Google (as noted above) is limiting political targeting. Facebook claims microtargeting will still be possible, but any changes could materially alter how a campaign like Trump’s uses the features.

PayPal is buying shopping and rewards platform Honey, which tracks prices, alerts, and manages rewards programs for some 30,000 plus retailers. Businessinsider.com reports that the deal is worth some $4 billion, making it PayPal’s biggest acquisition to date. PayPal expects the adding of Honey to help its network of some 24 million merchants to attract shoppers ‘earlier in the deal-hunting process.’

Tonight in LA, Elon Musk will reveal the Tesla Cybertruck at the company’s design center. According to theverge.com, Musk has described the vehicle as being inspired by the movie ‘Blade Runner.’ He has also claimed it will have Porsche-level performance and ‘utility that makes a Ford F-150 look like a Tonka truck.’ Pickups are the fastest growing segment in the US auto industry, and some sell for sky high prices. They are also profitable, which is why many makers have pushed SUVs for years (most of which are built on a truck chassis, partly to take advantage of easier truck emission standards.) Musk has said the truck will start at under $50,000. More will be revealed tonight.



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