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Pixalate Week in Review: January 29 - February 2, 2018

This week's review of ad fraud and quality in the digital advertising space.

1. Pixalate helps unmask traffic laundering scheme 

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BuzzFeed News this week reported that "several of Newsweek Media Group’s business websites are buying and manipulating traffic that originates on pirated video streaming sites. The company acknowledged buying traffic, but denies engaging in ad fraud." Read more on our blog.

Adweek added to the story, citing a Pixalate representative as saying: “This news also highlights the fact that it is vital for advertisers to evaluate every website based on how they generate traffic, where the traffic comes from, and other key indicators of success — even if it is a known website."

2. Ads.txt passes 50% of top publishers

improving-rising.jpg "Seven months after the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab released final specs for ads.txt, the new standard for sanctifying the reselling of publishers’ inventory has reached critical mass," reported MediaPost, citing recent OpenX research and Pixalate data. 

3. 2018: A 'year of reckoning' for mobile app-install fraud

mobile-apps.jpg "Ad dollars are flowing to mobile and fraudsters have noticed," wrote AdExchanger. "The mobile performance industry is highly vulnerable to fraud and the only way to effect change is for everyone to get wise," the article noted.

4. Google removed 700,000 apps from Play Store last year — a rise of 70%

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According to TechCrunch, Google "removed 700,000 potentially harmful or deceiving apps from its store last year. That’s up 70 percent from 2016." The article added: "...[T]here are some clear patterns in how malicious and deceiving developers try to sneak their apps into the store. They often try to make their apps look like existing popular apps, for example, to trick users into installing them."

5. The 'NYT' highlights social media's fake account problem

nytimes-follow-factory-article.pngAccording to the New York Times, social media platform have a major fake account problem. "Celebrities, athletes, pundits and politicians have millions of fake follower," wrote the NYT. "In November, Facebook disclosed to investors that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated, indicating that up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform," the article noted. "These fake accounts, known as bots, can help sway advertising audiences and reshape political debates. They can defraud businesses and ruin reputations. Yet their creation and sale fall into a legal gray zone."

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