How Ad Tech Wound Up Monetizing Sanctioned Russian Websites

The industry is without a standard definition of disinformation

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Several leading ad-tech companies, including Google and Criteo, are alleged to have monetized Russian-backed websites sanctioned by the U.S. government in a recent report published by industry watchdog Check My Ads.

The findings highlight just some of the ongoing loopholes in the complex ad-tech sector that mean it continues to struggle with brand safety issues, namely the lack of an industry-wide definition of misinformation and disinformation.

Sanction violations?

Last month, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions on Russian intelligence disinformation outlets, including FSB-controlled sites SouthFront and NewsFront, that worked to “covertly influence” U.S.



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