By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 7-17-20

The Federal Trade Commission has released a report on the use of social media bots – algorithmically driven computer software – in online advertising and finds them to be thriving, out in the open, and easy, cheap and effective to sell, buy and use.

The report came at the direction of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which wanted input on deceptive advertising.  While that majority report passes no judgment, Democratic commissioner Rohit Chopra, in his separate statement, does, concluding there are major issues that Big Tech won’t solve, but the FTC needs to tackle.

The report, which without footnotes is less than four pages, is essentially a brief survey of the landscape rather than a critique of how bots are painting it.  It points out the good and bad uses they can be put to, how they range from simple to sophisticated, and that they can be tough to detect despite efforts to combat them.  » Read More