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Last Week Online #52 – How much is a cookie?

Anna Loverus
Anna Loverus
2 min read

Have brands now recognised that climate change deniers are shortly the only consumers left?

YouTube displays Samsung and Uber ads on climate change denial content

YouTube recommended videos containing misinformation and denial about climate change and showed ads for several high profile brands on the content. In total, the videos had 21.1 million views and users who searched for "climate change," "global warming," or the conspiracy theory "climate manipulation" got them as recommendations.

A nonprofit activist group, Avaaz, found 108 brands running ads on videos with climate change misinformation. Brands like Samsung, Uber, Nintendo, and environmental groups, such as Greenpeace and WWF, appeared on the videos. In the past, several companies suspended their YouTube advertising after learning that ads ran on videos containing hate speech. Samsung immediately contacted YouTube to "resolve the current issue and prevent future repetition."

YouTube is trying to fight misinformation step by step. Now, some search results and videos include a fact-checking box with Wikipedia information. When searching for "climate change" and "global warming" this box appears, but for "climate manipulation" it does not.

Turkey's two-year ban on Wikipedia is over

This week, the Turkish government withdrew a two-and-a-half-year ban on Wikipedia. In December, Turkey's top court ruled that the ban was unconstitutional since it violated the right to free expression. On Wednesday night, most of the country had their access to Wikipedia restored.

The ban began in April 2017, when Wikipedia refused to remove content claiming that the Turkish government had given support to terrorist and Syrian militant groups. During the ban, no Turkish IP addresses could visit Wikipedia, in any language – being the tightest Wikipedia ban in the world.

There is still a case against the ban, filed in 2019, pending in the European Court of Human Rights. Turkey tends to ban sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. However, it has mostly been for shorter periods, such as a couple of weeks or months.

Third-party cookies have less than two more years to live in Google Chrome

To get a better balance between privacy and personalisation, Chrome will replace all third-party cookies with browser-based tools. On Tuesday, Google announced that support for third-party cookies in Chrome would be phased out "within two years."

Google states that the change demands "new approaches to ensure that ads continue to be relevant for users" saying that user data shared with websites and advertisers would be minimised, keeping much more user information on-device only.

Google further argues that "large scale cookie-blocking" undermine the publisher ecosystem by making ads less relevant. Cookie blocking also reduces Googles revenues, since less precise the audience targeting generates lower ad revenue.

Tool of the week: Spotify for Pets

Spotify for Pets is probably the most useless tool I've ever recommended. But hey, it's fun – and it is crucial to have fun – so it still qualifies as this weeks tool.

Based on your pet, real or imaginary, and its character, you can get a playlist that suits the two of you. It uses your previous listening to pick songs the two of you will like.

Spotify for Pets is a fun little marketing gimmick from Spotify, probably driving A LOT of streams and allowing them to introduce new artists to peoples listening. However, it also feels like they are starting to run out of good ideas for personalised playlists.

Last Week Online

Anna Loverus Twitter

Thinker and doer. Loves running, wine, and human behaviour.


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