Advertisers spent 25 million on anti-coronavirus news sites


The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) produces a weekly report that provides an overview of the “contribution” of advertising intermediaries to news portals that distribute anti-coronavirus messages through advertising and money.

The GDI has identified and surveyed through analysis approximately 480 English-language news portals around the world that have published anti-coronavirus messages, from accusing 5G of causing coronavirus to  conspiracy theories about Bill Gates.

GDI’s analysis found that in the first six months, Google, OpenX, Amazon, Xandr, Taboola and others have channeled approximately $ 25 million in advertising money to owners of such sites.

GDI compiled a database of websites disseminating coronavirus conspiracy theories and identified the potential for displaying ads on them, and used this to calculate the total advertising revenue for the first six months of 2020. The calculation was based on estimated page traffic statistics from public sources. The calculation used a multiplier of ($ 0.70), this was the average cost per person in 1000 contacts.

The authors of the report have remained conservative in their calculations, as the number of website traffic increased during the coronavirus pandemic, and several advertising spots on a single page were considered as one advertisement in the statistics.

At the beginning of the week, Propastop wrote about the directing of advertising money of companies related to Estonia to Russian propaganda publications. The GDI report is a different perspective on the same type of situation.

On the positive side, other groups of analysts are making such observations public, which gives hope that the awareness of advertising customers about ordering online advertising will increase and that they will more closely monitor where the advertisement ends up.

Graph: Screenshot of the report