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Know Your Advertiser: Fighting Fake Ads with Common Sense and Artificial Intelligence


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The fight against political intervention is a multi-dimensional effort that spans across both business and technology domains. While real-time detection of ads that intend to disseminate false information is a requirement, platforms like Facebook and Google have overlooked a critical weapon in the larger fight: knowing their advertiser. As an ad technology company, DeepIntent has designed the first programmatic verification solution, called Verified Ads, as a robust method that detects the questionable or malicious advertisers that are behind the ads that are ravaging our nation's political consciousness.

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Know Your Advertiser: Fighting Fake Ads with Common Sense and Artificial Intelligence

  1. 1. Know Your Advertiser: Fighting Fake Ads with Common Sense and Artificial Intelligence CHRISTOPHER PAQUETTE Co-founder, CEO January 16, 2018 Marketing Politics 2018 – Washington, D.C.
  2. 2. Discussion Outline • Overview of DeepIntent • Verified Ads – Fighting Fake Advertisers 2DeepIntent |
  3. 3. 3DeepIntent | Introduction is a Customer Intelligence & Programmatic Ad Platform that uses A.I. to discover actionable insights into our client’s customers. Our core Artificial Intelligence reads and watches content on the internet, understands the themes and sentiment within the media, and from this, builds a profile of your customer’s motivations, interests, and affinities. Combining these profiles with client CRM data allows us to build very powerful predictive systems that drive business growth for our clients.
  4. 4. 4 Identifying Political Interests & Affinities State-of-the-art Computer Vision and Natural Language AI understands the articles and videos that your audience engages with across all major digital publishers. 4 2018 Tax Reform Bill Overall Positive Sentiment - College Savings Plan (Positive) - 529 Plans (Positive) - Tax Legislation (Positive) DeepIntent | The Tennessean
  5. 5. Real Time Consumption Analytics Drives Effective Ad Targeting 5DeepIntent | John Smith Age: 35 New York, NY Registered Republican Voted in 2012, 2016 Elections 2018 Tax Reform Bill Overall Positive Sentiment - College Savings Plan (Positive) - 529 Plans (Positive) - Tax Legislation (Positive) New York Times Fox News
  6. 6. Introducing Verified Ads
  7. 7. Hacking the 2016 Election 126 million+ Americans had their data, friendships and information exploited by foreign influencers with the intent to undermine the democratic process in the United States. The largest digital platforms in the US were silently weaponized. DeepIntent |
  8. 8. How It Happened: Who Was Behind It? The Internet Research Agency, a Russian “Troll Farm” operating on behalf of the Russian Government, exploited new media in a sweeping campaign to manipulate the public consciousness ahead of the 2016 elections. 8DeepIntent |
  9. 9. Coordinated Disinformation The IRA and related groups registered several topically-relevant domains and created thousands of internet presences (fake accounts, fake sites) designed to be indistinguishable from reputable news outlets & political commentators. Their intention was to distort the truth and fabricate lies. 9DeepIntent | vs.
  10. 10. Weaponized Ad Platforms Purchasing ads on Google, Facebook and Twitter, the IRA used self-declared user data such as race, religion, political, and interests to reach millions of Americans with highly-targeted and divisive ads. 10 Ad Targeting Location: Kentucky Alabama Nebraska Interests: Bill O’Reily Jesus Republican Party Fox News
  11. 11. Learning from Analysis An analysis of the facts we know today shows that this attack reveals several vulnerabilities that platforms and tech companies can use to detect, expose, and combat disinformation campaigns. DeepIntent |
  12. 12. Buying Political Ads Today is Easy 12DeepIntent | Facebook, Twitter, and Google are open platforms that are designed to reduce the “friction” (time) of creating an account and buying ads. These platforms operate at a massive scale with millions of businesses and billions of users able to purchase ads within minutes. The ad industry has no processes designed to verify the legitimacy and screen for malicious intentions of the ad buyer.
  13. 13. Buying Political Ads Today Is Easy 13DeepIntent | Within minutes, anyone anywhere can launch a political ad campaign Ad Approved Link: Protest Video
  14. 14. Building a Defense: Verified Ads 14DeepIntent | DeepIntent introduced our Verified Ads system as the first comprehensive system for determining the legitimacy of a political advertiser, with the goal of bringing transparency into the information our users receive.
  15. 15. More Transparency, More Accountability. 15DeepIntent | The Verified Ads experience provides an interactive way for the user to see more detailed information about the advertiser.
  16. 16. How It Works 16DeepIntent | Scan > Audit > Verify Using a mix of state-of-the-art computer vision, natural language processing A.I. and human review, DeepIntent Verified Ads combines business logic with the latest technology to audit the advertiser and their creatives in real-time. American Action Network Domain: Domain Owned by Advertiser: Yes Domain Registration Date: 2009 FEC ID: C90011230 Location: Washington D.C. Entity Type: Registered Non-Profit Candidate Affiliation: None Candidate Authorization: N/A Individuals Associated: Yes (11) Individuals Based in US?: Yes Contact IP Address Details: US-based
  17. 17. A Blocked Attempt to Buy Political Ads on DeepIntent 17DeepIntent | Advertiser Rejected Advertiser: Black Matters Domain: Domain Owned by Advertiser: Yes Domain Registration Date: 2015 FEC ID: None Location: Unknown Entity Type: Unknown Candidate Affiliations: None Candidate Authorization: N/A Individuals Associated: No Individuals Based in US?: Unknown Contact IP Address Details: US-based; Known Proxy
  18. 18. Verified Ads Successfully Identifies Fake Advertisers 18DeepIntent | Using 30 samples of the accounts provided to Congress, DeepIntent’s Verified Ads solution successfully flagged all of the accounts as suspicious. Link: AJC News - List of Russian Accounts Advertiser Flagged Advertiser Flagged Advertiser Flagged
  19. 19. Preparing for 2018 Elections & Beyond 19DeepIntent | As we head into the 2018, federal legislation like the Honest Ads Act and state legislation like that proposed in New York will close legal loopholes and require more accountability from advertisers and platforms. DeepIntent’s Verified Ads solution is a model for how companies in our industry can effectively fight fraud and foreign influences in our elections. Today, we are sharing our approach in hopes that others will constructively work to build a safer digital experience and a stronger democracy.
  20. 20. Thank You CEO, Co-Founder | Chris Paquette | 646.827.9524