UW News

September 28, 2020

Soundbites: UW researchers examine deceptive ads on news websites

UW News

In this video:

Franziska Roesner, associate professor in the Allen School
Eric Zeng, graduate research assistant in the Allen School

Journalists: download soundbites here

With the election season ramping up, political ads are being splashed across the web. In the age of misinformation, how can news consumers tell if the ads they’re seeing are legitimate?

USA Today and other mainstream news sites might seem like they would limit access to deceptive ads. But a study by University of Washington researchers found that both mainstream and misinformation news sites displayed similar levels of problematic ads.

The team, composed of researchers in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, in mid-January collected more than 55,000 ads across more than 6,000 mainstream news sites and about 1,000 misinformation news sites (such as those on this list). Then the researchers manually examined ads from 100 each of the most popular mainstream and misinformation sites to categorize them as problematic or not. The team presented these findings May 21 at the Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection.

Read more here.

Kiyomi Taguchi ktaguchi@uw.edu / 206-685-2716