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In 2023 google blocked 206.5 million scam ads

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Search giant Google released its 2023 Ads Safety Report, revealing that it blocked 206.5 million scam advertisements.

The report, which was released on Wednesday emphasizes the preponderance of scams and frauds across online platforms in 2023.

According to the report, bad actors are constantly evolving their tactics to manipulate digital advertising to scam people and legitimate businesses.

To counter these ever-shifting threats, it quickly updated policies, deployed rapid-response enforcement teams, and sharpened its detection techniques.

Highlighting the efforts of the tech company in tackling the rising cases of fraud online, Google’s VP and GM of Ads Privacy and Safety, Duncan Lennox, in the report said:

“Overall, we blocked or removed 206.5 million advertisements for violating our misrepresentation policy, which includes many scam tactics, and 273.4 million advertisements for violating our financial services policy.

“We also blocked or removed over 1 billion advertisements for violating our policy against abusing the ad network, which includes promoting malware.”

“The fight against scam ads is an ongoing effort, as we see bad actors operating with more sophistication, at a greater scale, using new tactics such as deepfakes to deceive people.

“We’ll continue to dedicate extensive resources, making significant investments in detection technology and partnering with organizations like the Global Anti-Scam Alliance and Stop Scams UK to facilitate information sharing and protect consumers worldwide,” Lennox added.

In general, Google said it blocked or removed a total of 5.5 billion ads from its platform in 2023 buoyed by its deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“AI is improving our enforcement on all fronts. In 2023, we blocked or removed over 5.5 billion ads, slightly up from the prior year, and 12.7 million advertiser accounts, nearly double from the previous year.

“Similarly, we work to protect advertisers and people by removing our ads from publisher pages and sites that violate our policies, such as sexually explicit content or dangerous products,” the company stated in the report.

Google said it also blocked or restricted ads from serving on more than 2.1 billion publisher pages, up slightly from 2022.

“To put the impact of AI on this work into perspective: last year more than 90% of our publisher page-level enforcement started with the use of machine learning models, including our latest LLMs.

“Of course, any advertiser or publisher can still appeal an enforcement action if they think we got it wrong. Our teams will review it and, in the cases where we find errors, use it to improve our systems,” Google added.

The introduction of new technology such as generative AI to novel abuse trends and global conflicts is helping Google in the fight against fraud. The tech giant, however, noted that the digital advertising space has to be nimble and ready to react to the threat the same way.

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