Shailin Dhar examines Ad Fraud Research

He explores the mechanics, economics, and processes behind opaque practices within the media, technology, and telecommunications sectors.

Shailin Dhar examines Ad Fraud Research

In a new series titled Eating in the Dark, Shailin Dhar, an ad tech professional with experience in content site monetization and ad fraud research, delves into the complexities of ad fraud. He explores the mechanics, economics, and processes behind opaque practices within the media, technology, and telecommunications sectors.

The first post of a new series, "Eating in the Dark," tackles the lack of transparency in media technology and digital advertising. Dhar highlights the challenges in ad fraud research, including limited sample sizes and the rapid release of research findings. He emphasizes the importance of prioritizing meaningful research over seeking recognition and criticizes media coverage that may lack proper vetting of the findings.

A Case Study: Adalytics' Research on Colossus SSP

Dhar dissects a recent example of ad fraud research by Adalytics on Direct Digital Holdings' Colossus SSP. He criticizes the research for its sample size, lack of a rigorous peer-review process, and the feasibility of the alleged claims. He questions the motivations behind the research and the media coverage it received.

Reflections on Personal Experiences

Dhar reflects on his own experiences in ad fraud research, including an incident where his work was misrepresented by a short-seller website. He emphasizes the need for a more holistic approach to ad fraud detection, treating it as a counterfeiting problem rather than a cybersecurity issue.

Dhar promises to explore additional topics in the coming weeks, including how to approach ad fraud and the potential consequences when counterfeit traffic reaches a significant scale.

Dhar's series sheds light on the complexities of ad fraud research and the challenges of achieving transparency in the ad tech industry. By critically examining research methodologies and motivations, Dhar encourages a more constructive dialogue about how to improve the integrity of digital advertising.

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