Last month, a story I’d written had just gone live. I punched a few keywords into Google search to pull it up so I could grab the link. That was when I noticed a publication called the “New York Times Post” had also just published a story with the exact same headline. When I clicked the link, I noticed that it was my story in its entirety. And it had ads all over it.

…Joshua Lowcock, who’s global brand safety officer at UM, a media agency that’s part of Interpublic, said he’s run a similar experiment and found that a number of ad tech partners were similarly lax about their approvals.

Like me, he didn’t make too much of an effort to appear super sophisticated.

“We weren’t acting like a motivated bad actor,” he said. “If anyone had done basic due diligence, we would have been caught out.”

He added that sites can act as legitimate news publishers for months, gain social media followers then start publishing completely fake stories.

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