The New York Times sells premium ads based on how an article makes you feel

I saw this article on Hackernews, and I think it’s relevant for all of us:

The NYTimes now has machine learning models they have trained to approximate what moods their readers are likely to be in after or while reading an article. Assuming, of course, you don’t read the article with a critical eye towards your own mood, or aren’t set against digital advertisements in the first place.

Also, the NYTimes claims that this analysis happens after the articles are written; and that this ad scheme doesn’t affect the integrity of the reporting. I’m inclined to believe them.

However, this article makes me think that an anti-ad pledge – consisting of people who publically commit to either never following through on an ad, or buying a competitor’s product if they see a digital ad – could be powerful if enough people signed on.

Also, the NYTimes system doesn’t involve analyzing specific readers; and thus is less creepy than FB.