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Author Topic: The business of web ads - fraudulent at its core  (Read 6085 times)


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The business of web ads - fraudulent at its core
« on: September 24, 2015, 02:44 PM »
Long article about the business of web ads, the fraud involved, and the consequences:

“I can think of nothing that has done more harm to the Internet than ad tech,” says Bob Hoffman, a veteran ad executive, industry critic, and author of the blog the Ad Contrarian. “It interferes with everything we try to do on the Web. It has cheapened and debased advertising and spawned criminal empires... About 18 months ago, he set to figuring out how much of his inventory—ad spaces for sale—was fake. The answer mortified him: “Two-thirds was either fraud or suspicious,” he says.


Stoic Joker

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Re: The business of web ads - fraudulent at its core
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 05:50 PM »
Fake traffic has become a commodity. There’s malware for generating it and brokers who sell it. Some companies pay for it intentionally, some accidentally, and some prefer not to ask where their traffic comes from. It’s given rise to an industry of countermeasures, which inspire counter-countermeasures. “It’s like a game of whack-a-mole,” says Fernando Arriola, vice president for media and integration at ConAgra Foods. Consumers, meanwhile, to the extent they pay attention to targeted ads at all, hate them: The top paid iPhone app on Apple’s App Store is an ad blocker.

...And that's why browser performance across the board has gone completely to shit.


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Re: The business of web ads - fraudulent at its core
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2015, 06:10 PM »
I don't like ads. Actually, I hate them. However, I know that sometimes they are a necessary evil to pay the bills and make available content we may not see otherwise. However, I run an ad blocker & will terminate/block ads with extreme prejudice not because of the ads themselves, but what comes with the ads.

The drive-by malware, the tracking, the profiling, the weaseling of evil, malignant files onto my hard drive to help report back to the Mother Ship where I've been surfing, what I've been doing on a computer that cost me a significant amount of money and taking up my bandwidth, slowing down my connection that also costs me a significant amount of money every month.

As for the content, I'm not cheap. I'm not looking for a freebie. Provide me something valuable and I will compensate you. Ironically, the software developers of my ad blocker provided me something very valuable in my eyes & I paid them a not insignificant amount of money in return.

It's also a matter of trust. I may trust your site enough to visit it and let it access my computer via my browser, but where is the server that is hosting and pushing those ads? Is it even located in the same country as your web site? Is it owned by an individual/company that has the same moral compass that you do? There have been too many stories in the news of ad servers dropping 'gifts' on the hard drives of people who viewed their ads. Even the mighty Google's ad servers were victimized by it in the past. If you can't even trust Google's servers to push benign ads, who *can* you trust?


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Re: The business of web ads - fraudulent at its core
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2015, 02:02 AM »
Interesting read, but the thing that stood out for me was that the ad business was shocked to discover there's no truth in advertising

there's an old saying about what goes around...