As if not truthfully clicking on ads were a crime.
We don't owe advertisers anything, least of all the truth.
The term itself is perfectly reasonable. If you're intentionally clicking ads on your own site in order to mislead the advertising provider about your CTR and thus generate more revenue for yourself, that's clearly fraud.
“Ad fraud” is widely accepted when automated clicks are done by or on behalf of someone getting paid for the ads (the site owner selling ad space, usually, as the advertising network, if they were going to defraud the party buying ad placement, would just as easily invent false numbers that employ automated clickers to juice their own stats.)
Other than that, no.
Don't we all have a stake in ads? You made me realize this because "cry over this" but I'm not in that industry at all and your sentence seemed to me like just an over-generalization made to justify your point of view.
I then remembered all the time that I couldn't have read/watch/learned something if I didn't have ads in the past, simply because I couldn't convince my parents to use their credit card (for valid reason though).
I remember all the time right I wouldn't have read/watch/learned simply because the risk of it being not worth it was too high even nowadays.
I remember all the time that I currently have to simply trust the comments over an article because it's behind a paywall and I just can't subscribe to every news website.
Actually I have a pretty big stake in this industry. I wouldn't have been the software engineer I am right now if it wasn't from the content that was subsidized by ads. The ones that made that content were also underage and were able to build a pretty big company out of it (Site du Zéro, they are now called OpenClassroom) that now employ an hundred employees (luckily they no longer depends on ads, but still it was what made them being able to breakthrough).
Your parents wouldn't or couldn't pay for things you wanted access to. Do you think they would have been okay with you trading your privacy instead?
There has to be a better way to make sure the internet doesn't starve than ads, and not seeing that way doesn't mean that ads and manipulative marketing are inevitable.
"AdNauseam: Fight Back Against Advertising Networks and Privacy Abuse"
"AdNauseam – Clicking Ads So You Don't Have To"
"AdNauseam Banned from the Google Web Store"
"Pale Moon blocks AdNauseam extension"
So every once in a while it get's reposted. Not bad perse.
AdNauseam could detect that, too, but it gets exceedingly hard, slowing down the user’s browser. So, I think the ad network can win that battle.
<span style="opacity: 0.001">Trap!</span>
Users following invisible links are definitive bots but otherwise, the main idea is to verify the coherence of the headers, and verify if there is a difference between theoretical browser capabilities and reality.
The behaviour is not so important because advertising networks generally have frequency capping support per IP/UID.
Long time ago, lots of fraud bots used to use COM/MSHTML interfaces ( like https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/i... ) so, even if declaring itself as Chrome, it was obviously an IE.
Now the fraud is more with Android WebViews.
It's very easy to distinguish two browsers, and the browsers that declare themselves "no tracking" are even easier to track in real-life scenario because their signature is very different.
Take two Safari iOS on the same 3G networks, it's very difficult to differentiate them, but take two Brave browsers and it's quite easy to track the user.
or xkcd #810
"Good day sir, you lose, I said good day!"
It's not perfect and adding noise/volatility bothers the industry, but it will be really hard to affect much at scale.
..maybe targeting one industry at a time, causing mayhem, and going after advertiser confidence in the platforms.
I have it set to "don't click on non-tracking Ads" and "don't hide non-tracking Ads".
Ads are fine. Tracking is not.
Otherwise, the argument seems to be a case of "I don't like the way you got money/attention out of me", or "I want someone else to pay for the content I consume".
As long as "merchants" have the option of claiming both it undermines the idea of paying as an alternative which also undermines the paid plus data option. To use a crude but apt simile paying for an escort is paying for silence and discretion - that is why they are more expensive. (Regardless of client and worker sex and/or gender.)
Piracy was a decent demonstration of the hard facts of the (illicit) market - all of the draconian enforcement and DRM didn't make a dent in demand but improved distribution and fairer prices did. Just like how most people don't change their own oil from it being a hassle iTunes and Steam did more to reduce illegal downloads than any enforcement efforts.
You are consuming content from me this very moment, I charge you zero dollars for it.
Believe it or not, the web actually was like that at some point: not connecting producers to consumers but connecting human beings, who could produce or consume as they pleased. This was before the people with things to sell arrived.
Eventually people won't be able to subscribe to every site they want content from obviously. Look at netflix / hulu / amazon videos / youtube red ... It adds up very quickly.
"Liked it? Pay me $2" is a way more simple decision to make. If I make it to the end of your content and see a PayPal.me (or Ko-fi) link, there's a reasonable chance I'm going to click on it. I can't say the same for links to Patreon.
But I know I will keep blocking ads because they slow down the website and consume a lot of bandwidth
The rest I already pay for (Netflix, which just barely skates by being so cheap), are essentially utility things (bank sites, government), or are so low-value I'd probably be better off not using them, frankly. Or are simply piracy sites (library genesis / scihub), for that matter.
Any topic I scratch the surface of in online research I end up at excellent, totally free (not ad supported) resources or finding that I need to track down some books, or some combination of the two.
About the adnauseam topic: while paywalled sites makes it clear that you need to pay for their content or services, the one with ads don't.
You are candidly browsing the web and suddenly they just shove tons of trackers and ads down your browser, no question asked.
This is read by some people as an act of war, who are then motivated to retaliate using weapons like adnauseam.
Of course they should just ignore or block the whole websites in questions, but no one can pretend they drew first blood.
Yeah that is not really a good argument is it?
Almost the same for redirects, at least for reputable publishers that will be most harmed by this.
This attitude has already resulted in almost all professional, reliable news sources to implement (metered) paywalls. So instead of being informed by dozens of sources, citizens now get their news from just reading the headlines on Facebook, or sometimes the single site they are willing to pay for.
You can't make decisions at the voting booth without being informed. This is such an obvious harm to the fabric of democracy.
Populism, corruption, and authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. But at least you're not being annoyed by some ads.
Ads are an obvious harm to the fabric of democracy. If a news organization depends on ads, advertisers have power over it. Ads make the press less independent.
I still see this very frequently. I work in tech, so broadly speaking, I'm less likely to find my machine infected by malware from ads because I know enough not to fall for their tricks. Smart, but less technical, friends and family end up with malware infected devices all the time due to malvertising.
> This attitude has already resulted in almost all professional, reliable news sources to implement (metered) paywalls. So instead of being informed by dozens of sources, citizens now get their news from just reading the headlines on Facebook, or sometimes the single site they are willing to pay for.
I'd actually posit that the reverse is true. Because advertising pays publishers for reader's eyeballs regardless of the quality of content on their websites, fake news and clickbait are rampant. Harmful news outlets flourish because they don't need to convince anyone to pay for their bullshit stories - just get enough people to click or share. If they relied on users paying to read their stories, I reckon a lot of ad-supported extremist sites would die overnight. There shouldn't be a financial incentive to drive clicks and shares regardless of content quality.
True, but that doesn't mean traditional "professional, reliable news sources" are the best (or only) way for people to gain the necessary information. Especially after the massive merging of media businesses over the last few decades, the reliability of these "professionals" has suffered.
> This is such an obvious harm to the fabric of democracy.
You have that backwards; it's surveillance capitalism - that is currently ruining democracy.
Stick with the normal ad blockers.
I think if anything, you'll see more and more shady ads because you are now remnant inventory. Ads for scams, targeted to super cheap RPM groups.
Its an arms race and I think the advertising industry knows that eventually people will give up.
The sad part is that this commoditization of content ends up affecting the quality content, that will probably end up becoming a niche market. Charge per content and the user will bounce, charge per month and you have to be the biggest because of network effects (try recommending a series from Amazon Prime to someone who subscribes to Netflix)
There is a trend to use ads disguised as content ("People are using this secret trick to earn mad $$ in [oddly specific location, close to you]"), or intertwined with content that is yet immune to ad blocking(like ads in the middle of youtube videos/podcasts), but that has a higher production and negotiation cost, it will probably not be a market as big as ad networks.
EDIT: Just remembered about ads on smartphone apps which are a viable option due to the lack of user control over hardware and software. There are some solutions, but these are much harder than installing a browser extension and thus not as widely adopted.
- Access your data for all websites [You could take away my passwords]
- Download files and read and modify the browser’s download history [Why?]
- Access browser activity during navigation [Why?]
Last time I clicked and bought something from an ad was 5 years ago. It costed me about USD 30. Either I'm totally extraordinary (not likely) or this is true for huge parts of the rest of ad viewers as well.
I also suspect that there is a connection between disposable income and resistance against ads.
More specifically I suspect ad networks fleece dumb and inexperienced ad buyers buy selling ads they know cannot work.
Maybe about a browser extension that loads every ad, but there are no clicks. Preferably the browser makes the ad un-clickable (if it's visible at all).
Now you've got advertisers spending money on creatives, building campaigns, bandwidth, monitoring/management, etc. but there's an almost zero chance of generating revenue. Would that be more effective?
This is preventing the ad campaigns from building a database about your personal preferences, building a profile on you. Also this way the advertisers are spending even more money, by paying for those clicks. If the goal is to make advertisement cost more or provide some sort of political statement, then this is surely more effective. (Regardless of whether the goal is really that great.)
Edit: But are the advertisers really paying for those clicks? Reading through the thread, it seems like these get flagged as fraud pretty easily. So while there's still a cost to create/serve the ads, to the point of my question, it would seem they don't pay the websites for the clicks.
3rd party ads are bad for privacy. But browser extensions are even worse. They can see everything you do on any website. They can change what you see. Redirect you. Send data wherever they want. Without you noticing any of this.
Besides, using this thing result in sending even more data to the advertisers.
I can understand the hate about how user hostile the web is. But this is not a solution. A solution would be to use bloated websites less.
On HN, we could downrank pages that send data to 3rd parties like this: Tell the submitter of a page "The page loads sends data to 75 different servers. Please be aware that we will not show it on the front page until it has at least 75 upvotes".
This would make an impact.
Imagine Reddit or Twitter follwing this practice. The web would become better fast.
Using an operating system is even worse than that. It can do everything. Browser extensions are not bad for privacy, untrustworthy software is.
You may have a point when it comes to proprietary niche extensions with an anonymous author. This is a fairly well-known open source extension made by multiple people whose real identity is known and who have a reputation to lose.
> Besides, using this thing result in sending even more data to the advertisers.
Yes, garbage data.
Pardon my ignorance, but not every extension is open source? Recently been a few stories of popular extension maintainers offered money to either include coffee or hand over all control to shady people.
Personally I wouldn't count thousands getting auto-updated malware installed in their browser before the world notices as vetting.
And even the ones that are not are quite easy to read:
- extensions are a just a zip file full of static assets
- they are rarely minified or obfuscaded
- they use a manifest and a set of standard API
- they are distributed through one plateform
So it's still way easier to keep them in check than ads, even if we didn't have to take the number of them in consideration.
No, but this one is.
Besides ublock origin and noscript I avoid extensions like the plague. Autoupdates mean that any malicious actor could infect many before it gets pulled.
And second, you trust them with totally different things. Ads run in the context of a website. Which is heavily sandboxed. Extensions run outside of it and can do anything they want to your browsing.
Nope. I willingly installed a browser extension. Waaay more different than clicking a link to site X and 3rd party injecting itself.
That's precisely the point? Increasing the amount of noise so that the signal couldn't be detected?
> But this is not a solution. A solution would be to use bloated websites less.
Okay, the rest is just laughable. Between "install X and make your computer download less bloatware" and "don't install X, but publicly name-and-shame websites", the first one requires way less effort from me and provides me with the solution now, not after the social media backlash is big enough for the website owners to give enough of a crap.
I am really proud of humanities ability to be creative.
I mean, anyone here does not have a business? Do you really expect to build a company based on product quality and the ocasional blog post? I guarantee you that 99% of postmorten posts posted in HN are because said startup couldn't figure out their marketing strategy.
Anyways, isn't this click fraud?
Also, we suspect cases of political manipulations through advertisement channels (remember cambridge analytica ?)
Before, advertisement was just sensitization to a brand, making people know it. Today, it's much more, and I find it absolutely horrifying.
Also, ads are very annoying when they prevent you to enjoy the content, and block half of the page, as it is the case in a lot of sites.
(please excuse the language, not native speaker)
Absolutely not. We don't have any sort of contractual or business relationship. The only way this could be "click fraud" is if someone hosting ads used adnauseam to fraudulently enrich themselves.
> I'm not sure I get the hate towards ads.
Advertising shifted into an industry based on tracking literally everything they are able to track. This has started shifting our economy from the traditional forms of capitalism that were built on mass-production, finance, etc into surveillance capitalism, which is currently undermining democracy.
> I'm in advertising
Then please, read  and maybe consider the long-term, far-reaching "unintended consequences" of creating an economy based on ubiquitous surveillance.
In Poland ~90% of desktop browsers, and >50% of all browsers (desktop+mobile+tablets) have some kind of ad blocking enabled. Only 9% of users will allow ads when the website asks them to, most will always (43%) or usually (30%) leave the the website.
Anyways I agree this plugin is just click fraud.
That's surprisingly high. Do you know if ad blocking is more common in Poland than elsewhere?
Historically it was also a bastion of Firefox - in pre-Chrome days it has had >50% market penetration, and Opera was also widely popular compared to other countries, AFAIR peaking at ~15% (ironically, even when it had a paid and ad-supported versions, many users were using the ad-supported Opera). Even now Firefox has 15% market share in Poland vs ~5% globally. I don't know if it's related or has a common cause, but this just higlights that some local markets can be very specific.
January stats for desktop browsers: Chrome 50.52%, Firefox 31.02%, Opera 7.30%, Edge 4.66%, IE 4.15%
Overall stats (incl. mobile devices): Mobile Chrome 33.69%, Desktop Chrome 26.16%, Firefox 14.94%, Safari Mobile 5.80%, Samsung Browser 4.87%
Tracking of my interest so advertisers can manipulate me better is not good. It also means that advertising is more profitable, so it occurs more often, and websites get less usable as a result.
"People, by proxy, are agents of the government. Anything a person collects and saves can come to be held by the government"
While the government can strong-arm entities (fictitious or natural), it doesn't make its victims "agents".