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Ads - About & Problem Reports

Discussion in 'Sorcerous Sundries' started by Taluntain, May 14, 2008.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    [​IMG] As you've probably noticed, we've got advertisements up on Sorcerer's Place and Boards o' Magick. This isn't because I'd particularly like to irritate anyone with them, but because they're a necessary evil that helps to pay the bills that SP generates every month. For more information about the costs and the ways through which you can help, please check this link. If you donate for an SPS account, you are able to disable all the ads on Sorcerer's Place.

    While the majority of the ads that you will see on SP and the boards are decent enough, occasionally an ad will show up that will not meet the minimum acceptance criteria for displaying on this site, and in such a case I will remove it during my regular inspection of the ads in the system.

    HOWEVER, as there are quite literally hundreds of different ads that show on the site & the boards (and new ones are being added by our advertising providers on a daily basis), a very annoying and/or malicious ad can enter the system relatively easily. In such a case it's best to remove the offending ad right away, as I might not spot it during my regular check of the ads.

    While the annoying ads are merely an inconvenience, any malicious ads (i.e. any browser session hijackers, auto-installers, trojan/spyware-carriers and the like) can turn out to be much more than a mere inconvenience. While our advertising providers for the most part do a good job of making sure that no such malicious ads enter the system, every now and then such an ad appears in every provider's system. Given the huge number of ads in the system and the fact that they are geographically targeted (this means that you see different ads depending on your geographical location), tracking down a single problematic ad can be hard even when the ad is properly identified, and next to impossible unless certain vital information about the ad can be acquired.

    This is where all of you can help me out, but first, let's take a look at what is actually considered to be an ad bad enough that it warrants reporting to me:

    • Malicious ads. This includes browser session hijackers, auto-installers, trojan/spyware-carriers and the rest of the crap that won't be tolerated here.
    • Non-user-initiated audio ads. This means any ads that make any sound on their own, without any action on your part. (This does not include the infamous "Hellooooo!!!" smiley ads which only make a sound if you move your mouse cursor over them. Such ads are annoying, but their sound can be avoided.)
    • Adult ads. This means any ads with nudity and the majority of suggestive ads.
    • Excessively flashing ads. Any ads that flash ridiculously fast and/or with colours hard on the eyes are bad.
    • Pop-ups that make closing them difficult. Any pop ads that don't want to immediately close after clicking the [X] in their window's top right corner are considered bad.
    • Pop-ups that spawn another (or more) pop-ups. Each pop-up should be unique and a single ad. For example, a pop-up that spawns another pop-up once you close the first one is bad.
    So, now that you know what to be on the lookout for, how do you report it?

    Here's the holy trinity of good reports about problematic ads:

    1. Take a screenshot of it.
    2. See where the ad points to (target url; you'll usually need to click on the ad to see where it leads to), and copy the url.
    3. Describe what the ad is doing that is problematic.

    Then send me an e-mail with all of the above (screenshot, target url of the ad, description of why it's a problem) to sorcerer -AT- sorcerers.net and I'll look into it.

    If there are any other ad-related problems anyone is having, feel free to discuss them here. Feel free to also ask any other ad-related questions either here or via PM. Thank you!
     
    T2Bruno likes this.
  2. The Great Snook Gems: 30/31
    Latest gem: King's Tears


    The Old Guard

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    The dumb test

    In my opinion, this is the #1 pop-under which shows up on many sites (including the BOM). Does anyone know what they are trying to sell? It seems like quite the expensive advertising campaign, so I feel like I should know what it is for?
     
  3. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I've never actually noticed it. Although I think that Tal mentioned once that pop-ups target certain groups. Maybe only dumb people get it? :p :p

    Anyway, why not just click on it to find out what it is? Go on, I dare ya! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    You just probably see it a lot because many websites use the same major advertising provider as we do, and because the ad is geographically targeted in such a way that you get to see it. There are quite a few different "test" pop-up campaigns simply because people in general love to take any kind of online (IQ) tests, so I'm sure all such ads get a good response. Usually, such ads simply promote the websites running this kind of tests.
     
  5. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk

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    Ok, I generally do not mind pop-ups and do not even have a blocker as the slight discomfort they give me is something I can live with and they give you a small but reliable revenue but this is getting silly. I am getting at least one and often two pop-ups everytime I click on anything on SP nowadays. I switch forum, I get a pop-up, I submit a post I get a pop-up. Is this only me or are there so many pop-ups now? If this continues the slight discomfort will grow into a real annoyance and I will start using a blocker.
     
  6. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
    Latest gem: Diamond


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    I've been wondering if there's a connection with the ads and some technical difficulties occurring with my other work computer.

    I've noticed that every now and then, after visiting BoM, the copy-paste function doesn't work at all anymore unless I reboot the system. Sometimes it doesn't work within Exploder, sometimes it affects every program that's running...

    Any ideas if this has anything to do with the ads or not?
     
  7. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures...

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    I can't imagine so to be honest.
     
  8. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    joacqin, it sounds like you have cookies disabled. Pop-ups are cookied to show only once every 12 hours or so.

    Iku-Turso, I doubt it. I've certainly never seen or heard of an issue like that I've got all the ads enabled.
     
  9. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Does the idea of getting 2 separate pop up adds when accessing the site qualify as "bad?" I'm pretty sure this has been happening for the past several years (at least), but I thought I'd ask since you are looking for feedback.
     
  10. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    That's been happening for about 2 years now because two of our advertising provider's ads overlap for some viewers, but not for others... as it only happens for about 1/3 of people sorting it out wasn't a priority because it'd require me to look into a different advertising provider that would give me more control over what's showing. I'll do it one of these days, but there's always something more pressing to be done.

    But in short, yes, 2 popups at times are normal behaviour in this case. If you have an SPS account, they're both disabled.
     
  11. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Lucky me being in that 1/3 population. I usually get "the dumb test" and something else. Next time it happens, I'll post the particulars, you know, for that day when you've actually got time to look at this. In the meantime, it provides me good point-and-click practice. I AM the fastest ad terminator in the west!

    I'm sure one of these days I'll get a SP account. But between recently purchasing my family's first home, and my employer in the US recently being purchased by another, larger bank (and waiting to figure out how I'll land in that deal), that day isn't likely to be particularly soon.

    This whole housing downturn/credit crisis/market volatility situation is getting rather old. :/
     
  12. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    well the double ad window thing hasn't happened once to me in the past couple of weeks (I usually pop over to this site every day or two to see if anything's going on). What I had noticed is a bit of an add schizo complex. Sometimes the add that pops up will quickly redirect to a completely different add, and sometimes, will redirect again to a third add! Very weird. But as long as it's all happening in a single pop up window, that's better than the alternative. :cool:
     
  13. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    That's very odd... and it only happens with pop-ups?
     
  14. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Only with pop ups. It tends to happen so quickly, though, and I'm so used to killing the window before it can fully render, that I haven't written down what the specific adds it's filtering through are (if that would even be useful).

    I'll try to pay better attention and let you know. But hey, I'd take a single pop up window redirecting itself 12 times over multiple pop up windows any day.

    It could be that the Cisco Security agent I have installed on my laptop is having some impact here, but I'm not certain about that....
     
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    It doesn't really matter which ads it loads as I can't really do anything about it. I guess it's redirecting ads like that for a reason and as long as they eventually show, it's probably working as intended.
     
  16. The Great Snook Gems: 30/31
    Latest gem: King's Tears


    The Old Guard

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    Now I'm really offended. My new #1 pop up at this site is about Arianne's weight loss program. Then when I try to close it, it tries to stop me. Since Tal says that somehow these are targeted ads, that seems to be implying that I'm a fat bastard. I'll remind you that round is a shape :)
     
  17. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I don't get pop-ups on my home computer but whenever I come onto Sorcerers from my mums computer I still get them. I tried logging out and back in again but it hasn't made a difference
     
  18. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    [​IMG] Snook, they should be gone now. Oh and the ads are only targeted geographically. :shake:

    Silvery, you need to be logged into your SPS account in order to control the ads. This is separate from your board login.
     
  19. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Yeah, that was what I meant. I've logged into my SPS account on mums computer and checked the settings.
     
  20. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Then you probably don't have cookies enabled on that computer... cookies need to be enabled because your ad display settings are stored via them.
     
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