As many members know by now, we've suffered some financial losses as the result of several sustained Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS).
These attacks have been at levels well beyond automated mitigation available from our hosting provider, and very expensive to defend. As a result,
we've been forced to obtain a short-term loan to cover operations and remain viable.
Every page of the site now has a ribbon at the top where you can select one of a few contribution amounts, and pay via PayPal.
And for the first time, I'm going to reveal a months-long frustration that we've not yet mentioned, that has significantly contributed to this
Several months ago, AdSense arbitrarily disabled our ad account. We no longer have ads from one of our best and longest-running advertising suppliers.
The initial cause was a photo of a girl in a bikini (seriously). We removed that and submitted our appeal. That appeal was rejected because of a
thread about contraceptive alternatives (again, seriously). We removed that and submitted our appeal. That appeal was also rejected, using the trashed
thread as the reason. We've spent hundreds of hours going through the site, looking for anything that might trigger their rejections, and kept
submitting appeals. Each time, our appeal was rejected with new and very arbitrary reasons… reasons where we were able to find countless similar
incidents in YouTube comments, a Google property. Doesn't matter.
There's lots of tales of woe of many sites, a lot of which contain large amounts of user-generated content like ATS, who have also recently lost their
AdSense ads, with very similar stories. Just do a quick search, many sad stories.
Not that long ago, we were "AdSense Darlings." We never made a big deal about it here on ATS, but Google flew us to their headquarters so that we
could give a presentation to their Online Partnerships Group on how we optimized our AdSense ads. Yes, we stood out as innovators. In fact, the
director of their compliance group stood up during our presentation and congratulated us, in front of the 100's of people in the OPG audience, for
having a stellar record of quality content that never received even one compliance alert.
Just a couple years after that, we're mud. Suspicious, no?
Our revenue will soon bounce back, as we've finally found suppliers of ads for the mobile web that will give ads that we can comfortably put in front
of our mobile users. We had almost no ads on the mobile version of ATS for months, because the ad suppliers were not keeping pace with the rapid rise
of the mobile web, and the available ads (at the time) were too disruptive for us to use.
This money will be used to repay the loan that's keeping us running, and if enough is received, engage experts to begin research into the next big ATS
project, a Collaborative Community Platform for Citizen Journalism. The goal is to significantly modernize the concept of forums, integrate
collaborative tools, redefine the user experience, and release the results as Free Open Source Software to enable a new wave of content that
If you can't contribute, don't.
If you're short on cash, don't contribute.
If you can contribute, thank you. I promise you won't regret it.
edit on 17-12-2014 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)