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AdChoises button and directed advertising on ATS

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posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 08:46 PM
I don't know if this is a new thing, or just something that I have missed up till now but, on the very bottom left of the pages now is a button with a blue logo called "AdChoices" which leads to this page

You have requested information by clicking on the Advertising Option (AdChoices) Icon. The purpose of the Advertising Option Icon is to notify you that The Above Network, LLC works with third parties that may use information about your visits to this site in order to provide advertisements of interest to you. Usually referred to as "online behavioral advertising," standard information gathered through your browser is used to show advertising that is more likely to interest you. If you would like to learn more about these practices and make choices about the third parties' use of information collected, including opting out of such collection and use, please go to

There is then a link to this page that gives you the option to opt out of the behavioral advertising and which tells me that there are currently 49 companies customizing adverts for my browser.

So I have a couple of questions.
A) Does the 49 number refer specifically to MY browser? or does it mean google chrome browser in general
B) How long has this box been there?
C) Am I harming ATS's advertising revenue if I decide to opt out of such services?

I'm not really one to be paranoid about such things and didn't bother to opt out when given the choice but I see why some would.

posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 09:23 PM
reply to post by davespanners

When I click it it goes: here.

When I click the link in your post it has a pop up window demanding I allow third party cookies, which i refuse and close the window.

Scary poop.

ATS might get so invasive I quit using it.

I hate Facebook and refuse to use ANYTHING Google.

ATS please wise up and DON'T get into bed with these companies... anyone that tells me they are not evil I automatically assume the opposite... maybe it's just me.

posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 09:47 PM
These opt-outs only work as long as the third party cookie remains on the computer. Once the cookie is deleted the opt-out is void. So, when you clear cookies/cache or if you do not allow third party cookies, then the feature is useless... BTW, I've never noticed it here either, but I see this a lot on other sites (Goog. Yahoo. etc.) as examples.
edit on 7-9-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 10:43 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

That's not the point though Skadi, I think the Irony of said button is fairly alarming considering the motto of this board happens to be "Deny Ignorance", yeah it's probably a legal and technical disclaimer but surely you will agree it's slightly distasteful?

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 08:29 AM
If I'm going to see ads, I personally prefer they be ads with at least a remote likelihood they'll be for something I'd find interesting. I've actually clicked on a few ads (scary, I know
) to get some additional info on something I've seen. One lately was for a stock portfolio contest being run by CNBC with a $1 mil top prize. I'm thinking about it.

I think you can opt out of targeted ads and not do any damage whatsoever to ATS or the associated advertising revenue. I have no idea why someone would want to, but the option is there and freely available.
I'm not sure which of the ads I see are "targeted", but I seem to see more ads in my wheelhouse here than i do elsewhere. That could also be a function of a "typical user" profile for a site like this. Not sure, don't care.

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 01:54 PM
The reality of the internet is it costs money to keep a site like ATS available. There are only two ways to generate that revenue, charge the users or sell the available inventory (page views/page space) to advertisers who want to reach our audience and user base.

The past few years there has been an increase in the technological capabilities of the software that serves ads online. Ad networks have the ability to "remember" the content you see on the sites where they serve ads. This doesn't mean they know you personally, associate the content you see with your personal identity, or even use the data. They use this to identify the interests of user "#5r4366ewx" (the random code assigned to the cookie placed on your browser when you arrive at a site using a specific ad network's tags) and hopefully serve him/her/it (they have no clue who you are) ads that may actually be of interest to him/her/it.

The ad networks' cookies stay in the browser and when you come to another site that has that network's ads on it the cookie identifies your computer so that the ad network can look up in an offline database the ads you've already seen, what ads are likely to be of interest, and then it serves an ad based on its best guess against the information they have. This is also used to make sure you're not seeing the same ads over and over.

This intelligent and convenient means of serving us ads that may actually interest us has come under attack from the "online security industry" because it serves their purposes, to scare people who don't understand what's being collected (personally unidentifiable data assigned to a cookie to identify the cookie) into buying more of their software to protect them from the scary ad that may actually interest them.

These companies play on the ignorance of the average internet user by claiming that they are being "tracked". That word has negative and scary connotations to it, that's why they use it. If they were honest about it and described it truthfully nobody would be scared or worried about it, which means they wouldn't sell very much of their software. Ironic isn't it?

The truth is nobody is being "tracked", why would an advertiser spend millions of dollars to "track" you or me? What are they going to gain from it? They don't care about what sites you like, they don't care where you are. They DO care about what products and styles interest you in the hopes they will be able to SELL you something.

SELLING you something is truly ALL they care about, it's what advertising is all about, sales.

The only people "tracking" anyone are scammers, crooks and the law enforcement officials who are looking for them with a court order.

In an effort to create transparency, and hopefully end the unwarranted fear of "behavioral advertising", the interactive advertising industry has created this initiative to show you exactly what's being collected (otherwise meaningless and non identifiable data) and give you the option to opt out.

Opting out will only change the ads you see, they likely won't be of any interest to you what so ever. The means to predict what may interest you is certainly not perfect but, it beats the heck out of getting ads for panties when you're a 35 year old man or, an ad for jock straps if you're a 35 year old woman.

Deny ignorance, be informed, don't be fooled by scary rhetoric designed to separate you from your money.

edit on 9-8-2011 by Springer because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:19 PM
welcome to the internet!

advertising is king. like springer said, advertisers want to show you ads that you are most likely to click.

sites want this happening too, because the more you click ads from a site, the more a site makes (whether a direct payout per click, or a payout per thousand impressions, more clicks usually equals a higher payout per 1,000).

this is just how the internet works. pretty much everything on the internet "tracks" everything you do somehow.

if you are really that worried, use private modes of browsers, or if youre really concerned use torpark or a similar proxy solution. even then, most sites are still recognizing your visit as unique. just maybe not as uniquely you.

i work in online advertising, i play these games, and these things run deep. more so than most people would ever want to believe. but the truth is the truth, and most websites wouldnt exist without the ad revenue.

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:26 PM
Another important point.

If you visit a website that has ads, but not this disclosure, they're not operating under the self-regulatory code of ethics adopted by the advertising industry.
edit on 8-9-2011 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 10:32 PM
reply to post by Springer

Thanks for your huge and detailed reply Springer

The op was just a couple of general questions sparked by the appearance of the new button really. I've run a few affiliate type advertising sites in the past and I'm not one to go in for the "They are tracking your every move to sell to the government" type scenarios.
Although I can see that some people could have concerns over companies collecting data on their web browsing habits so I do think it's good that the button gives you a choice to opt out of the directed advertising, even though I can't see any reason to do it myself.

It is a concern that so much paranoia is being whipped up over these kind of adverts as it's pretty hard to think of any other successful business models for a web site, you either make money from adspace or you charge members subscription fees, I know which I would prefer from those two options.

It would be a shame to see great sites like ATS have to start charging for access, or even worse vanishing altogether

posted on Sep, 11 2011 @ 04:21 AM
Is it not the case that a new law has been put to advertisers that is to be implemented by 2013 that if they are to send you a cookie you will be sent a notification as to wether you want to accept said cookie or not....

and i see it happen all the time where i might look on a site...say zoopla for instance then when i come onto ATS i get blasted with zoopla adds in the banners.....Zap...i have been cookified......

but it is such an easy thing to deal with...just go into your browser ZAp delete cookies....

then you are presented with the random add that may appear on the site itself.....just think you could be missing that next big thing.

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