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Old August 31st, 2011   #1
Taluntain
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Lightbulb Ads - About & Problem Reports

As you've probably noticed, we've got advertisements up on Circle of Eight. This isn't because we'd particularly like to irritate anyone with them, but because they're a necessary evil that helps to pay the server bills that Co8 generates every month, as well as other related costs (domain renewal, message board software licence, etc.).

While the majority of the ads that you will see on Co8 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 (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. Our advertising providers for the most part do a good job of making sure that no such malicious ads enter the system, but 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. Alternatively, you can PM me and link me to the screenshot if you've uploaded it somewhere.

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!
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Old October 11th, 2011   #2
wizgeorge
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Smile Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

How do I stay connected in vBllletin? It comes up in Obsidian and I have to log in everytime.
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Old October 21st, 2011   #3
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

If you're ticking the Remember Me box next to the login, then your cookies are most likely turned off, so you'll need to enable them for co8.org.
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Old February 3rd, 2012   #4
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Angry Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

I've got bugs in this computer and some are from ads(4 trojans). I've got a corrupt webpage(IE) that is a java script problem that effects manage_attachments and a couple of others. SpyBot fixed some of them but not the webpage java script. I have no clue. I guess AVG didn't do it's job.
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Old September 18th, 2012   #5
sirchet
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Must we be inundated with obama adds top and bottom of every page?

Some of us are really tired of all the hype and rederick.
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Old September 19th, 2012   #6
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Sorry about that but I don't really have any influence as far as their content goes... we could disable ads for the site supporters though but when I suggested it to Gear initially he didn't like the idea.
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Old September 19th, 2012   #7
sirchet
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Understood, thanks for listening to my request.

With the amount of time it takes for a page to load when the site is busy, my only other option is to just not visit until after the election.

You guys did fine before me and I'm sure things will move on just as great as always in my absence.

And I am and have been a financial supporter for quite a while.
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Old September 19th, 2012   #8
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

The last few days it's been much worse than usual because the server's been heavily overloaded, but it's a bit better now and should get better still. The ads have minimal impact on the page loading times though (unless you're on dial-up). What kind of a connection do you have?
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Old September 19th, 2012   #9
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

I still get Netfilx and "weird old tip" ads... do you live in a contested state or something Sirchet?
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Old September 24th, 2012   #10
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

I have a very fast connection, (4-6mbs download rate).

I'm in Fl and yeah it's a war going on and I'm just done with it.

An add here or there I understand, but the top and bottom of every page is just too much.

I really enjoy discussing stuff with you folks and find it hard to stay away, but as I type this obama is in a window just above this block trying real hard to get me to register to vote on line and his wife is on the top asking for my help giving him another chance to do what he promised.

So, I'll just keep my opinions to myself and wait to visit until things are done.
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Old September 24th, 2012   #11
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Are they audio ads? I thought we weren't tolerating those.

sirchet, please check your PMs.
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Old September 24th, 2012   #12
sirchet
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Hey Gaear,

No they're not audio adds, just annoying "Here I am again" adds.

I checked my PMs and there are no new ones.

How doable would an option for supporters to not have adds shown be?

Maybe a certain level of financial support required, or something like that.

Or not, it seems I'm the only one bothered by this so the simplest solution is for me to limit my time here.

I'm trying the read a few posts and go approach. When I get to the "enough is enough" level I just slide on out.
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Old September 1st, 2013   #13
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

We've got a 'talker' here. It's an American Express ad, I think, that starts playing a video of it's own accord.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/user/American...shipDoes/?x=b1

Something to do with the 'Passion Project.'

I didn't grab a screen sadly, but it appears on the bottom right of the screen in one of the box ads.

[edit]

Actually I see now that it starts playing if you hover the mouse over it. Anywhere over it, which is a fairly large area, given the box size. I've done it three times now accidentally.

And here's a screen now after all.

Untitled-1.jpg

It's not just this chick above; there are a few varieties.
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Old September 1st, 2013   #14
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

User-initiated doesn't count as malicious, sorry... there are hundreds of such ads in the system. I agree that they're annoying, but their sound can be avoided.
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Old June 22nd, 2014   #15
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

I've recently been repeatedly redirected to "webafan.com" when navigating the forums. I'm not clicking on any ads, and some basic Google research revealed they're affecting other websites the same way (with notes from other admins saying these ads violate guidelines). I don't know what rock this particular brand of internet ad evil crawled out from under, but please try to send it back where it came from. It sounds similar to cross-site scripting.
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Old June 22nd, 2014   #16
Taluntain
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Did you see an ad related to this by any chance? In the searches I've made I haven't noticed anyone posting which advertising provider this redirect is coming from unfortunately. Without some way of identifying where it's coming from it's like searching for a needle in a haystack.
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Old June 22nd, 2014   #17
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

Unfortunately, no. That's what's been most odd about it. On more than one occasion, I've gone to look at a different tab, then come back to the forum only to find that it went to webafan apparently all by itself.
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Old June 22nd, 2014   #18
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

If you could recall which ads you've seen on the pages when that happens that'd help in tracking it down... otherwise I hope that our advertising providers remove it on their own soon.
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Old June 23rd, 2014   #19
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Re: Ads - About & Problem Reports

I'll certainly try to keep better track of the ads I'm seeing, but honestly I haven't noticed any new ones. Also, I'm accessing the web from Italy, so a lot of the ads are in Italian (of which I only know a smattering).
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