getting ads

I have Windows 8.1 on my new laptop, and I keep getting ads when I’m on the SDMB, in a panel on the left side of the screen. As a paid in full member I don’t think this should be happening.

Ads on the Straight Dope are at the top of the page (above the banner), after the first post on the page, and at the bottom of the page. If you’re getting ads in a panel on the left side of the screen, they’re coming from somewhere else, not from the SDMB.

Where else would they come from? Are web browsers allowing ads for revenue independent of what webpage you’re on?

I did a little more investigation (looked at the source code) and guess what I saw in the code after the first post

Advertisement? Adfusion?
But back to the OP’s issue that the ad should not be displayed. The problem is almost certainly not with the Straight Dope itself, though it’s quite possible that there’s a misbehaving ad being served up. Technically that’s not an ‘SDMB issue’ since they have limited control over what ads are being served (though if this is in fact an ongoing issue, perhaps a change of ad vendors might be in order).

SP said that there are ads after the first post. The HTML you posted shows the ad after the first post. What are you refuting?

I don’t know that I’m refuting SP without a screenshot from MLS. I’m simply pointing out that there is something that could be interpreted as a “left panel” i.e. the float: left then an iframe. I’m not familiar enough with Windows 8 to that could be interpreted as a left panel.

What I do refute is that it is not coming from SDMB if it is only when the OP is on this site.

There are all sorts of malware and add-ons that do exactly that. It’s pretty hard to debug that remotely.

If it’s coming from the SDMB, then why is it only the OP that is seeing it?

I agree that a screenshot might help. The phrase “in a panel on the left side of the screen” is somewhat vague, so it would be nice to know exactly what that means. Of course, if the OP is a Member and is logged in to the site, he should be seeing no ads at all. The most likely explanation is that the ads which are appearing are not coming from the SDMB.

I’ll ask the same questions I did in the other thread: What browser? What version? What addons/plugins? What else is installed on the machine that might be causing this behavior?

You’re incorrect about there not being a left-side ad panel on the SDMB. I’m not sure why the OP may be seeing it as a paid member but there is no question that it exists.

I loathe to disable ad blocking just to get a screenshot but here you go.

And that’s why we need a screenshot. Because I wouldn’t call that a “left side panel”; I’d call it “an ad at the bottom of the page that’s left-justified”. If that’s what the OP is seeing, then it would seem to be a “member seeing ads when they shouldn’t” issue, rather than a possible malware issue.

Yeah, I’m not sure if the actual screen position or what to call it was as important to the OP as the fact they were seeing an ad in the first place. I guess it could be some kind of malware separate from the boards but just pointing out there are definitely ads on what could be considered a panel on the left side of the screen.

The SD main page - the column not the message boards - is riddled with ads, top, both sides, and bottom. Those presumably aren’t disabled for message board members since it’s the main SD web page, but they are just as likely to be a vector for malware and redirects as the ones that appear here to non-members. They really should rethink their ad policy in general.

Back to the left hand side ads on the boards, I found this one particularly annoying as it also plays looping music at a loud volume over and over. The screenshot demonstrates that there is both a ‘below the messages’ ad space and a ‘left hand side’ ad space, though. (in this case both ads from the same place but usually different ones appear)

In addition to the annoying flashing/pulsating animation that the screenshot can’t capture, and the annoying and loud music it auto plays, it sort of ads insult to injury that this ad is to “find out who you were in your previous life”. This, right below our hallmark logo about “Fighting ignorance” is somewhat ironic. There are even worse examples of that, but I have tempted fate enough today running without adblock, so I’m turning it back on.

The “float: left” designation in that code does not do what you think it does. It simply directs the div to be to the left of whatever code come next in the container (nothing). The div or the iframe do not come out of the container. The container is the cell in the second row in the table, whose first row contains the first post.

The ads don’t appear on my normal desktop with Windows 7, only on my new Dell laptop with Windows 8.1. It is a rectangle top-to-bottom on the left of the page and looks like a panel to me. It is entirely possible that it’s somehow a Windows 8.1 issue. I’m wondering if anyone else using that OS has seen it, and if so, how they got rid of it.

I know what float: left does and that to some it may appear as a “lefthand panel”.

Not to belabor the point but that’s not what lefthand panel means in the context you used it. It’s simply left justified.

But you shouldn’t be getting any ads regardless. Have you tried other browsers?

No, I haven’t tried any other browsers, but I really don’t want to download yet another thing onto the new machine yet.

Which browser and version are you using on each machine? From your statement about not wanting to download software on the new Win8 machine, I assume it’s fairly fresh out of the box?

I doubt it’s a ‘Win 8.1 issue’, but it’s entirely possible that it’s a ‘crappy program that comes pre-installed on your new Dell PC’ issue…

Ad-blocker. I know I must sound like a broken record, since I say that in all of these threads, but it’s pretty much essential on the web nowadays.

Well, on my desktop, I have windows 7 and Explorer 11.

The brand new just out of the box Dell laptop has windows 8.1 and whatever version if IE came with it.

I never specifically installed an ad-blocker on the desktop, but I guess I’ll have to look around for something for the Dell. Any recommendations?

I recommend that you run a virus scan on the new laptop system and check Add/Remove Programs to see if something that’s installed on your system is causing the ads. Because you’re a paid member and you’re not seeing the ads on the desktop system, I strongly suspect there’s something on your laptop computer that’s causing the ads.