The In-Thread Advertisement Are Kinda Sketchy

I know that the Dope uses an ad service and doesn’t solicit the ads directly, but some of the in-thread advertisements seem to trend counter to the tone of the board itself. Specifically it’s the “Trending Offers and Articles” advertisement, which has “articles” like this for your perusal:

[li]Will this stock explode? Can you turn $1,000 into $100,000?[/li][li]Controversy over new skinny pill - is it too strong for store Shelves?..[/li][li]Look what Obama has planned for July 1st 2014. Even liberals are calling it a disaster. Story here[/li][li] Pastor Reveals a ‘Biblical Money Code’ - Turns $40,000 into $396,000 (Shocking)[/li][li]Women have been urged to cease posting these kinds of photos on social media.[/li][li]The secret to annuities with 8% guaranteed for life[/li][li]How Seniors Can Scoop Up Free $20,500 Checks (See If You Qualify)[/li][/ul]

Anyway, I’m sure monetization is an important factor in keeping the board running, but a lot of these links are borderline scams and really seem… I dunno - anti-Dopish?

And… so?

Presumably that’s a bad thing for the advertisers, since people seeing those ads here would (one hopes) be less likely to fall for them than people elsewhere. But is there something that someone can or should do about it?

I need more info on this controversial skinny pill, please.

Yeah. Wouldn’t it just be longer?

I dunno. I’m not exactly outraged over it. I don’t even see them on my primary devices. Just making an observation that our threads are populated with the internet ad equivalent of email spam, and that they seem at odds with the board’s oeuvre.

And there you have it.

Note: Not speaking officially, I’m not authorized to speak for STM. But common sense would tell you this is what’s going on.

It’s a weird trick.

Side track: Recently I heard a commercial on the radio (maybe SS retirement?), and they actually mentioned their answer was a “weird trick”. I didn’t think people would really say that.

I’m guessing that many are actual scams, not borderline ones. I discussed this article earlier this year. Basically, the scammer subcontracts advertising to an army of entrepreneurs, who receive maybe $40 for each $20 sale. In order to buy the product, you have to click through fine print that signs you up for multiple monthly subscriptions to wacko berries or whatever. Cancelling the subscription takes time: you need to make 1 phone call for each subscription, playing games with each telephone correspondent. “Sure I will cancel your monthly subscription for $84.95.” Better to just cancel the credit card.

That said, The Straight Dope Message Board has always been a very small drop in a very much larger ocean. These decisions probably aren’t made by Ed and I would say that this isn’t a battle he wants fight. Though if he could find a way of replacing those revenues with something better, that would be another matter. Does anybody want exclusive sponsorship of this message board for $50,000 per year? Not that I have the power or knowledge to make the offer.

Personally, if I could flip a switch to give me text ads from google, I would. But people didn’t like them back in the day, and they were dropped due to insufficient revenue.

From a Single Mom in Your Area, of course.

I actually find these ads kind of amusing - I never click on them, but the pictures always are made to look so weird that people will be tempted to find out more. One day, the “wrinkle trick that makes plastic surgeons HATE her” features a woman peeling a layer of plastic wrap off her face, the next it’s a “miracle skinny pill” which apparently looks like hollow, translucent gel globs, then it’s a “CRAZY testosterone booster” that looks like a bunch of worms tied up in a knot . . .

Fat chance. Information is hard to come by; it’s a thin market and pickings are slim.

And sometimes the “single mom” who wants your ass has the same picture of the one selling the pills, globs and boosters. That bitch sure gets around, but boy, does she have problems.