Regarding those #$@&%*! unintentional rogue pop-up ads

First off: We think we may have finally nixed those #$@&%*! unintentional rogue pop-up ads! We cannot seem to get hit with it any longer. Please let us know if you see that rogue pop-up (make sure you’re not seeing cached code in your browser) from this point on.

Regarding these auto-redirect “pop-up” ads that some visitors may have been getting over the past couple of days: These are the result of a rogue advertiser placing this bad ad in some ad network. We’ve been working with multiple ad networks to try pinpoint it and kill it. In fact, we’ve been up most of the last few nights working on this.

We are not running pop-up ads intentionally and never will. This is an ad network problem. Any site being served this rogue ad via the same ad network is currently generating these popups. Many website webmasters are currently dealing with this junk ad and trying to remove it and/or stop serving it. We’ve been reading of some major sites that are currently dealing with this rogue pop up, too.

Basically, it works like this: We put a tag into our site that allows ad networks run ads. The networks take their cut and we get a cut for running the ad. Most ad networks have thousands upon thousands of ads. There is no way for website operators like us to know which ads carry this rogue takeover pop-up codes. Why ad networks haven’t come up with a solution for this by now is beyond us because, as they persist and have “popped up” sporadically over a period of many years now, it seems there’s no easy way for them to suss these things out, either.

This is not a virus. This is simply a phishing scheme where a bad actor places what looks like a regular ad in an ad network that contains a hidden redirect to another site. To us it looks like, say, an innocuous ad for a thumb drive, but when it loads, it pops up this stupid takeover “prize” ad or whatever, hijacking our visitors to much consternation – ours and yours! Do not enter any information if you see one of these ads. There is no “prize.”

We have been turning off ad networks one-by-one trying to find which one is serving the ad (unintentionally, we believe). Doing so decreases our ad income significantly. Of course, it’s a catch-22, we’re dependent on ad revenue to survive (we’re running at a loss currently and have been since we launched the new site), yet this rogue ad is very vexing to our visitors and us!

Thank you for sticking with us while we get rid of this rogue ad. We know it’s a nuisance and we’ve been rather desperately trying to find the source and kill it.

We’re also planning an ad-free subscription option that will soon hopefully allow us to continue to operate free of horrible situations like this. If you subscribe when that option is made available, it will allow us all to escape this ad mess once and for all and simply have an ad-free site eventually!

Again, thank you for your patience as we work through this.

Again, we think we may have finally turned it off! 🙂 Please let us know if you see that rogue pop up (make sure you’re not seeing cached code) from this point on.

Thank you so much for your patience!!!

26 Comments

  1. When I clicked on the headline to read this post, I was taken to a link to update my non-existent software. I closed that, clicked again and was able to read it – so, I’d guess, problem still not solved.

      1. I have used ghostery for years on the Mac. Superb.
        I generally do not have any issues on the iPhone when viewing with safari. Occasionally there is the random pop up but that occurs very rarely. When it does I stop using mdn for a while and come back when the annoyance is gone.

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