While being pragmatic about the necessity of advertising, what is displayed on your site should not fly in the face of our shared values. For this reason we don’t want to be seeing adverts for a racist political party any more than you do. To an extent, it is possible to block certain advertisers by placing the company name or other phrases in a blacklist.
There are a number of reasons why this is not effective in all cases, however, and why offending adverts can be difficult to track down and eliminated once they have been shown to readers:
- The metadata for many adverts doesn’t contain the name of the advertiser, meaning the approach of blacklisting using text doesn’t work.
- There is no widely-adopted naming convention for adverts. In order to block an advertiser in our system it needs to be searchable so that we can find it. Not all adverts will show up in a text search, which means that we can’t always find them to block — even when we know what the text in the image says or someone has provided with a ‘screenshot’ of the offending ad.
- Thousands of different adverts can be shown to thousands of different readers in any one day.