Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sorry about the clickbait

I recently logged onto Another Angry Voice from a browser without any Ad Blocker extensions and was horrified to find my site blathered in appalling Taboola sponsored clickbait links.

This clickbait rubbish was added to my site automatically (and without my consent) by the external Disqus system I use to host the site's comments threads. I've looked into it and they'd apparently been adding these appalling Taboola sponsored clickbait links to Another Angry Voice since some time in mid September 2016.

I have adjusted the Disqus settings to get rid of the clickbait now, but I am very disappointed that they have damaged my reputation by adding sponsored clickbait adverts to my site without my explicit consent.

I adopted the "Pay as You Feel" subscription model for my site for a number of specific reasons*, so finding out that my site has been blathered in sponsored clickbait for several weeks is very annoying indeed. It made me look like a fool and a hypocrite to have article footers explaining my "Pay as You Feel" principles beneath each article, only to be immediately followed by a load of vacuous sponsored clickbait links.

When I looked into it, it turns out that I've apparently earned $14.40 for all of the clicks on these links, not that Disqus ever established any way to actually pay me this money. If just one person decided to cancel their £1 per month Another Angry Voice subscription because of these clickbait links, then all of that "profit" will have been cancelled out within a year or so.

I'd guess that more than one person cancelled their subscriptions because of it. I've seen a spate of recent cancellations, and I fully understand if people cancelled their subscriptions because of the clickbait. I'd certainly consider cancelling my subscription to a website if they suddenly started displaying utterly vacuous sponsored clickbait rubbish at me.

If I can actually be bothered to figure out how to actually claim this $14.40 then I'll give it to charity. I don't want their crappy Taboola clickbait money.

I apologise to anyone who found the sponsored clickbait links on my site annoying or thought that I was being a hypocrite. I assure you these links were added without my consent, that I removed them as soon as I could, and that if Disqus ever inject crappy clickbait links onto my site again I'll replace them with another comments system.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


* = The reason I prefer the "Pay as You Feel" funding model is that I feel it's important to show that it's possible to run a successful blog without resorting to blathering it in targeted adverts (ads that show you exactly the kind of products or services you were looking for on the Internet a few days ago) and clickbait links. Additionally, if someone like me who promotes heterodox economics uses an orthodox ads and clickbait model for funding his website, what hope is there that anything can actually change?

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