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Adbusters Suggests Click Fraud As Protest

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the they-never-suggest-wine-pairings-do-they dept.

Privacy 390

An anonymous reader writes "In response to Google's recently announced plans to expand the tracking of users, the international anti-advertising magazine Adbusters proposes that we collectively embark on a civil disobedience campaign of intentional, automated 'click fraud' in order to undermine Google's advertising program in order to force Google to adopt a pro-privacy corporate policy. They have released a GreaseMonkey script that automatically clicks on all AdSense ads."

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"Protest"? (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173905)

Won't this just make Google more money?

It's not like the advertisers can go somewhere else. If you want search ads, there's only one place to go.

Re:"Protest"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27173935)

Yo, Dawg! I herd you like clickin' ads so I put an ad in yo ad so you can click while you click!

Re:"Protest"? (-1, Redundant)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174323)

It's "Sup dawg", not "Yo dawg".

Get the meme right. I mean come on. This is important.

Re:"Protest"? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174595)

:%s/dawg/dumbtard/gc

Re:"Protest"? (5, Insightful)

biocute (936687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173965)

Not really.

This only makes Google more money if Google keeps those false clicks and charges the advertisers, which will undermine its AdSense products.

And it will cost Google a lot of time and money to validate whether a click is fraud or not if enough people start doing it.

And you really should do it manually, randomly and intermittently, otherwise Google could just delete a bunch of clicks from the same IP address in short timeframe.

Re:"Protest"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174215)

Don't believe this install this program and visit these three blogs below

http://extra-change.blogspot.com/
http://personaladvancement.blogspot.com/
http://naturallawn.blogspot.com/

Actually give me a few minutes to put more ads so I can make more money I mean hurt google's ad revenue.

Re:"Protest"? (5, Interesting)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174287)

Google's process is much more sophisticated then that. They collectively look at sites and users and track the users through the purchase or 'goal' to calculate the value of clicks and ROI. Most adsense ad click's value is dynamic and dependent on many things.

Automated (or random) clicking will only hurt the sites that you visit, by lowering the value of the entire site's ads.

Re:"Protest"? (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174801)

Anything that hurts the advertisers using AdSense hurts Google. If Google doesn't listen to their customers (i.e., advertisers), those advertisers will go elsewhere. If elsewhere doesn't exist, I'm sure Yahoo! or Microsoft or someone will start an "elsewhere" to go to.

I'm not advocating the civil disobedience (or slamming it, for that matter), merely noting that it really doesn't matter where it hits - Google's ability to get advertisers to use their service will be impacted.

Re:"Protest"? (3, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174417)

And it will cost Google a lot of time and money to validate whether a click is fraud or not if enough people start doing it.

Nah, just a simple matter of Javascript to test if you have certain pieces of chrome installed relating to this script to determine if the clicks are fake. No Javascript, no ads for the plug-in to click on anyway. Then the plug-in is going to have to randomize where it stores its chrome evade detection.

Re:"Protest"? (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174669)

Nah, just a simple matter of Javascript to test if you have certain pieces of chrome installed relating to this script to determine if the clicks are fake. No Javascript, no ads for the plug-in to click on anyway. Then the plug-in is going to have to randomize where it stores its chrome evade detection.

Advertisers really don't want to get into this arms race. They're bound to lose. The browser has resources at its disposal that no web page can. If someone were so inclined, he could create a method of hiding ads that scripting running in a sandbox couldn't possibly detect. Image elements would seen normal; popup windows could be virtualized.

Oh, sure, advertisers will try to run timing attacks and such, but those can be faked as well. Ultimately, all the advertiser is doing is wasting resources he can better spend creating ads that people don't feel so strongly opposed to seeing.

Re:"Protest"? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174629)

I thought web advertisers moved on from charging per-click a long time ago anyway, in much the same way as they moved on from charging per-page-impression.

Re:"Protest"? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174823)

Where have you been? Google Adwords is huge, millions of advertisers are paying per click today.

Re:"Protest"? (4, Interesting)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174167)

I've always found it interesting that Adbusters does actually contain advertisements. Not many, but they do have ads for, like, shoes made from recycled tires or something... It is an interesting magazine, if you can find it, though.

Re:"Protest"? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174561)

This is especially ironic when their
stated purpose on their masthead is to rid the internet of ads.

I'm not so sure that is totally a good idea.

Why not just block their ads? (5, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173925)

Actually, I think I already have Google ads blocked...

Will false-positives hurt them more than just adblocking them?

Re:Why not just block their ads? (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173977)

Yes, it will hurt their advertisers more initially though.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (1, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174203)

Have a conscience. Block them - don't fraudulently click them.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174237)

"don't fraudulently click them."

what they hell does that mean? how can you fraudulently click something?

Re:Why not just block their ads? (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174385)

how can you fraudulently click something?

Some lawmaker thought it would be a great idea to make it against the law to request information under certain conditions.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174451)

no you ethically you would be in the wrong too (who fights bad ethics with bad ethics? that's just stupid) in that you be helping to cause the closer of adsense accounts for the websites you visit which pays for the very site you generally visit (it's not like many people are gonna change their surf habbits so they will affects the site they tend to like and visit more).

If you wanna make a big protest that isn't as stupid/ethically bad, just get enough people to block it and make enough scene of it assuming of course enough people cares.

Personally, the tracking of users sucks somewhat but it's not like it wasn't expected to beging with (i thought they did that already). To me, it's not too big of a deal compared to what other companies do. If you want to make a big enough stink about it, feel free but don't make it harder of the website owners that have pay the bills for the sites I like.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (5, Informative)

rake74 (1499239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174563)

You're being obtuse. The intent of the statement was clear. In case it wasn't to you, allow me to help clarify.

From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_fraud [wikipedia.org] :

Click fraud is a type of Internet crime that occurs in pay per click online advertising when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad's link. Click fraud is the subject of some controversy and increasing litigation due to the advertising networks being a key beneficiary of the fraud.

Use of a computer to commit this type of Internet fraud is a felony in many jurisdictions, for example, as covered by Penal code 502 in California, USA, and the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in the United Kingdom. There have been arrests relating to click fraud with regard to malicious clicking in order to deplete a competitor's advertising budget[citation needed].

While not being done 'for a profit' it's still an asshat move to make.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174783)

It is not actionable if the clicker does not expect to profit by it.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (0, Flamebait)

rake74 (1499239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174857)

Semantics. I was responding to geekoid:

how can you fraudulently click something?

It's an asshat thing to do. How about just plain ol boycotting? And if you have to, boycott those who work with them. It's how things work in a civil society.

Re:Why not just block their ads? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174885)

"don't fraudulently click them."

what they hell does that mean? how can you fraudulently click something?

This pertains to Ad Sense, when a content provider loads their own pages and "clicks" on the ads Google serves, so they will get the ad revenue, especially when they do it a lot or use automated methods to repeatedly click.

The fraud they're committing, is faking ad impressions and click-throughs for their own profit.

Contrary to agreements required to signup for Ad Sense, which say (among other things), that the content provider, or person responsible for listing the ads AGREES to never click on their own ads, as a condition before signing up for the program.

When an unrelated third-party does it against the content providers wishes, it's not fraud, but essentially more like a DoS attack on Google's advertising system, because they're clicking on ads Google intends for a human to see, and only a human to click on.

It's similar to going to a table at a store with a plate of food and a sign that says "free samples", dumping the whole plate of free samples into your bag, and running out of the store.

because it wouldn't be difficult (1)

AnEducatedNegro (1372687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173927)

to just filter out anyone that clicks on all the adword links on a given page considering that maybe 5% of users actually click on ALL of the advertisements?

i think this is stupid, but it's just my $0.02...

aEN

Re:because it wouldn't be difficult (5, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174181)

i think this is stupid, but it's just my $0.02...

Sorry, that bid is not high enough for any ad placement.

Protest is one approach, but... (2, Insightful)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173933)

I think the better approach is to give Google the finger and start using other tools.

Adblock? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173945)

Isn't adblock enough? I hate advertising, but as long as I can opt out it's OK with me.

Re:Adblock? (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27173967)

Why do you hate the free market?!

Re:Adblock? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174025)

Because the free market gives me unusable tv, radio and internet?

Re:Adblock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174041)

Because its products and services are not free. Free as in beer that is.

Re:Adblock? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174231)

Why do you hate the free market?!

Because in soviet russia, market hates YOU!

Re:Adblock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174305)

why does the free market hate me?!

Re:Adblock? (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174635)

This *is* the free market. Problem (ads) appears, solution (adblock) is developed, and becomes popular.

Advertisers have no more right to force me to view their ads than coke has to force me to by fizzy drinks.

Re:Adblock? (2, Funny)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174721)

Executive Order 28253 clearly states that you do have to drink Fizzy Drinks.

Re:Adblock? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174971)

"This Presidency is brought to you by Coca Cola(TM), 'The Coke side of Politics', and Ford, where Lobbying is Job 2, right after Quality."

Re:Adblock? (4, Funny)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174755)

I know, right! Every time I see a advertisement on a vehicle on the highway, I deliberately don't look at it, so that my mind will not be poisoned by their insidious self-promotion. Makes it more difficult to change lanes, and my insurance went way up after I rear-ended one of them, but hey, freedom isn't free.

Also, I insist that girls who wear shirts that have logos on them take them off in my presence.

Re:Adblock? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174051)

In this particular case, adblock seems to be enough. However, I'd be very hesitant to go down the "X evil action is OK; because I have Y techie workaround" path. In the short term, among people of sufficient technical skill, that is generally true. For the newbs at large, it isn't, and over the long term, it may not be. Adblock won't help a bit, for instance, if Phorm or Nebuad pay your ISP to spy on your for them.

Advertisers (4, Interesting)

biocute (936687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174013)

If I was an AdWords user, I would pull all of my bids now and let other advertisers exhausted theirs first.

Then a "word" will be easier and cheaper to get.

The word "Privacy" is fraud here (4, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174019)

We're talking about tagging cookies to a browser, keeping data browser-end, and having the browser send data back to the server for statistics when ads are served.

Instead, we could skip the cookies. Keep the data on the server, in a database, tied to your IP address and other information collected about you (OS, browser, time of day, etc) and do much more extensive research.

When you clear your cookies, you're removed from Google's "Database" ... YOU are requesting THEM to send you ads based on information YOU are tracking using THEIR program. THEY are not tracking everything you do, because damn, it'd be hard to uniquely identify you when your cookies expire and drop your UUID stored in a cookie and they wind up with 40 database entries for your ONE browser because you clear cookies every session.

Re:The word "Privacy" is fraud here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174813)

Well, I used to work long time ago with Sabela in Australia, and they had one of the first behavioral based advertisement systems.
Basically, if Gog is smart they will just do a cross referenced system, that way they use your IP address and also a tracking cookie placed at your PC, so whenever you clean your cookies, the next Gog cookie to be installed will just read your IP address and cross check it with Gog IPs DB. If your IP is already there then the new cookie will just be used to add new info to your already registered browsing behavior.
See, based on that I'll see adult ads everywhere, because 90% of my web surfing is Pr0n. I don't mind because everyone knows I am a jerk. So, I don't care about what other people think about me. But for sissies, worried about hiding their secret surfing behavior, that is bad.

Re:The word "Privacy" is fraud here (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174859)

Google doesn't do porn ads for one. Also these systems should be smart enough to page-context it, i.e. on non-adult pages you wouldn't want to serve adult ads; on pages about tools you want to serve tool ads, maybe tools for cars because you browse a lot of car forums. And of course, your IP address and TIATS may change, so other info (OS, browser, etc) gets used, or just use a cookie at the user end and start over again when it gets flushed.

uuh - (2, Insightful)

no-body (127863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174023)

smells like a lawsuit coming soon....

They need to get paid somehow (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174061)

Don't know how google are expected to continue providing free search, maps, mail and all, if they can't get revenue from somewhere else. Ads work for tv and radio, and apparently for web, too.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (2, Informative)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174115)

No one is saying Google can't run ads to support themselves. The issue has to do with their recent decision to track users even more with cookies and the privacy implications.

you could also set your cookie preferences (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174633)

to track users even more with cookies and the privacy implications.

Tools -> Clear Private Data...

Re:They need to get paid somehow (2, Interesting)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174135)

This isn't a protest against advertising, it's a protest against Google's privacy policy. It's purely because Google need to get paid that hijacking their advertising revenue stream might get their attention. It's effectively blackmail for (depending on your opinion) a noble cause.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (2, Insightful)

rake74 (1499239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174435)

Then protest by not using their services. If you have ethical concerns about what they're doing, make damn sure your ethics are on target too (and Adblocks is /not/ being ethical - they're being childish). What's wrong with people these days? A company decides to make money, and people get pissed off and try to find way to screw with them? How about the good old fashioned "make a big stink" (protests in the 70s, blogs in 00s) and boycotting? To make a comparison, this is like Rosa Park bus boycott instead being the bus tire slashing. Same idiotic, thug type thinking.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

Talla (95956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174703)

Then protest by not using their services.

Unfortunately, this is pretty much impossible in practice. Way too many sites are using Google Adsense.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

rake74 (1499239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174819)

That's easy. Use Adblock. If this affects the sites bottom line, they'll find another advertiser. Back to boycott basics.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174745)

How do you not use their services when you're not the customer but the product?

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

rake74 (1499239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174797)

There's this tool... it's called Adblock...

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174879)

Which I use and have had Google blocked for years. It's not setup that way by default (or at least wasn't when I originally set up those filters, it might be in the subscriptions by now though)

There is an advantage to the clicking that Adblock doesn't have though - it makes it obvious to Google that people don't want it. The not loading won't be seen unless Google goes looking for it, with help from each hosting site. That's unlikely to happen.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174891)

You block all there cookies and all their ads. Trivial. Which is why claiming Google is doing something evil is nonsense.

Re:They need to get paid somehow (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174289)

Don't know how google are expected to continue providing free search, maps, mail and all, if they can't get revenue from somewhere else.

By not expanding their tracking. I mean, that seems to be working just fine for them up to now. In all honesty, are they going bankrupt or losing money, or is it just "Hey, we're making boatloads of money, I bet we could make... uh... aircraft carriers of money if we invaded people's privacy!" Because I suspect it's the latter, although since I'm not an investor in google, I haven't been paying attention.

Solution or scam helper? (2, Insightful)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174101)

We have all seen the "make $10,000 a day using adsense" - won't this only increase the ad revenue for these potential scams and in turn have more of these scam ads proliferating the net?

Re:Solution or scam helper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174981)

THANKS!
Be right back, stealing blogs and making a website.

There's an anti-advertising magazine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174175)

How do they make money?

Re:There's an anti-advertising magazine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174373)

People buy the magazine. Novel approach, I know.

Not civil disobedience (5, Interesting)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174183)

I you want to learn a lot about civil disobedience, web search "civil disobedience carl cohen howard zinn" - and I note that for once I didn't say to google it.

I studied under Carl Cohen - and highly recommend reading everything by him and Zinn if you want clear thinking on this topic.

The act of overloading Google with this plan is something that I personally find quite laudable - but it is not civil disobedience. As an ancient hippie, I don't mind saying that this act is simply called, Sticking It To The Man . I'm saddened that today's Man-Stickers are so inundated with political correctness that they can't call an action for what it is.

As Carl might have said - they emasculate their argument by so doing.

FWIW, it's not the summary - the stupidity of calling it civil disobedience comes right from TFA.

Re:Not civil disobedience (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174295)

Here's something easier, and much less malicious, and just plain retarded. Don't use Google.

I must be turning into an Archie Bunker in my old age, but I find pricks like you and Adbusters utterly intolerable. The sole measure of your indignation against someone else seems to be their success.

Re:Not civil disobedience (4, Informative)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174945)

Sorry, but you're either an idiot, or you're trolling. You can't not use google, because it's not your choice, it's the web operator's choice to imbed google's tracking scripts in their web pages.

In case you use firefox, try this extension (for example): Ghostery [mozilla.org] . It pops up a list of all the tracking scripts found on the web page you're browsing. Try leaving his on for a week and count how many websites track you. If your friends or family use firefox, install it for them, too.

Re:Not civil disobedience (4, Funny)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174993)

Wow.

OK.

Just to be clear - the only indignation I expressed was at the use of the term civil disobedience. And if I'm not mistaken, that indignation was AGAINST Adbusters, not Google.

I did say that I found their efforts laudable - (def'n - deserving praise or commendation) - and if you're interested, it was because a group found a bad thing (in their opinion) happening commercially, and have a plan to thwart it, using Google's (perceived) own evil against them. You'll note that my post is successive to an earlier one suggesting that Google's behavior may be actionable in court - hence, my cursory acceptance that the claim is true, i.e., Google is being evil, and evil is punishable.

I even made fun of myself in the first paragraph by noting that I usually endorse google in my use of everyday language.

I think you are either having a very bad day or have an under-constrained definition of the word prick.

Your idea that I have a problem with success, successful people, or successful companies, is actually and entirely your own problem.

I wish you a better day.

Re:Not civil disobedience (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174647)

I don't mind saying that this act is simply called, Sticking It To The Man . I'm saddened that today's Man-Stickers are so inundated with political correctness that they can't call an action for what it is.

The McHippies of today don't want to call it what it is, because it sounds less noble and more venal - and style is more important than substance.

Re:Not civil disobedience (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174651)

Furthermore, it does not really hurt google. It would be like protesting that fact that one has to sit on the back of the bus by paying to ride on the bus, sitting in the back of the bus, and then acting a fool by defacing the bus or the advertisements. I am sure some would say this was preferable to not taking the bus and walking to work, but history shows otherwise.

People think that we can protest, yet not give up any of our personal comforts. I am concerned about how Google Earth updates on my mac, so I do not have google earth on my computer. I am concerned about Google is going to store and mine personal information, so I do not use those services. It is just like spam. If nobody clicks the ads, then the problem will go away. If the Google near monopoly on ads is broken, then someone might come in with a better model for a search engine and a better way to support the engine, just like google did with alta vista. Google is still my search engine, but I do not accept the services and cookies the way I once did.

Re:Not civil disobedience (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174727)

The act isn't about "really hurting google" it's about hurting google, which it accomplishes by causing google to pay out on traffic that generates 0 revenue. I don't see how this is anything but pure civil disobedience. Probably as effective, but the same premise and consequence, nonetheless.

Re:Not civil disobedience (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27175023)

I don't see how this is anything but pure civil disobedience.

Google is not a civil authority - it is exactly not civil disobedience.

Smart thing (3, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174233)

The smart thing for Google to do would be to completely ignore the program, and let advertisers use their usual click-fraud dispute resolution mechanism. By fighting the program, Google would only be giving the program legitimacy. Without the "I'm being oppressed" notoriety, the program will pick up very few users and the total effect on the market will be small.

I'm not against advertising. I'm against fraudulent, manipulative, and obstructive advertising. Google AdWords typically score relatively low on all three counts, so they're fine with me.

Re:Smart thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174869)

Its an excuse to funnel some money from Google into the pockets of website owners. And cause havok! .. Yay!

good lord... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174253)

Seriously - how much money does it take to operate google?

What percentage of internet users use google every day?

These 'free' services aren't there 'because someone out there loves us and wants to give us this stuff for free'. They make money off of it.

How? Ads. Don't like it? Don't use google products. Cancel your gmail accounts, wipe your igoogle page, delete your calenders, office docs, etc.

For that matter, never visit another site with ads. Sure, it's your bandwidth, but the ads take up a diminishingly small amount of that. Especially google's ads.

Many sites sell /nothing/, few donate, and bandwidth is expensive. Let alone racks of servers, etc. If some people click on ads, great.

Frankly, I don't mind - I'd love to NEVER see another ad that I could care less about.

Frankly, I think Adbuster's is being childish about this entire thing. If they want to limit themselves to ad free sites, go for it.

Google is specifically making this easy for users. Heck, I'll be able to edit what types of ads I want to see! Mind you, I'm not excited about ads, and have never clicked one, but I'd rather see ads based on what I'm interested in (IT, games primarily) rather than online dating or vacations or get a bigger penis.

This entire 'uproar' is a bunch of pointless FUD.

Make me rich! (1)

amclay (1356377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174281)

Please test it on my site! So that I may become rich on this amazing pyramid scheme? Undead Computing [undeadcomputing.com]

Is adbusters going to try to sell you a mouse? (0)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174297)

Adbusters is just as much a brand as Google, Coke, Wal-Mart of any of the other corporations they criticize. They will probably try to sell you some special hipster indie cred mouse soon. They may have a point but I'm too poor to afford them.

Re:Is adbusters going to try to sell you a mouse? (3, Interesting)

memeplex (910698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174985)

Adbusters is certainly a brand, and they SELL stuff. Mostly they're a bunch of self-satisfied, self-indulgent, marxist/green graphic designers selling dorm-room revolution against The Man. Unoriginal politics, but hip design. Pass the organic fair-trade soy latte...

Automatic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174315)

Automatically clicking on all adds is a bad idea. It would be very easy for google to sort that out. It would be smarter to have it "click "on random ads once every few searches.

Its not that hard... (3, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174335)

A better bit would be a Firefox plugin (you can't do greasemonkey, it needs to be lower down) that just strips all references to google adwords, analytics, and doubleclick and replaces them with noops.

Now google can't track you and you don't see the adds.

While the "clickfraud" solution sounds cute, those are easy easy to detect and Google will just ignore those clicks.

All this while Adbusters uses Google Analytics! (5, Informative)

TSHTF (953742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174371)

As noted in the second comment in the posted article, Adbusters is using Google Analytics for user tracking. It doesn't seem like Adbusters is really concerned about this issue whatsoever if they allow Google to violate their own users' privacy, all while encouraging click fraud. What is Adbusters thinking?

Adblock more damaging? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174409)

Assuming Adbusters' goal is to eliminate ads, wouldn't something like Adblock be a more productive approach? Or at the very least, just clearing all but whitelisted cookies every session? When the technological solution works, there's no need for protest or laws.

Re:Adblock more damaging? (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174485)

Assuming Adbusters' goal is to eliminate ads, wouldn't something like Adblock be a more productive approach? Or at the very least, just clearing all but whitelisted cookies every session? When the technological solution works, there's no need for protest or laws.

That would be more the more rational solution, but let's not forget that Adbusters are a pack of anarcho-communists. It's not just that they want free enterprise and capitalism to fail, they want to stick dynamite in its foundations and blow it up.

Re:Adblock more damaging? (1)

rayefrenzy (1450105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174969)

Come on. "anarcho-communist". THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE. Anarchy is not about destruction or chaos, its about the people being smart enough to govern themselves.

Why did they call it "click fraud"? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174411)

Doesn't "fraud" imply doing something for your own financial gain? What they're talking about is noise injection, trendily known as "culture jamming."

You don't get sued for culture jamming; you do get sued for fraud. One term sounds criminal (where everyone will say you're the bad guy) and the other sounds subversive (where people will split on whether you're the bad guy or the good guy).

Poor choice of words on adbusters' part.

yeah, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174573)

Yeah, but "culture jamming" sounds like a new music genre or a skateboard move, so Joe Q Sixpack will ignore it, especially coming from Adbusters. "Fraud" sounds like a grown-up topic, so Joe Q Sixpack (and maybe some CEOs somewhere) may actually pay attention to whatever the hell this "Adbusters" thing is.

Re:yeah, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174773)

Yum, culture jam... I'll take some E. coli preserves, please, the chunky variety...

Re:Why did they call it "click fraud"? (1)

Boojumbunn (1003095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27175015)

Actually, this is just a case of the meaning of a word migrating over time, sort of like how Kleenex came to mean any nose tissue. In this case it started out when a company would place an ad with Google, and then have a program (or hire someone) to sit and click on their ads all day long. This was for money and was called Click Fraud. A program which did this was then called a Click Fraud program... because it generated fraudulent clicks. Now they seem to be taking the name from the program and applying it to what you are doing. Since you are using a Click Fraud style program you are obviously performing a click fraud action.

Clickse.cx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174425)

Would you "click" the red hole in my anus?

"Don't Be Evil" Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174581)

Larry and Sergey brought in Eric to inject some "business gravitas" into Google. Looks like the heady idealism of youth is gone from the company, for good.

The community hasn't yet finished slaying the *last* evil corporate monolith. Now, the next one has finished its grotesque metamorphosis on the tech landscape. An ill omen indeed.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174765)

Shit-talking like this will ensure that you never get laid.

Re:"Don't Be Evil" Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174997)

Ding-ding-ding! My TROOGlodyte (TM) detector tells me we must have snared a bitter GOOG-drone. Defensive, swearing, and a personal attack all in one sentence. Impressive; must have hit too close to home, folks.

The sunlight of truth only hurts if you're an evil troll...

Google won't be the one hurt... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174655)

Google won't be the one hurt here, nor will it be the advertisers. It'll be the poor fools who host ads and attract such a user base that would willingly screw them over.

Have your site pegged as one committing click fraud, and your account is yanked. It'll be up to them to prove to Google that they were victims here, while their legitimately earned ad revenues trickle away.

Re:Google won't be the one hurt... (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174799)

One possible answer to that would be to only target sites that are in the top tier of Google ad-sense ranking. Google is less likely to just throw them away if they are that significant, to them, as a profit source. Faced with the choice between dropping their most productive ad sites or just watching the value of their ads drop they will be much more likely to respond favorably.

Wow. (2, Interesting)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174717)

This makes my brain hurt, teh implications, teh possibilities legal and otherwise...

i think i have to defer comment and opinion until some experts wander in (are we allowed to do that here? Will my account be locked? ,-) ).

What does strike me is Protest 2.0.

SysAlert: new protest available. Download? [Y/N] > y
........... done.
Run protest? [Y/N] > y
Protest running.

Of course, i'm gonna complain that no one can be arsed to actually do anything any more, aren't i? And i advocate automation and interfacing with other systems - literally, figuratively, politically, socially, mechanically - whenever possible. So is this looking-askance at Protest.sh a little Luddite slipping in in my old age? Or will it just encourage MORE laziness - oh, if i don't have a button to press, i can't be arsed so prepackage my activism please.

Brain hurts again :P

Re:Wow. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174871)

cd /usr/src/protest-2.0.1a
make config --belligerence-level=9 --self-righteousness=9 --indignation-level=max \
--activities-after-compile=play_warcraft,eat_frozen_pizza,watch_simpsons_rerun,attack_bourgeoisie
make all
make install

What a terrible idea.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27174725)

this is a terrible idea. it won't hurt google at all, and will simply get honest web sites banned from the AdSense service. There is essentially no recourse once you're banned so doing this would essentially be disaterous for any site you do it on.

about 3 years back, my buddies and I set up our website with google ads. Apparently, some of our users thought they'd "help us out" by clicking repeatedly. within a week we had been banned from Adsense - and we didn't even know what had happened.

We immediately told our users NOT to do that, and contacted adsense about the situation, and informing them that it had been resolved, and we didn't want the fraudulently obtained payout. Google failed to acknowledge the request, and then banned the personal account of one of the website staff.

we have not been able to get so much as a word out of google since.

You want to protest google, fine, do it in a way that hurts GOOGLE, not their end-users.

Re:What a terrible idea.. (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174817)

To Adbusters, there is no such thing as an "honest commercial website". When will people realize, Adbusters is to the Internet what PETA is to animal rights. They aren't some sort of consumer advocates, they're goddamned anarcho-communists. They're a pack of lunatic fanatics. The only thing they currently lack is a pack of ravenous loonies ala-Ron Paul-style supporters appearing on every possible web forum decrying the evils of modern capitalist society.

Re:What a terrible idea.. (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174965)

They aren't some sort of consumer advocates, they're goddamned anarcho-communists.

Um. I liked your response to my post an' all, but i don't think they ever claimed to be otherwise really. one man's invective is another's badge of honor.

Also, despite our instinct (yours, mine, everyone's) to paint an ideological opponent as part of a hive-mind, there is no "they." There's a bunch of people, with commonalities (which a clever spin-artist will say makes one's opponents mindlessly monolithic), and differences (which a clever spin-artist will say makes one's opponents a fractuous, directionless mob).

Cruel to Small Businesses Using Google.... (5, Interesting)

sampson7 (536545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174787)

I don't understand this "protest." Google, apparently the target of the protest, gets increased ad revenues, whereas small businesses like mine that use Adsense get... Thousands of dollars in additional advertising costs that are designed to generate no revenue...?

I admit it -- my small jewelry store (beadstore.com) is not a particularly sophisticated Google customer. I think in 2007, we spent maybe $10,000 over the course of a year advertising on Google. (Since then, we've scaled back considerably -- even though it increased business, cash flow concerns made it impossible to continue.)

After we started, I handed off control of the budget to someone who didn't quite understand the limits system properly (they're beaders, after all, not techies). She racked up almost a thousand dollars in costs in a single week. Eek! A potentially devestating mistake, since $1,000 in unexpected expenses is a huge amount for a little company like ours. (We learned our lesson and made sure everyone understood the system pronto.)

Fortunately -- and I'm sure not coincidently -- that week was also one of our biggest grossing weeks ever (though it probably didn't cover the additional advertising costs, at least over the short run). I don't know what we would have done had those costs been driven by non-customers clicking through in some misguided attempt to hurt Google. I'm not looking for sympathy for people who screw up, or suggesting that all Google advertisers are like us, but please remember that a single click can still cost a dollar or more, so a few fraudulent clicks really hurts. Not only does it inflate your advertising costs, but it also denies us of legitimate potential customers (since the system is designed to remove the ads once your target budget is reached). And I suspect we would never know for sure whether we just had a really low click-to-purchase ratio for a given week, or whether we were the victims of an organized fraud (in the non-legal sense, anyway).

Lastly, Google claims that multiple clicks from the same IP address are filtered out -- of course, I have no idea if their system would prevent what these people are suggesting.

Re:Cruel to Small Businesses Using Google.... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174935)

The whole thing's stupid. "Privacy" is a buzz-word; people are complaining "Cookies track you" but "cookies" are a piece of data stored on your computer. You delete it, it's gone. It doesn't read your personal information, it doesn't hack your bank accounts, and it's stored on your computer; it can't be sold to other people because it can't really be tied to... you. It's not like they use it to figure out your Facebook/MySpace account, bank log-in, etc. It's essentially your computer requesting ads from categories you pick, except you pick them by heuristics (behavior).

I have a better Solution (1, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174831)

If you object to Googles privacy policy, then do not use any Google services.

This does not mean, use them through an anonymous proxy as that is theft, this means do not use them at all. Use an entirely free search engine that works just as well with a better privacy policy. Google make money through advertising, as do all large scale search engines. That is how they are able offer a service and not charge for it. There might be smaller free services that have a better privacy policy but would they still be free if they could put up with the load google is able to? The amount google must spend on staff and hardware must be obscene.

Can people stop using the bash google road to ... (1)

cdu13a (95385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174909)

attention, profit, fame or what ever else that they are after.

Its getting old.

Especially when it is done by people that are completely ignorant of what they are talking about.

The crowd-pleaser (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174929)

and when this scheme fizzles out what then?

how many legitimate clicks does Google register each hour, each day? are you really going to rise above the noise level?

success btw implies that google could be brought down by anyone, at any time, for any reason.

how they must be laughing in redmond right now!

 

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