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Zango Under Fire From Adult Webmasters

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the sleazier-meets-sleaziest dept.

93

An anonymous reader writes, "Over the past few days, adult webmasters have been accusing adware maker Zango of 'stealing sales' by means of the following method: Computer users with Zango's adware on board will pop open a window containing the affiliate merchant's site they happen to be on at the time, except with Zango's own affiliate code in the window. By doing this, Zango claims credit for the sale and the original, rule-following merchant, the one who referred the user there, loses out. Despite this practice having been around since at least 2004, it seems the adult webmasters are only just realizing this takes place — surprising, considering how deeply connected the worlds of adware and porn are. It seems pornographers pushing adware is acceptable only as long as they aren't the ones getting burnt. Part of me doesn't care, and part of me hopes they carry the financial clout to force Zango to change their current practices."

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wow.. (4, Insightful)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438903)

Good thing there's no bias in this summary.

Selling adult material of willing participants to adults who want it.. definitely the same as theft.

Re:wow.. (2, Interesting)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439269)

Not all participants in the movies are entirely willing though. In fact, on the Internet, you can even find *gasp* movies of people who don't know they are being filmed at all, and those sites even have spyware/adware on them too.

This case is a bit like watching ambulance chasers suing tobacco lobbyists. You kinda hope both sides annihilate each other.

Come on... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439395)

Not all participants in the movies are entirely willing though.

An exceptionally small number, these days. For the most part, the sex workers who perform in adult films and photo spreads are well paid, and their employment information well documented. As the prudes and "Moral Majority" types try to push their puritan views on the rest of society, the Adult Entertainment Industry has responded by insuring their books are above board and in order so that closed minded people who want to push their morality views on everyone else can not use these things to shut them down. Porn is a zillion dollar business because upstanding citizens from every "walk of life" spend money on porn, this kind of cash doesn't come from dirt bags, you know.

Re:Come on... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439465)

No self-respecting computer geek would ever spend money on porn.

Re:Come on... (1)

no1nose (993082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439803)

That is so true. Only doofus-Joe-six-pack, who needs dual-core just to run his spyware, would pay money for porn.

Re:Come on... (2, Funny)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#16443019)

Yeah, right. Tell me you've never bought a computer mag just to ogle those hot, sexy new serv-- erm, I mean, exactly!

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439515)

[T]he Adult Entertainment Industry has responded by insuring their books are above board and in order so that closed minded people who want to push their morality views on everyone else can not use these things to shut them down.

Imagine how dangerous you could be if you actually knew what you were talking about. I could tell you stories about the industry -- as it is now -- that would have you joining the closed minded people you preach about.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439657)

Enlighten us, oh wise one.

Re:Come on... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439731)

Well... I did work for IEG for a few years... Look 'em up.

Re:Come on... (2, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441399)

With a nick like Frosty Piss... I really don't wish to see your work.

Just not my cup of tea... --- Look at the size of that pun!

I couldn't resist.

Re:Come on... (1)

wyohman (737898) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444773)

Depending on the country of origin for "Frosty Piss," it may not be what you think. For folks in the UK and Australia, frosty piss is a euphemism for cold beer. Having embibed a bit of frosty piss in my day, I recommend the occasional schooner of such liquid.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439819)

Bring it on.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16442029)

For the most part, the sex workers who perform in adult films and photo spreads are well paid, and their employment information well documented.

Except for the dogs.

It is a sure thing... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439585)

... that every site you find that claims to have voyeur style videos (with the subjects not knowing they are on camera) are fake.

Fake. Fake. Fake.

Do you know how much legal liability there is if you try to make money off of something where the subjects are unwilling participants? Not enough to be worth the effort to set up a billing system and charge people access, I assure you.

Re:It is a sure thing... (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439809)

Doesn't that assume that the site is run from a location with laws against those sorts of videos?

Re:It is a sure thing... (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441277)

Did you know that things that happen in movies often did not happen to the actors in real life? Strange but true.

Re:wow.. (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441977)

Not all participants in the movies are entirely willing though.

So, because you believe that some of the participants are unwilling, you would gladly see the entire industry go down in flames?

By the same token, I believe that some programmers create malware - clearly the entire application development industry should be shut down.

Re:wow.. (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444887)

Where did I say "the entire industry". The ones hawking spyware and exploiting women are welcome to implode though.

Re:wow.. (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16448177)

So it's okay if they're exploiting men? ;)

Re:wow.. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#16442123)

"Not all participants in the movies are entirely willing though...You kinda hope both sides annihilate each other."

I contend that since the BBS days nothing has done more to get "rock spiders" out into the daylight than investigating material found on networked computers. One particular investigation almost brought down the Danish government and had 100,000 people marching in the streets. Denmark is renowned for it's sexual freedoms but the people that produce and consume this filth are mentally disturbed criminals in the minds of the overwhelming majority of people, including those who produce and consume adult porn.

If you actually do know of any sites that have evidence of snuff films, rape, kiddie porn or gang bashings,.. then report the fuckers to the FBI, Interpol, MP, whatever...if not then STFU and let the rest of us get our rocks off in peace.

Re:wow.. (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#16447211)

Oh, the naivety. You know, at one point, a long long time ago, I even thought the girls in Bangbus (NSFW) [bangbus.com] videos really were girls just being offered lifts, too.

That's not to say there's not genuine films of unaware people, but they are exceptionally in the minority.

Re:wow.. (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441857)

Except I don't think that's what was suggested in the article summary. He says, "It seems pornographers pushing adware is acceptable only as long as they aren't the ones getting burnt." In other words, pornographers who saw nothing wrong with paying malware merchants to get their sites to pop up in people's browsers and such, are suddenly enraged when someone else steals their sales just like they've been stealing users' time and CPU.

So you are saying... (3, Insightful)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438949)

...that all pornographers are inherintly contriving assholes? That, just because they have a different sense of morality, they would all stoop to such a low level? Sure, if they purely interested in "increasing shareholder value," then I can understand that they would, but could there not be suppliers of pornography who care about public reccomendation/honour/honesty?

Re:So you are saying... (0, Flamebait)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438995)

My position is that all people, myself included, are "inherintly [sic] contriving assholes."

Re:So you are saying... (-1, Flamebait)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439165)

Sorry about the spelling error, asshole.

Re:So you are saying... (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439233)

but could there not be suppliers of pornography who care about public reccomendation/honour/honesty?

There could be, but I wouldn't put my money on it :)

Re:So you are saying... (1)

quintesse (654840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439255)

I think the "public" was only meant for the "recommendation", not for the "honour" part ;-)

So they might not care much for "public honour" (in the meaning of being decently clothed in a public place) but they might care very much about being "honorable" (as in paying their actors enough for the job they're doing).

Re:So you are saying... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441407)

So you are saying... that all pornographers are inherintly contriving assholes?

Well... virtually *all* pornography *is* contrived. Counterexamples appreciated :) If you can find any...

So yeah, pornographers are, in general, contrivers.

And almost all porn frequently involves ass holes in one capacity or another, whether passive or active.

Re:So you are saying... (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441577)

I should have said "are we to assume that anyone in the porn industry is less deserving of a fair judgement than anyone else?" By contriving, I meant trying in every way to come out on top (pun sort of intended) and as far in the black, rather than the red, as possible (pun definetly intended), while ignoring ethics and values. I am not sure how ethics in the porn industry are compared to big business, but I can't imagine them to be much worse. I think there have been a few nice CEOs, and a certain percent who obey the rule of law, even when it dosen't benifit them.

I'll try to be more definet next time so people don't play with my wording.

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16447779)

I'd say that 99% of them give the other 1% a bad name.

Don't get me wrong; I see plenty of malware in more "innocent" sites like those offering free smileys and screensavers (99.9999% chance they install some evil bastard program), but nearly all the non-free porn sites I've seen had some kind of scam going. Even non-porn affiliate programs, like one I used to manage, had the bastards horn in and try to slip their XXX sites onto a list that existed for a non-pornographic reason where they weren't relevant or welcome.

Don't believe me? Maybe I'll just go research a few of them to prove it...

Re:No... (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16449729)

I believe you, I can imagine it would be a crooked industry, but still, your 1% cannot be written off as 0.00000%.

Wow, this is a clueless post (5, Insightful)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438961)

Hello. Look at my site name to get some idea of my credibility.

First, this issue has been around since long before 2004. The tidbit that the OP seized on to write this remarkably clueless post is about Zango in particular, not the practice in general. Hello? Adult innovated affiliate programs, and is still far ahead of mainstream when it comes to combating fraud. Affiliate code rewriting is a huge issue, not just for adult, but for companies like Amazon (who Zango also targets).

Second, the idiotic "pornographers like adware except when it hurts them" is, well, idiotic. It's like saying "programmers write viruses but also complain about them; what hypocrites!" The fact is, there are tens of thousands of adult businesses on the internet, employing hundreds of thousands of people. Some of 'em (both businesses and people) are unethical. That doesn't make the rest of us hypocritical for disliking unethical business practices, nor does it in any way diminish the injury that legit businesses suffer from scammers.

It's easy to pick on the adult industry. There *are* scammers, spammers, and other losers who give the industry a bad name -- just like there are unethical stockbrokers, lawyers, programmers, doctors, etc. Plus, people are just uncomfortable with sex, which makes it that much more tempting to go on the attack rather than be seen as "soft on porn" (har).

But please, the takeway from this OP should be "when people have an ax to grind and don't care much about facts, legitimate issues come out seriously twisted."

-b

Re:Wow, this is a clueless post (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439045)

Completely.

Also unaddressed are IE bugs that allow js to create cookies that CAN'T be re-overwritten by legitimate pages.

Easier to attack (-1, Troll)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439239)

The people in the porn industry is easier to attack because it is porn, just because it is porn. But many of the site owners support spam and other "bad" forms of advertising.

If they are serious, they should terminate Zango immediately -- if the accusations are true, and donate their money to charity.

[rant mode on]
The site owners (the porn sites) make it easier to attack them as they support spam. They claim that they have a no tolerance spam policy, but they don't do anything to discourage it. They will terminate the spammer, if ever caught, and keep the money for themselves. If the site owners were serious about spammers, they would make available the affiliate information when referred to a web site -- so when I go to a web site through spam, I can click on a link and find out the sender.
[rant mode off]

Clueless (3, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439507)

Did you even read the GP's post? The point you utterly failed to grap is that sweeping accusations like "The site owners (the porn sites) make it easier to attack them as they support spam.[snip]" are wrong. Believe it or not, most adult site owners out there don't "support spam"--there just happens to be a EXTREMELY prolific minority. And even if the majority did support spam, that doesn't excuse blanket accusations that demonize the entire porn industry.

If they didn't (0)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440589)

If they didn't support spam, why do they keep the money generated from spammers that they cancelled?

If they didn't support spam, why don't they display the spammer's information on a page that shows that the spammer had been terminated?

If they didn't support spam, why don't they put a simple link on the landing page which displays the verified affiliate information?

I had a web site owner that I sued, having the same affiliate with two different accounts. Of couse they settled, so I didn't get the ask the next logical question.

Re:If they didn't (1)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#16440985)

So in short, No, you didn't read the GP post.

You evidently also didn't understand the post to which you replied.

It's simple really (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445765)

Adult-site owners and spammers both sell sex for the same reason: it sells. This does not mean that the majority of adult site owners like spam, just that those that send spam like to send sexual content (because it gets them cash).

That's like saying that Apple supports spam because of all the spammers/popup-advertisers that used the bullshit "free iPod" gimmick.

Mod Parent Post DOWN! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439875)

Parent poster runs a web site profiting off of BDSM which has been proven to lead to rape, torture, serial murder, and child abuse. Please take a stand against [crimelibrary.com] sexual assault [endabuse.org] and mod the parent poster DOWN!

THANK YOU!!

Re:Mod Parent Post DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439973)

Great proof there retard.

Re:Mod Parent Post DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16440245)

That's chilling material you're linking to. An excerpt for those who are link-shy:
Sadistic Sexual Fantasies

Since we're talking about the mind, what is your definition of sexual fantasy?


I think sexual fantasy is nothing more than the mental imagery of a desired event. You conjure up in your mind something you want to do. Fortunately for society, most of us do not act on those fantasies. Yet some do, with horrendous results.

In your work, have you come across a sexual fantasy that really surprised you?

Yes, many times. This goes back to the idea that there are no absolutes, the infinity of darkness. One such case involved a gynecologist who made a videotape of himself interacting with a prostitute. This videotape was destroyed by the investigative agency after I had been permitted to view it. The doctor hired the prostitute and gave her a gynecological examination. He then asked her to lie perfectly still as though she were a corpse and he had vaginal intercourse with her.

Following that, he murdered her and raped her corpse. He then removed her breasts and put them on himself. He decapitated her, removed her arms and legs and raped the torso. The video ended, but it is known that he disposed of the body and left the area. Unexplainably, he sent the videotape to a reputable associate who turned it into the police. The police linked this crime to other murders and moved to extradite the doctor. He was arrested and, on the day the police arrived, he committed suicide.

There are several questions, some of which I feel comfortable in addressing but won't here for lack of time:

      1. Why did he pay a prostitute to submit to a gynecological examination when he is paid every day to do the same thing?
      2. Why did he ask her to lie perfectly still during sex when he knew he was going to have her dead body to act on in a few minutes?
      3. Why did he amputate her breasts and wear them?
      4. Why did he amputate her limbs and have sex with her torso.
      5. Why did he decapitate her?
      6. Why did he make the videotape?
      7. Why did he send the videotape to a reputable associate?
      8. Why did he allow himself to be arrested?
      9. Why did he then kill himself?

Ah, the infinity of darkness!

What are the components of an offender's fantasy?

First of all, there are two broad categories of sexual offenders. In Dark Dreams, I call them the "Impulsive" offender and the "Ritualistic" offender. This is somewhat similar to the concept of "Organized" and "Disorganized" killers that John Douglas and I originated way back in 1980.

The Impulsive offender is the most common sexual offender and the least successful in evading detection. His fantasies are two dimensional and simplistic: Victim Demographics and Self Perception.

The Ritualistic offender is the least common, but most successful in evading detection. These men have very rich, complex, and interactive fantasies. Their fantasies consist of five dimensions: Victim Demographics, Relational, Paraphilic, Situational, and Self Perception. The book goes into much more detail on this topic.

You stress the fact that a sexual sadist is a very particular type of offender and that other types of criminals are often confused with being a sexual sadist. What is a sexual sadist?


A sexual sadist is an individual who is aroused by the suffering of another. It is not the infliction of pain that is arousing to the sadist, but the victim's suffering. The sadist may use physical or psychological pain as a tool to elicit the suffering, but it is the suffering that is crucial to his arousal.

Several behaviors are confused with sexual sadism. One of the most common is cruelty during crime. Sexual crimes, by their nature, are cruel and sometimes the victims are beaten or murdered. But infrequently, victims encounter a sexual sadist. I believe that we have overused the term "sadism" in our society and that accounts for a lot of the confusion. In my opinion, the sexual sadist is responsible for between 7-10% of sexual crimes. I have termed him the great white shark of sexual predators. When he strikes, there is no question of sexual sadism being present.

Why is there confusion about the concept?

As I have mentioned, there is a great deal of cruelty in crime and the media refer to that cruelty as sadistic, which is then misinterpreted by the public as sexually sadistic. Mental health and law enforcement professionals contribute by misinterpreting a cruel rapist as being a sexual sadist. There is also confusion between what is termed the "Sadistic Personality Disorder" and "Sexual Sadism." The SPD involves a person who enjoys embarrassing or humiliating others, primarily in the work or social environments, and the distinction between the two is simple, but you have the term 'sadistic' used in both. An analogy would be the "Paranoid Personality Disorder" and "Paranoid Schizophrenic."

Why is it important to be clear about it?

To reduce the confusion for law enforcement, mental health and students. They need to understand that there is an important distinction between cruelty and sadism. A lot of your "impulsive" offenders are physically cruel because they are angry and also because they lack the skills to verbally control their victims, so they resort to physical violence. Generally speaking, sexual sadists are highly "ritualistic" offenders and are intentionally and methodically cruel for the purpose of achieving sexual arousal.

Is there any treatment or intervention for such people?

I know of no successful treatment programs for adult criminal sexual sadists. It is important that all four terms, adult criminal sexual sadists, be used. In my experience, they begin fantasizing about such acts at a very early age. I write about a case in Dark Dreams which occurred in South Dakota and the offender, Robert Anderson, began talking to friends about his sexually sadistic fantasies at 14 years of age. If he began talking about such fantasies at that age, when did he first begin thinking about them?

Re:Mod Parent Post DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16443985)

How the fuck is the parent flamebait?

For the same reason we disallow child porn, we should disallow BDSM: it leads to people getting hurt. BDSM is, essentially, rape under a different and legal name. This should change.

Re:Mod Parent Post DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16445443)

Do you know the actual reason we disallow child porn or are you just on the slow bus?

Re:Mod Parent Post DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16445727)

So you support rape? That's sick.

Oh dear. (-1, Flamebait)

ScouseMouse (690083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438965)

Oh dear, the people who most benefit from scumware are complaining about it when someother person pays the scumware providers more money, and it doesnt promote them any more?

Damn, Something should be done.

I suggest laughing.

Re:Oh dear. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439001)

Don't be stupid. They lose money on a legitimate referral because Zango is STEALING it. Who cares what type of business it is.

Zango funds terrorist groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16438969)


posting anon , but i have heard (via Islamic websites as iam a researcher) that quite a few (more than 5) fundamentalist groups are using Zango to gain revenue for their causes, in fact its so widespread on middle east forums and sites iam sure this hasnt come to the attention of DHS faster, a browse through Zangos financial records and logs would reveal some interesting locations for payments and business relationships.

Re:Zango funds terrorist groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439345)

You know, just because a fundamentalist group happens to Islamic doesn't mean that they are terrorists. In the US we don't have any laws against fundamentalists groups, in fact we often tolerate them, and sometimes will even forgive.

For instance take the case of Eric Robert Rudolph. Here is a Christian, although fundamentalists would say that Catholics are not Christian, who planted a number of bombs, killed an off duty police officer and a women. He was likely helped by like minded Christians for years in his effort to avoid arrest. For his crimes of creating terror over a number of years and killing two people, remember one of them a cop, the Government did it's best to avoid the death penalty. I guess since he was mostly killing homosexuals, mostly, they thought it was ok.

Contrast this to John A. Muhammad, who was convicted on circumstantial evidence, very strong evidence to be sure, and the various State and Federal governments were tripping over each other for the opportunity to kill the man. No talk of plea deal. No talk of forgiveness. Just a feeding frezy by the prosecutors to be The One to kill this man.

Fortunately sometimes Christianity is not enough of defense, as Timothy Mcveigh learned. But hey, when your faith bring you to murder children, what can you expect. And to note, Mcveigh never said the he would have changed targets to save the children. I guess we should follow our own advice and not use children to protect the targets that other believe are legitimate. Not even the 9/11 terrorists targeted the children.

I think the most dangerous part of this 'fear the islamic terrorist mantra' is that we forget how many people we lose to the Christian terrorists, so many that we have had to pass ill though out 'hate laws'. We would probably save more lives by labeling Jerry Falwell as a terrorist, for example for inciting god christians to kill homosexuals, than all we have done in Iraq.

Uh... yea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16441445)

"iam a researcher"

What are you researching? How to Write So That You Seem Somewhat Comprehensible?

"Adult" webmasters (3, Funny)

secolactico (519805) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438985)

That threw me in a loop for a bit until I realized you meant "Adult sites" webmasters.

I mean, come on, it sounded like all those under 18 webmasters caught on early and us clueless adults as usual are two years too late to the party.

Hootie and the Blowfish's still cool, right? Or where they ever? Is it cool to say cool? Where did I put my Ace of Base CD?

Re:"Adult" webmasters (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439487)

That threw me in a loop for a bit until I realized you meant "Adult sites" webmasters.
I mean, come on, it sounded like all those under 18 webmasters caught on early and us clueless adults as usual are two years too late to the party.

I did the same thing. Although I was confusing Zango with 'Zanga' and was thinking of Xanga [xanga.com] , which is known for having lots of kids like MySpace and the other social networking sites, so it made sense in context.

Re:"Adult" webmasters (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440057)

Hootie and the Blowfish's still cool, right? Or where they ever? Is it cool to say cool? Where did I put my Ace of Base CD?

Check upstairs. Your Mom might have borrowed it.

Over 18 == porn? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 6 years ago | (#16442505)

That threw me in a loop for a bit until I realized you meant "Adult sites" webmasters.

Same here. I was already mildly annoyed at the tendency of people to use "adult" as synonymous with "porn". Like "adult entertainment". Lots of adults can enjoy non-porn related entertainment. Just call it what it is, okay?

"adult webmasters" (0, Redundant)

shawnce (146129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16438991)

I guess the child webmasters don't care.

Re:"adult webmasters" (0, Troll)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439287)

They're too busy chatting with Mark Foley.

Mod parent Redundent? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439911)

Look at the title and date of the comment above parent, titled "Adult" webmasters and dated Saturday October 14, @05:04PM, posted by user "secolactico". It is curious that the time of the parent is also Adult webmasters, and it just happens to have been posted the same exact minute as the previous post. Coincidence?

Think of the children? (2, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441423)

Won't someone *please* think of the adults???

The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439017)

A malware company vs a web industry that generally loads its pages with popups and uses deceptive linking/indexing techniques. Come on, do we HAVE to root for one of them to win?

Re:The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (2, Insightful)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439067)

Your generalisation is akin to saying all car drivers are hit-and-runners.

Re:The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (5, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439441)

A malware company vs a web industry that generally loads its pages with popups and uses deceptive linking/indexing techniques. Come on, do we HAVE to root for one of them to win?
Please take the time to read some of the posts from adult webmasters elsewhere in this thread, and take this opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

Some adult webmasters are unethical. They are, in my experience, (as an adult webmaster and occasional performer in the fetish industry) very much in the minority. Most people involved in the adult industry that I have met personally are honest and hard working individuals.

In fact, I quit my job working in a very large and well-known international corporation because the things asked of me were far less honest and ethical than anything I have been asked to do in the adult industry. So, before you cast any stones Dilbert...

Please understand that those of us working in the adult industry are under far far more scrutiny from the authorities than any other legal business. We need satisfied customers (take the pun anyway you like) as much as any other business. Thus, using adware, deceptive linking techniques, and (does anyone still?) gazillions of pop-ups, is not a good business strategy.

I know that some webmasters do this, but so also do many from other realms too. Even companies like BMW have used SEO companies to forge page ranking. And don't even get me started on the music industry...

Porn is, in my opinion, far more honest and ethical than most other industries. So, enjoy it knowing that you are supporting hard working small businesses everywhere.

Re:The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16441231)

Please understand that those of us working in the adult industry are under far far more scrutiny from the authorities than any other legal business. We need satisfied customers (take the pun anyway you like) as much as any other business. Thus, using adware, deceptive linking techniques, and (does anyone still?) gazillions of pop-ups, is not a good business strategy.

True, but the ones I think are the problem are not those making and selling content. The problem is advertisers that have absolutely no content and are in the referal business with sites full of advertisements instead of content. The sites full of banner ads that link to sites full of banner ads that link to sites full of banner ads are a marketing rip-off. Those who have been in the maze and find no content refer to the mesh of advertisements with no content as circle jerk sites. They got the name as they simply stirr the advertising dollar pot. Each hopes they get more click through clicks so they make more than they spent to get people referred to their site. They hope to get good Google listings so they don't have to pay out much for banner exchange, but collect by sending visitors out to other sites while collecting the comission.

Needless they are doing the industry harm by getting in the way of consumers and the content.

Re:The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (3, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441457)

...hard working individuals

Man, the jokes just write themselves, don't they?

Re:The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#16442013)

Dude, you can't blame the him. I don't mean to troll, but you guys aren't going to be knighted any time soon.

No matter how honest you think you are, you are still in the business of lonely housewives and anal penetration. When you've entered that territory, petty things like keeping your word, being virtuous, good manners..etc cease to be of much interest. Imagining one of guys trudging off to work in a suit after driving the kids to school is just plain hard. I'm trying to say you're never going to make it on Oprah, dude.

As for the argument about filthyness and honesty being entirely detached, and that large numbers of people are involved..etc - it's pointless. You guys are up there in the league with the prostitution industry and the drug trafficking industry, in terms of public opinion. You all give us plenty of entertainment, and there are many honest employees of both who will give us our money's worth, but you know what..they're not going to make it on Oprah either!

Besides, why are you worked up over these ultra-conservative, backwards-thinking people? They're so out of this century right? If I was producing videos of orgies the last thing I'd be losing sleep over is low public status. Just do what you can to get your money back from those horrible Zango people, and stop trying to convince us of your decency.

P.S: How long do you plan to be in this business? What does a career look like?

Such a HONEST business! (1)

krell (896769) | more than 6 years ago | (#16443973)

This from the same guys who set up "www.whitehouse.com" to trick those looking for government information....

Re:Such a HONEST business! (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16448235)

www.whitehouse.com is great. It teaches people that not all TLDs are .com.

Re:Such a HONEST business! (1)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16452785)

Shouldn't it be whitehouse.edu then?

Re:Such a HONEST business! (1)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16452823)

www.whitehouse.com is great. It teaches people that not all TLDs are .com.

Shouldn't it be whitehouse.edu then?

Re:The battle of Stalingrad all over again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16444209)

"Please understand that those of us working in the adult industry are under far far more scrutiny from the authorities than any other legal business."

I would say that may have something to do with the fact the "industry" your in has people willing to make money off pics & movies featuring girls with livestock, not to mention child exploitation & rape fantasy material.

I'm not saying all porn on the net is bad,evil stuff; much of it is really quite entertaining, but any "industry" that has people in it willing to do harmful things to others for profit is absolutely going to come under scrutiny fairly quickly.

PS: Adult web masters: Please stop attaching the word "INDUSTRY" to the work you do that word makes it sound like you manufacture vaccuum cleaners or toasters for a living.

Higher standard (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445799)

Indeed, sometimes the standard falls with public perception. If they went after a bunch of people from the Humane Society, many might be up in arms because they associate that group with good intentions and cuddly animals. Now if it's a bunch of adult sites that are targetted.... well they're going after those nasty perverts, and it's not so bad (in the opinion of many).

Would you like to lose money this way? (1)

linkex (970789) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439135)

A lot of sites make thier money from persuading you to click links to commercial sites where you might buy something. Just because the links are coming from "illmoral" sites, does it make it acceptable to "hijack" thier referals?

Re:Would you like to lose money this way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439785)

I run 100's of both adult and mainstream sites.

  The only reason a site is in business is to make the user click to buy something. You should get a clue.

Zango targets all merchants, not just adult sites (5, Insightful)

bedelman (42523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439141)

Ben Edelman here. I wrote the piece cited [benedelman.org] in the original post.

These Zango practices target all affiliate merchants, not just adult web sites. Earlier this morning I happened to see Match.com (a mainstream dating site) facing commission theft by Zango and a Zango advertiser. I document this kind of problem on an ongoing basis, and it remains remarkably widespread, even 2+ years after I first wrote about it.

I'm not here to criticize the adult industry or to defend it. But Zango's practices should rise or fall on their own merits. In my view, this is a scam -- asking a merchant to pay a commission to Zango or a Zango advertiser, when the user had already, independently reached the merchant's site. Much as some folks may not like adult sites, they ought not be defrauded by spyware or spyware-using affiliates.

adult content system administrators (3, Interesting)

Raleel (30913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439195)

It continually impresses me how advanced the system administrators for adult sites are. The continually push the boundaries of streaming video, audio, bandwidth, efficiency, and security. I don't know if I should be surprised or not, but the selling of sex seems to drive technology like nothing else.

Re:adult content system administrators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16440007)

Better than war.... Make love not war might have some merits!

Re:adult content system administrators (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 6 years ago | (#16444927)

To get a better understanding of *why* adult sites push the technology envelope, don't think of it as the "selling" of sex, because that's not what drives innovation. What's pushing the technology envelope is the *demand* for sexual content. People, no matter what they claim, simply can't get enough of it. As always, demand drives supply, and smart people know that you make more money when you better serve your customers' needs.

-b

Ways to fix this? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#16445841)

Now, not that they should have to, but what ways could the adult sites find or use to prevent Zango et al from stealing their links? A couple of thoughts I had would be along the lines of having a timed javascript that runs and corrects the URL's or textboxes, hidden boxes, or cookies etc that contain the site # that zango is stealing.

Internet built on porn (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439447)

Seems like the person who wrote this article completely missed the point of what he/she was reading.. The recent furor isnt over "adware" or even "zango" , its about companies selling out their affiliates to these companies..

Adware and popups have been around forever , neither of them focus soley on adult or mainstream.

example.. see the ad on top of this page.. zango overwrites it so you dont get paid.. i.e. you make less money.. your ads are served by adbrite.. how would you feel if you found out adbrite was paying someone else to cut you out.. ? Thats what this is about..

But i suppose this is ok with you because ? umm ... ( birds chriping ) because porn is bad mkay...

You calim the adult industry is just learning about this , and now solving it.. whereas you have known about it the whole time and still arent doing anything to stop it.

Maybe your just a bit jealous the adult industry is doing something instead of being apathetic and letting yourself be abused

The Internet is for porn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16439563)

Grab your dick and double-click for Porn, Porn, Porn!

G'damnt (0)

PDG1 (990288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439849)

freaking! I'm in Germany right now..
on my host families computer
and they have this Zango snot on their comp
I mean... I took a tid-bit of a look at it to see what it was... but I can't understand German that well so I didn't know what it said
but I kinda got the idea that it was some pretty shifty stuff when it started popping up IE windows of disgust and ads

now i know it's crap!
I'm going to try and explain this article to my host family and get to the bottom of why this scheiße is on this machine!

Rock on
~Ryan

cookie stuffing (1)

darkchubs (814225) | more than 7 years ago | (#16439895)

It's called cookie stuffing and .. if they want to stop it they can like... not pay Zengo or whatever the russian scumware company is. I worte elaborate affilite tracking software a few years ago and we had to deal with this... a more elaborate solution would be to keep a session with an image to pick off the IP to host relationship..

The big secret (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440195)

1. The big secret is that most internet traffic is porn,
and
2. Most malware is hosted on porn sites

so probably the porn sites should have all the leverage needed with companies like Zango (and Cisco and ....)

Re:The big secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16440669)

1. This isn't a big secret, and

2. Sorry, not true. Most malware / spyware / scumware has come from fine companies like Gator and others who do things like "free smilies" and "nice screensavers". Your comments are very far from the reality of the net today.

Re:The big secret (1)

OppView (880517) | more than 6 years ago | (#16442023)

2. Most malware is hosted on porn sites

How would you know this??

Are you addicted or infected?

OV

so let me see if I get this (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16440205)

so if some poor schmuck's computer is infected with the Zango adware, when they go to certain pages that have annoying popup banners, zango hijacks the url request to the banner site and injects its own "affiliate code" ("pay THIS spammer for that popup" code), so instead of the web page owner getting paid to spam you, Zango gets paid for the spam.

I don't see how this affects the owner of the computer. I also don't see how this can be illegal. However, I can see how this may violate the contract terms that Zango has with the banner sites that are cutting the checks.

Keep in mind though, the banner sites have already gotten their "impression" so they have their goods. The only thing they can really do about this is to slap Zango on the hand and pay the impression count money to the web page owner where it was intended. So, does Zango really hurt the banner site? They got their impression remember, they have their goods, it's just a matter of who gets the coin for it. Seems like more of a headache for the banner sites to muck with it, it's not like the web admins that use the banners are likely to abandon them, though no doubt they are sore about losing maybe 30% of their ad revenue.

So unless a lot of web sites go away from using the Zango-targetted ads and force the banner sites to bar the practice, I don't see any motivation for them to force Zango to do jack. Though the web page owners will no doubt do a great deal of whining.

Know what I say to them? (the spammers/banner whores) "waaaah!"

let them kill each other.

Re:so let me see if I get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16441461)

You seem to think that adult websites pay-per-impression, that's very, very rare. Most adult sites operate either pay-per-click, pay-per-signup or revenue sharing.

Any of which are very suseptable to this type of fraud.

And for the record, I've worked in several jobs, including briefly as an adult webmaster. The vast majority of people I dealt with were decent people. I've also worked for a law firm, and they were the most morally bankrupt people I've ever met.

Apart from the law firm, in my experience the smaller the business the more ethical it is, and the majority of adult firms I dealt with were small companies.

There are some turds in the adult industry, but they are in the vast minority.

More than honest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16440637)

I would trust an adult website with my money over paypal.

I had a subscription to an adult site and I didn't cancel the subscription 14 days before the renewal as I should, so my subscription was automaticly renewed and I even used it a few days of that month until I wrote them an e-mail cancelling my subscription. They said okay we will transfer back your money, and I had my money back the very next day. I didn't have to fight over my money. They just said; "Ok, anything else we can do for you?".

The porn industry is very serviceminded if you know what I mean ;)

I think it was ICRA who did the transactions.

LOL (1)

Dexenian (1010477) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441357)

LOL, this is the funniest thing I've read in a week, good stuff :D

Verbal diarrhea... (1)

the real jayeff (1013745) | more than 6 years ago | (#16441573)

Verbal diarrhea is remarkably like the real thing: it splatters uncontrollably in all directions and leaves a nasty smell. Let's start by referring to Zango and the like by some name other than adware. ICQ is adware and no-one, whatever their role in internet commerce, can reasonably take exception to "free" anything which puts a simple promo in front of its users, which they are free to ignore. Scumware functions quite differently: a surfer attempts to visit a site and another site is popped over his intended destination. For the surfer that is as bad, but admittedly no worse, than how he is treated by many sites - adult and mainstream. It is in effect a console. But from a commercial point of view, there is no similarity at all. Firstly because a webmaster who has chosen to keep his site free of such tricks, is helpless to prevent his visitors being exposed to them anyway. Secondly because he has no financial interest in these consoles and they - to all practical intents and purposes - "steal" a percentage of his sales. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be smug about this, because mainstream sites are every bit as vulnerable as are adult sites. I have worked in online adult for more than 10 years. Yes the industry has many people who came from flipping hamburgers and will return to flipping hamburgers. That is pretty much inevitable, since a lot of people still believe it is a route to instant riches. There are many who owe their success entirely to timing and have wasted years bragging about their new cars and houses, rather than learning anything about business. Another inevitability in view of the gold-rush which was online porn during the mid-to-late 90's. And unfortunately some of these people built up big companies which still have a significant presence. In short, even without getting into the material that adult webmasters handle, the industry as a whole is indeed wide open to criticism. But it is a myth that mainstream internet commerce occupies higher ground. Replicated content, viruses, consoles, SE spammers, you name it. If it exists in adult online, it exists in mainstream. As to the charge that we only just got around to noticing Zango and their ilk, that is simply nonsense: the current interest is just the latest skirmish between the white hats and the black hats. Unfortunately the good guys aren't any more likely to win this time than on previous occasions, but this is a process every industry apparently has to put itself until it finally matures and sidelines the cowboys. Anyone in mainstream who derives any pleasure from watching our growing pains, might want to ponder on the reality that with much weaker webmaster communities, it will take mainstream commerce much longer to rid itself on those who prey on legimitate businesses.

Pot meet kettle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16441823)

I have NEVER seen an adult site that didn't employ deceptive tactics or practices.
or at least supported the garbage tactics paying people who do use deception to gain the site traffic.

they really can't say anything about zango. just because zango trumped their evil practices doesnt give them any right to complain.

popups, popunders, adware, spyware, misleading links, outright fake links and pictures, banner ads all over the place. its all garbage. stealing referal urls isnt any worse.

now shut the hell up and go make some more porn for us. very few people can wank to your whining.

Zango = Extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16443245)

Companies are bidding on their trademarked names as well as keywords to prevent the competition from grabbing these surfers.

This screams extortion to me as the companies are almost forced into buying Zango and ripping off their own affiliates in order to compete.

It will be interesting to see the People Vs Zango soon ;-)

Why Porn V Mainstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#16443383)

Why not webmasters V companies that steal our affilate revenue?

We are all getting screwed right?

Zango must be laughing their asses off watching this.

Welcome to Zango.com! (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16448151)

Heh. Welcome to Zango.com. This is Zango.com. Welcome. This is Zango.com. Welcome to Zango.com. You can do anything at Zango.com. Anything at all. The only limit it yourself.
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