Andy on Twitter

  • Another great example of cluelessness. Google has a right to exercise inordinate power over its own products. Just… ,
  • via ... is hard for us here to laugh. States now run the country abs SOMO sitting on the sidelines. ,
  • Still a bit surprising to me how often people confuse a successful company with a monopoly. And how they will compl… ,
  • And what about the rest of the Internet... they'll ask to dip their hand into the Google coffers as well... this is… ,
  • And oh, isn't Google fully within its rights to say "nah, don't think so, "we'll just stop surfacing news we have t… ,
  • Wonder if our Govt will figure out how search works and understand we want to find news on Google and it takes us t… ,
  • Yep. 100% Chaos. Covid has exposed the need for a new approach to Federal vs. State level governance. Border cont… ,
  • WA Premier lashes NSW over virus and continues to be full of rhetoric and utter BS. VIC is doing worse than NSW by… ,
  • Spot on. A Royal Commission should be accelerated by the PM... Victoria’s brutal bureaucracy bereft of basic decency ,
  • A great read... So right... Let’s ask a better question: Why doesn’t advertising work (more often)? | WARC ,
  • Further evidence of the disgrace that is . It's time for a coordinated federal approach versus the… ,
  • Victoria still in a state of total disarray with regard to covid testing and comms. DHS phones melting down. Covid… ,
  • Big news from Team Dubber as we welcome Speik to the Dubber family and extend our global leadership in unified call… ,
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A Web Where Ignorance Is Bliss

At least for those looking to monetize it.

A story is unfolding about the third largest advertiser on Facebook. I’m not going to mention their name – I don’t want you to go there. Needless to say, they are monetizing the web by praying on the less savvy browser. What they are doing doesn’t seem illegal, but it is wrong.

What is it? It’s a paper-doll-type site that lets you put eyeglasses and mustaches on top of a funny looking baby’s face. At least that appears to be what it is; before you can do anything the site says you have to install "a browser plug-in to present an enhanced experience." If you do so, according to the fine print, your browser’s default search and home page will be switched to Bing. Once you do so, the affiliate company behind the toolbar, called Zugo, will capture a slice of the revenue whenever you click on a search ad…

… Microsoft’s Bing, like many other companies online, offers affiliate marketers a percentage commission for revenues they drive to the company. When Zugo gets users to use Bing, those users will click on some number of search ads. Bing will charge advertisers for those clicks, then give Zugo a percentage of that revenue.

At some point, there needs to be an ethical standard for affiliate marketers. And if the industry doesn’t do it, I’m sure the Government will. Marshall is right, prompting people to give access to their browser’s settings under false pretense, and then changing their search provider and home page, is unethical.

Facebook, like any fast growing, young enterprise, in an equally young industry, has it’s work cut out for it in managing dynamics like this. Moves like their late-night retraction of its controversial new feature that allowed 3rd party apps on the site to request the home addresses and phone numbers of users was a good move and gives me confidence that they will sort this as well.

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