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Skimwords

QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

So I see that this site has started using skimwords, one of the universally loathed ad "services" that inserts random advertising links in text.  It's not quite the worst sort of advertising out there; auto-play audio and video are worse.  But advertising links inserted into text are bad enough that if I can't figure out how to disable them, I won't visit the site.

If you stick to game-specific areas, you might not know what I'm talking about; check the hardware forum for threads with several inserted ad links per post.  This makes the hardware section of your site look like it's completely overrun by spambots.  And that's not OK.

I get that you need revenue.  And I'm sympathetic to that.  Really.  I try not to disable more ads than are necessary to make a site functional.  Unfortunately, AdBlock Plus lets skimwords links through for some inexplicable reason if you select "allow non-obtrusive advertising", so now I have to disable that option to use this site.

Comments

  • BigdaddyxBigdaddyx California, WAPosts: 1,985Member Uncommon
    For some reason it only happens when i am using internet explorer or firefox. It doesn't happen on chrome.
  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,058Member Uncommon

    It's starting to look like the April Fools joke tweet reported by Teala here from Bill Murphy may not be an April Fools joke after all.  Some sites will remove their skimword links if you pay them. I haven't seen any announcement about either the skimwords or a subscription here.

    Admin has stated in the past such links would never appear here.

    Edit: They are also now showing up in other forum thread posts

  • StizzledStizzled Springfield, MOPosts: 1,264Member Uncommon
    I haven't seen it at all yet, I guess Adblock is doing its job.


  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    I have unchecked "allow acceptable ads" in my AdBlock Plus options in Chrome because of SkimLinks on this site.  

    I understand that hosting a site costs money, but I'm using my computer, my bandwidth, and my monitor and eyes to look at sites.  When advertisements affect the content of the media I'm looking at, I will do what I have to in order to avoid it.  I stopped watching television because commercials were excessive.  Hulu was a good alternative for a while, but now they have almost as many commercials as broadcast television, so now I only watch shows on Amazon.  If I have to avoid this site due to the forum text being altered, I will.

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    I haven't seen it at all yet, I guess Adblock is doing its job.

    You might be using a cached page or you don't allow the "acceptable ads" though.  Change your Adblock Plus option then shift-reload the page.

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,058Member Uncommon
    And it could be said that MMORPG.com is violating it's own rules of conduct regarding referral links.
  • StizzledStizzled Springfield, MOPosts: 1,264Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by syntax42
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    I haven't seen it at all yet, I guess Adblock is doing its job.

    You might be using a cached page or you don't allow the "acceptable ads" though.  Change your Adblock Plus option then shift-reload the page.

    I have it set to automatically clear my cache every time I close my browser, so I don't think that's it. Checking my options, I have it allowing acceptable ads. I still don't see them, but I'm sure it's a rather annoying issue for those who can.

     

    Edit: Well, nevermind. Literally, just after posting this, they started showing up. Yep that's horribly annoying. Disabled the acceptable ads and now everything is fine again.

     

    I realize that MMORPG.com has to get money from somewhere, but I'm not going to put up with cartoon tits and ass as well as seizure inducing flash ads all over my screen, and I'm certainly not going to put up with every other posted word being a link to something that has nothing to do with gaming.

     


  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    Geez it's the forum ok, I thought I got some malware and was going to start digging into the computer. The only thing I could remember doing was downloading Darkfall. I may have thought they gave me malware. I already ran over add-ons and plugins on the browser making sure something didn't get through.

    It looks nefarious because it doesn't show in the view source so it's being added after the DOM loads initially. It doesn't guess right either. I was talking about an Orange Winged Amazon bird in a post and it linked to amazon.com.

    It doesn't do it in Opera. ... digging.

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Is this in every thread ? I don't see it at all and I use chrome.
  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    Pretty much sitewide, here's an image of it using FF.

    http://oi61.tinypic.com/2u9iaz6.jpg

  • GruntyGrunty TexasPosts: 7,058Member Uncommon
    The links are added after the page loads which tells me they do not individually have the referral but that it is programmed into the page/site to send key words to a remote site and retrieve and insert these links. Someone else would be more capable of determining whether that is true. Or if it all occurs on the backend of the site and just appends the results to the page after creation.
  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

     

    Originally posted by Grunty
    The links are added after the page loads which tells me they do not individually have the referral but that it is programmed into the page/site to send key words to a remote site and retrieve and insert these links. Someone else would be more capable of determining whether that is true. Or if it all occurs on the backend of the site and just appends the results to the page after creation.

    Yeah it's adding a DOM element so it's Javascript based, you could probably disable Javascript and cut part of it out.

    See this.

    'parentNode.insertBefore' etc.

    http://i.skimresources.com/api/

    Also it's cookie related which is part of logging in. My Opera is set to force me to accept each cookie and when I don't accept I can see the page without the links without being logged in. I'm goofing with hosts right now.

    Confirmed, with JS off, it borks the editor but does stop the linking from happening in FF.

     

    Edit:

    Here's something simple for FF users to make it less annoying.

    Go to Tools > Web Developer > Scratchpad

    Copy paste in this code. Then save it somewhere so you can load it from the File menu when you visit Scratchpad again.

    http://pastebin.com/44NKuNSj

    All it does is a partial reverse of what their script does. It changes the link to nothing, removes the title (which is what you see when you hover) and sets the font color back to white.

    Each page load, run the scratchpad using CTRL+R or Execute > Run from the menu and it will remove all the colors etc. and make the post more like the default. You can also set it side by side with the site and right click that Scratchpad window then select Run, I find that fastest but I do have a widescreen monitor.

    You are editing your client side version of the page code - that's all - no one elses.  I know that's probably annoying to reload but it is a partial resolution. You could get all fancy and store the innerHTML and redraw then remove the node but this is easy for people to understand.

     

     

     

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,718Administrator Uncommon

    Hey guys,

    I am looking into this for you. Will have more info soon!

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,718Administrator Uncommon

    OK, so Craig tells me this is unintentional. We dislike these types of ads as much as you do and we'll be rectifying this ASAP. 

    UPDATE: This will be removed later today. Please consider re-adding us to your whitelists. We apologize for the inconvenience.

     

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MikeB

    OK, so Craig tells me this is unintentional. We dislike these types of ads as much as you do and we'll be rectifying this ASAP. 

    UPDATE: This will be removed later today. Please consider re-adding us to your whitelists. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Thank you.  I've switched my settings back and now your ads are getting through again, except for the Flash ads that don't work because I don't have Flash installed.  I'm not seeing any Skimlinks ads, so hopefully its fixed.

    One thing that I realized overnight is that it would really be a problem if someone asked for help in building a computer, and I posted a list of parts (or if Ridelynn or jdnewell or someone else did), and then Skimlinks inserted random links to other parts in my post so that the person followed the wrong links and bought the wrong parts.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,204Member Uncommon

    Thanks for fixing this. I will reenable the non-intrusive advert setting now.

    And yes, exactly to what Quizzical said in his last post.

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