Phandroid attaching ads to peoples posts? Really??

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  1. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    You guys have probably been doing this for a while but I visited thread I started a while back without logging in and noticed you guys are attaching ads to it. Is this really necessary, attaching ads to MY post?

  2. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    Unregistered users see an ad within the first post on every thread - it has been this way a long while. It's actually a fairly common practice on forums. You've not seen it before elsewhere?
    NightAngel79 likes this.
  3. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    Actually no I haven't. I see most forums block links until you sign (to AF's credit they don't do that) but haven't saw or at least noticed attached ads in a persons actual post before.
  4. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you! Administrator

    Hey dautley,

    First of all, thanks for your concern and we appreciate all the members such as you, even when you're offering criticism of all types. Phases is right in saying we've been doing this for quite awhile although we've recently adjusted the way this ad displays.

    I think the fact that you've been around for 2.5 years and are JUST recognizing this goes to prove a point: we protect our members from seeing ads while loosening things up a bit for guests. Perhaps we should make it a bit more obvious that registered members see far fewer ads?

    Again, as Phases has suggested, this ad type has become fairly standard for the more active forums. We're always interested in the feedback of our readers/members/users because it's you guys who make this place what it is. So thanks a bunch... let me know what you think about the above, and we'll definitely keep your feedback in mind as we continually try to improve the balance of user experience with "paying the bills".

    Thanks again for your honest criticism.
    You da man!
  5. Bob Blaylock

    Bob Blaylock Well-Known Member

    I've been on many forums, and I have never seen this either.

    To attach ads to a particular post, without the knowledge or consent of the author of that post, seems, to me, sleazy, dishonest, and unethical. It creates the implication of a personal endorsement by the author of any post to which such ads are attached, of the content of those ads. It amounts to a form of identity theft, in my opinion.

    I have no problem with appropriate use of ads, to generate revenue to support a site such as this. But to attach them to a user's post in this manner is not appropriate, and I find it highly surprising, and a bit disturbing, that anyone would think that it is, or claim that this is a widespread, accepted practice.
    dautley likes this.
  6. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    I think putting the ads between the first and second posts would be more appropriate than having them as an actual part of the post. As stated above, this way makes it seem like an endorsement by the poster.
  7. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    I originally linked Rob to this post because he is the one that deals with ads. Sometimes he asks my opinion, and often times I give it unsolicited, but this is his domain so I'll bow out in a sec and let him take this one .

    With that said though - I don't disagree that a second post in between the first couple might not be a better idea, by any means. It will push the rest of the content down a bit further, I guess is the drawback there. But I certainly don't agree that it would be considered identity theft nor inappropriate, unethical, etc etc, to do it this way.

    I see this all the time. When I say that, I say it because it is true - not because I've got some limited scope in what I see. I spend a large amount of time daily, just due to what I do, searching on Google for help and looking for discussions with nuggets of gold.. going to various forums. I'm sorry it's being considered "disturbing" that we consider it a widespread accepted practice. I hope that the thought there is more toward 'the way the internet is going' vs some sort of other comment on our thought process. When I say it is "fairly common", I say it because it is in fact fairly common - not because I'm trying to give some excuse.

    I just did a few searches, random topics. "linux help", "help forums", "car help forums", "real estate forum", "google forums". Within top two or three results for each:

    Tell me URl's of Lab scenarios for practice and preapare for RHCE exam

    Information - Acer delays Windows RT tablets | PC Help Forum

    WHat is Grand Prix - Automotive Forums .com Car Chat

    Hello everyone

    need help

    I'm not making this stuff up, feel free to search around and see.

    Honestly, I think the severity of this is being taken a bit far. I mean really - this is a pretty minor thing to complain about. I'm not trying to disregard any feelings here when I say that. I'm just saying.. if this is the biggest thing we catch flack about this quarter we're doing darn well! Everyone knows they are ads when they see them. They clearly say it, and I think most people that live on the internet skim right by it if they don't want to pay attention to it.

    The feedback is of course welcomed and we may very well make some changes from it. I spend a pretty decent amount of time arguing on behalf of the user, and ad placement is often times part of that argument. But again, this is FAR less of a concern in my view than some of the ad placement here. The good news is changing this one to under the first post, should we decide that's a better option, is a much easier fix I would think then some of the other ad issues we've been discussing outside of this.

    p.s. Will fix typo in title for ya.
  8. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Agreed its not that big of a deal. I'm always logged in when I come here, so I don't even see it.
    NightAngel79 and scary alien like this.
  9. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    I would rather the ads be above or below the post, not in the post itself making it kind of look like the poster may have included it for some reason or another.
    People who start a lot of threads, guides, etc. should bookmark a few of them, log out and open the bookmark making sure they are still logged out, and see how they feel about it.
  10. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    Fair enough. I really wouldn't see a problem with posting under the first post instead of in it. I see a lot of that too and it doesn't keep me from scrolling down to the content.
  11. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    Honestly, this is the perfect time for this to have been mentioned, as last night we were on a nearly 3 hour conference call making a giant list of AF and Phandroid changes/improvements we want to have done over the coming weeks. We have an additional developer coming on board and are looking for things to give them so they familiarize themselves with our flagship sites.

    Should there be other suggestions or complaints, now is the perfect time to mention them via suggestion box or PM. ;)
    treb1797, scary alien and EarlyMon like this.
  12. Bob Blaylock

    Bob Blaylock Well-Known Member

  13. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    I'm not sure what else to tell you Bob. But I will say that the legal threat.. or observation.. or whatever that was wouldn't have any ground.

    "Anything you post within this system becomes the property of Android Forums and the administrative staff. This includes regular posts as well as Social Group postings (public and private) and the private messaging system."

    "You agree that the administrative staff of Android Forums reserve the right to remove, edit, move or close any thread, private message, forum, social group, or any other aspect of the site for any reason we see fit. You agree that the administrative staff has the right disable, ban, delete, or modify user accounts for any reason. "

    That's part of what you agreed to when you joined.

    And as shown here this is a pretty common practice. I hope these celebrities stay off the internet, so their peace of mind isn't blown into oblivion and they go around suing everyone.

    This is a free site for anyone to use, and with that comes some amount of compromise. Adjusting to our ad scheme is a big part of that.

    Now, am I saying we're giving you the bird and we're going to do what we want? Of course not! We're going to take this feedback and very possibly change the position of that ad to make people more comfortable. The biggest block there is probably just actually committing to doing it and getting it done. We have a billion things on our plate that take priority. I don't want to speak too soon, but I expect that neither of us truly care where that ad sits.

    So feel free to remind me every so often till we either do it, or I tell you (or whoever) that we're going to stay as is.

    But with that said, I'm certainly not going to sit here and argue with you about it. We've had speed bumps in the past and I don't want to go down this vs the man.. road with you again. Please try to remember, we are providing this platform for you and everyone else to use for free. We expect something in return, and probably the biggest part of that something is member compromise on ads. No one is being forced to accept it and forced to use this site. You have the choice. No one joins without knowing what they are agreeing to as we make it pretty clear.

    Like I said though, we will of course be thinking about this and surely talk about it on our next conference call and decide something. We want our members to be happy, believe it or not. :) If we decide to move the ad, rock on. We'll move it and I'll post the same here. If we decide to leave it.. well, I will be happy to defend the position.

  14. Kelmar

    Kelmar Done by choice VIP Member

    I've seen this exact same method used by MANY forums. I've also seen many that choose to do it as a separate post directly after the OPs post.

    When you first see it, it bothers you but after you see it a few times it bothers you less. I can definitely see the OPs concern but this it is considered a "normal practice" and not something shady that AF is doing IMO.
  15. Metroid Prime

    Metroid Prime Oil Can!!! Oil Can!!! VIP Member

    Just how the bills get paid around here IMO. :D
  16. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    I'm not sure about this part, I seem to recall Facebook and Youtube (among other larger companies) getting into hot legal or at least social water in the online community trying to claim ownership of all posts on there sites in the past, I don't believe that would be a fight Neverstill Media would really want if it ever came down to it. Just saying as it was brought up.
    Now I have to ask, Is Neverstill Media claiming ownership of all privately developed ROMS, root methods, Apps, Pictures, guides, materiel posted by developers in their section of the forum, Etc. posted on your site?
  17. Phases

    Phases Community Manager Administrator

    That's not really something we've had the need to sort through, I can't speak on that until I talk to Rob and the legal team.

    My point is - actual posts, editing of the posts, insertion of ads, these sorts of things we can do, and obviously do, without a fear or some crazy legal thing.

    We do these things in best interest of the site. We edit posts when they break rules, for example. We reserve the right to edit them whenever we see fit, but we don't just go doing that for the heck of it. We don't edit posts to change the idea of what someone says to make it seem as if they were the ones to say it, etc. We're not malicious or have foul intent or looking to trick anyone.

    We also don't take apps or code and claim it is ours, that would just be silly. But really all those sorts of things are outside the scope of this thread and not really something I should officially speak on until I talk to Rob.


    Bottom line - we're not some crazy organization that is trying to trick the public or steal code or put in fine print that says we own your whole existence. We are reasonable in what we do and only aim to protect ourselves when doing what we believe is reasonable - against those few who do not feel the same way.

    In no community like this does everyone see eye to eye with everything we or the mods do, so the fine print is put in to place as needed.

    That said, those are great questions and I think we are at a point now, as a site, to really have the justification to get more specific with the fine print so that none of those questions are left up in the air. For both member base and site benefit. I'm going to request a complete makeover of the registration rules.
    treb1797, scary alien, Atma and 8 others like this.
  18. dautley

    dautley VIP Member VIP Member

    I'm not criticizing here, just playing devils advocate, of course AF has every right to do what the want with just a post as far as deleting, editing for content, and attaching ads etc.
  19. sammyz

    sammyz LG Whiz Kid Guide

    yea, I dont want an ad in the middle of my posts...please move it to the beggining or end. :)
    kct1975 likes this.
  20. DragonSlayer95

    DragonSlayer95 Resident Air Bender Moderator

    My easy way to fix this when on mobile:

    Use phandroid app or tapatalk ads :)
    kct1975 likes this.
  21. Bob Blaylock

    Bob Blaylock Well-Known Member

    The issue isn't you seeing an ad. The issue is others seeing an ad, presented in such a manner as to imply that that ad has your personal endorsement, when you've never consented to give that endorsement.
  22. doniago

    doniago Well-Known Member

    I may be in the minority here, but I certainly wouldn't construe the appearance of an ad in one's post as an endorsement on their behalf, especially when it's prefaced with "Ads by Google", which makes it sound like a commercial service rather than something one inserted on their own. Looking at the screenshot, the term I would use to describe the break is "obvious".
    NightAngel79 and agentc13 like this.
  23. DragonSlayer95

    DragonSlayer95 Resident Air Bender Moderator

    Ahh sorry completely misunderstood :/
  24. Kelmar

    Kelmar Done by choice VIP Member

    I completely agree with this FWIW.
  25. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Bounty Hunter Administrator Moderator


    I find it hard to believe anyone would think that such an ad was ANYTHING other than a random internet ad. I believe it is the 'ads by google' part that would tip me off.

    That said, I'm always signed in, as are 1,000,000+ members who will never see those ads...
    doniago likes this.

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