Grrr, sometime over xmass, outbrain managed to embed its self into both the Guardian and NT news mobile sites. In both cases it tricked me into clicking it.I thought I was getting and interesting article form a kosha site, instead I'm tricked into going to an external site. To all intensive purposes this is as scam. The scam works something like this.
- the shite site pays good money for traffic to its site, that views its advertising (or in my case doesn't more on that later)
- outbrain gets to claim this is "hi quality" traffic, since it originated from the Guardian. and charge accordingly.
In reality this is all bollocks, I clicked it by accident thinking it was something else. As soon as I realised my mistake I hit back, didn't see the sub page is adds, or at least I can't remember them. But outbrain will claim that a middle class fella followed one of their links to their customers page. This setup only works because the shite pages's advertisers are being scammed. They're paying more money to the shite scam site than it is paying to outbrain for the the traffic, in turn outbrain must be paying less to the Guardian for its adds.
Isn't this nice we've got at least 3 players here, outbrain, the Guardian, and shite site (dot com). Only one is making meaningful content, the Guardian, the other two are parasites. The only way that this can work is if outbrian and the scam site are making money. Most of the pie is not going to the content creator.
Meanwhile the Guardian is putting up banners on my desktop (this is all on mobile) saying I'm using and add blocker and taking their money. I'm reminded of the one about the banker the worker, the immigrant and the 20 cookies. The banker takes 19 of the cookies and says to the worker, lookout the Immigrant is going to take your cookie.
I'm really sorry about the crumbs the Guardians getting, but I'm not prepared to live with Outbrain anymore, I'm a geek for gods sake, I shouldn't have to put up with this! Problem One, I have an android phone. Android's made by google google is the worlds largest advertising company ad blocking is NOT repeat NOT part of Googles plan. Problem Two, the internet add industry is dodgy has hell, even the add blockers are advertising funded yes, addblock plus accepts money from advertisers not to block their adds. And yes that's another advertising dollar that didn't make it to the Guardian's journalists.
Addbock Plus doesn't work on Android, well only if installed on a rooted device and then only on wifi, is set up right and doesn't block outbrain any way. Well that's useless. Turns out even the hosts file based AdAway doesn't block outbrain either. (EDIT this appears to be incorrect, it does, my bad)
I had to root my phone, which involves wipeing it and then i still have outbrain. In the end I have done it - obviously, I do actually recommend AdAway - I've always prefer KISS keep it simple stupid, and my hosts has always contained tons of overrides. Still does. For those who don't know what a hosts file is, its a list of ip address and domain names stored on you device that overrides the internet system. E.G.
in your hosts file will make your device think widgets.outbrain.com is your local device, thus saving you bandwith and preventing it from loading. Simples! The problem I got was AdAway didn't contain outbrain in the hosts file. I tried editing said hosts file, but failed and decided AdAway would just override it any way so I've writern a AdAway block file of my own its https://www.oceanhippie.net/hosts.txt - feel free to reference it, I intend to update it from time to time when stuff irritates me.
# [What the hell are these - block]
No I have no idea what "reporting.tvlicensing.co.uk" is or does, I caught my computer calling it and decided I wasn't interested in participating in whatever it does.
Please read this article, its good, tells you how web advertising really works. Pixelated faces and crime all round. http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-click-fraud/
image below sourced from bloomberg artical: