June 15, 2012
Google, Facebook, Others Team Up to Battle Malicious Ads
Much like how legendary comic book super heroes joined forces to form the Avengers or the Justice League, some of the super-powers of the Internet are teaming up to keep Web surfers safe from viruses, scams, and spyware associated with advertisements.
According to Engadget, AOL, Facebook, Google, Twitter and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) have formed the Ads Integrity Alliance, a group that has evolved from the StopBadware organization originally formed in 2006. The group will help develop policies, find a way to identify offenders and share their findings with policymakers and law enforcement officials, they added.
"No individual business or law enforcement agency can single-handedly eliminate these bad actors from the entire web. As StopBadware has shown, the best way to tackle common problems across a highly interconnected web, and to move the whole web forward, is for the industry to work together, build best practices and systems, and make information sharing simple," Eric Davis, Google's Global Public Policy Manager wrote in a June 14 blog entry.
"Bad ads reduce trust in the web and in online advertising. The web puts the world´s information at your fingertips and has given everyone a platform to speak, listen, engage and unite. The growth that businesses generate from online advertising has enabled an enormous part of this platform. We think the web is worth fighting for, which is why we strongly support the Ads Integrity Alliance´s efforts to tackle bad actors who seek to damage it," he added.
In May, Google reported that one million users had been warned about possible malware in their search results since the tech giant started adding them in the summer of 2011, according to PCMag reporter Stephanie Mlot. They also claim that they have disabled over 130 million ads and 800,000 marketers who violated their advertising policies over the past year, and that they are working to warn users whose computers are apparently infected with the DNSChanger malware, she added.
Despite the online heavyweights who have signed on to participate in the Ads Integrity Alliance, there are some notable absences -- namely Microsoft and Yahoo, said CNET's Elinor Mills. Maxim Weinstein, executive director of StopBadware, told Mills that he is hoping to add those two firms, and others, as members in the near future.