Whether reader like it or not, money is what truly drives the web. Many sites have turned to advertising to pay the bills, and unfortunately a few have decided to sell their articles and blog posts to advertisers.
That is called native advertising, and I doubt very many readers like the idea that sites as well-respected as Forbes, The Atlantic, and Newsweek are selling their editorial content to advertisers – and then not telling readers.
That is why I am pleased to share a useful plugin that just came across my desk. It’s called Ad Detector, and according to the description it does exactly what the name implies:
AdDetector is a browser plugin that puts a red banner above articles that may appear unbiased but are actually advertisements. Its goal is to improve transparency in media and on the web.
I have installed the plugin, and I have had a chance to see it in action so I can confirm that it works. I’m told it is designed to detect content which is sponsored but not explicitly called out as such.
The plugin is available for Firefox and Chrome. Here’s what it will look like in action:
While I will not yell about companies making money this way, I also think that they should be more explicit about their actions. This plugin does what they will not.