Commit 5caaddad authored by Aral Balkan's avatar Aral Balkan

Implement Laura’s copy changes and other copy updates

parent 35dd9747
......@@ -6,7 +6,7 @@
## Trackers to the left of me, surveillance to the right…
**Alternet and The Drudge Report are so similar that they may as well be the same company.**
**Alternet and The Drudge Report are so similar that they may as well be the same organisation.**
Progressive news site Alternet comes in 11th with 74 trackers on the [Alexa Top 500 News sites list as ordered by number of trackers](/sites/alexa-top-500-news).
......@@ -14,7 +14,7 @@ Conservative news site [The Drudge Report](/sites/drudgereport.com) scores only
One’s the darling of the left, the other a beloved mouthpiece of the right. And yet they’re both in the exact same business: behavioural advertising. The bait they use to entice you to their sites is different but the goal is the same: to expose you to be [tracked, profiled, and manipulated](https://ar.al/notes/the-nature-of-the-self-in-the-digital-age/) by the 70+ third-party entities on their sites.
At least The Drudge Report doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. Alternet is actually worse as it touts itself as a non-profit that defends progressive values and so people are more likely to trust it and less likely to think that they are being tracked. Needless to say, Alternet, [people farming](https://ar.al/notes/the-nature-of-the-self-in-the-digital-age/) and social justice are not compatible.
At least The Drudge Report doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. Alternet is actually more deceptive as it touts itself as a non-profit that defends progressive values. People are more likely to trust the site and less likely to think they are being tracked and profiled. Needless to say, Alternet, [people farming](https://ar.al/notes/the-nature-of-the-self-in-the-digital-age/) and social justice are just not compatible.
## Ethical design violations
......
......@@ -10,15 +10,15 @@ Today, we are implementing a new policy to deal with malicious sites that active
The inspiration for this comes from a German tabloid, Bild, owned by Axel Springer. Last week, one of our customers <a href='https://twitter.com/dahanbn/status/758027299316965376'>alerted us that Bild was detecting Better and refusing people access to their site</a> unless they turned it off. This is unacceptable as turning Better means leaving yourself open to behavioural tracking and other web malware. As we’ve already seen, when [Forbes](/sites/forbes.com) did the same thing, [people who turned off their blockers were subsequently infected with malware served from Forbes’s advertising network](http://www.extremetech.com/internet/220696-forbes-forces-readers-to-turn-off-ad-blockers-promptly-serves-malware).
Bild chose to implement their blocker blocker in the core JavaScript file that runs their site. This means that we cannot trivially block their blocker detection without breaking the whole site. This is by design on Bild’s part. They want the site to fail if you are protecting yourself from trackers and malicous advertising. In fact, Bild has such low regard for their readers that [they their site doesn’t load at all if JavaScript is disabled](https://twitter.com/aral/status/758234563663495168)
Bild chose to implement their blocker blocker in the core JavaScript file that runs their site. This means that we cannot trivially block their blocker detection without breaking the whole site. This is by design on Bild’s part. They want the site to fail if you are protecting yourself from trackers and malicious advertising. In fact, Bild has such low regard for their readers that [they their site doesn’t load at all if JavaScript is disabled](https://twitter.com/aral/status/758234563663495168)
In this instance, we were able to block Bild’s blocker detection by finding [the exact tracker they test for](/trackers/smartadserver.com) and allowing it to pass their detection script. So, “strike two!”, Bild.
[Wired](/sites/wired.com) have taken a similar approach. Their blocker detection is also in a JavaScript file called core. However, blocking this file on Wired doesn’t have a hugely negatively impact on the site. Most of their ‘core’ functionality apparently has to do with implementing behavioural tracking and advertising. The only other feature we’ve seen affected is their slideshow galleries. So, “strike two!” to you too, Wired.
[Wired](/sites/wired.com) have taken a similar approach. Their blocker detection is also in a JavaScript file called core. However, blocking this file on Wired doesn’t have a hugely negatively impact on the site. Most of their ‘core’ functionality is concerned with implementing behavioural tracking and advertising. The only other feature we’ve seen affected is their slideshow galleries. So, it’s “strike two!” for Wired also.
While we are currently able to protect people from tracking and malicious advertising on these sites, it is trivial for either to break what we’ve done. Needless to say, this is not a game of cat and mouse that we have either the time or patience to play. We are not going to spend hours investigating and implementing blocker detection circumvention for every aggressive and malicious site spurred on by the [IAB’s DEAL policy](sites/iab.com).
While we are currently able to protect people from tracking and malicious advertising on these sites, it is trivial for either site to break what we’ve done. Needless to say, this is not a game of cat and mouse that we have the time or patience to play. We are not going to spend hours investigating and implementing blocker detection circumvention for every aggressive and malicious site spurred on by the [IAB’s DEAL policy](sites/iab.com).
Instead, we are now implementing a “Three Strikes And You’re Out!” policy. **If you make it difficult for us to protect people from tracking and malicious advertising on your site, we will treat your site as malicious and protect our customers from it by removing you from their web experience.**
Instead, we are now implementing a “Three Strikes And You’re Out!” policy. **If you make it difficult for us to protect people from tracking and malicious advertising on your site, we will treat your site as malicious and protect our customers by removing you from their web experience.**
### Three Strikes And You’re Out!
......@@ -32,13 +32,13 @@ Your site implements behavioural tracking and advertising.
#### Strike two
Your site implements blocker detection and blocking as per the [IAB’s DEAL policy](/sites/iab.com).
Your site implements blocker detection and blocking (e.g., influenced by [IAB’s DEAL policy](/sites/iab.com)).
**Better:** *categorises your site as **Aggressive** and blocks your blocker detection/blocking.*
#### Strike three
Your site makes it non-trivial or impossible to block your blocker detection/blocking by including it as part of core functionality of your site.
Your site makes it non-trivial or difficult to block your blocker detection/blocking without breaking the site (e.g., integrating blocking detection/blocking functionality into core functionality of your site, obfuscating it, etc.)
**Better:** *categorises your site as **Malicious** and removes it from the web experience of the people who use Better.*
......@@ -46,9 +46,9 @@ Your site makes it non-trivial or impossible to block your blocker detection/blo
Strike three is what we call checkmate in chess.
**If your site is malicious, we will remove links to it from other sites, including search engines, for people who are browsing the web with Better enabled.**
**If your site is malicious, we will remove links to it from other sites, including search engines, for people who are browsing the web with Better enabled.** We do this to protect our customers and to enable sites that do [respect people’s rights, effort, and experience](https://ind.ie/ethical-design) to filter to the top and gain visibility.
Needless to say, we hope that publishers [ignore the IAB’s DEAL policy](/sites/iab.com) and do the right thing, which is to [respect the rights, effort, and experience of their readers](https://ind.ie/ethical-design).
Needless to say, we have not implemented Strike Three for any sites yet and we hope that publishers [ignore the IAB’s DEAL policy](/sites/iab.com) and do the right thing ([respect the rights, effort, and experience of their readers](https://ind.ie/ethical-design)) so we don’t have to.
## Ethical design violations
......
# **Cloud of Shame** Forbes (forbes.com)
<blockquote class='standout'>
<p>“Every year, one human life worth of time – over 87 years – is lost to one ‘annoying’ doorslam on one site.”</p>
</blockquote>
![Forbes doorslam](doorslam.jpg)
<figure>
<img alt='Forbes doorslam' src='doorslam.jpg'/>
<figcaption>
<p>Every year, one human life worth of time – over 87 years – is lost to one ‘annoying’ doorslam on one site.</p>
</figcaption>
</figure>
When you – a human being – visit Forbes.com, you get [a doorslam](http://www.creativebloq.com/mobile/web-needs-fewer-doorslams-and-more-personality-5135640).
......@@ -12,10 +13,15 @@ In ad-industry parlance, this is an ‘interstitial’; a modal screen that bloc
Let’s be conservative and say that the whole malarkey takes about five seconds to get through if you have lightning fast reflexes. That’s not that bad, is it? And, once you’ve been subjected to it, you don’t see it again until the next day.
![Forbes’s visitor statistics](stats.jpg)
### What’s 5 seconds anyway?
<figure>
<img alt='Forbes’s visitor statistics, showing 46 million unique monthly visitors' src='stats.jpg'/>
<figcaption>
<p>What’s 5 seconds × 46,000,000 people?</p>
</figcaption>
</figure>
So what’s the big deal? 5 seconds isn’t that bad, is it? Why is Forbes this month’s Cloud of Shame?
Here’s why: by their own admission, Forbes gets 46 million unique visitors to their site every month.
......@@ -38,6 +44,13 @@ But don’t worry, because everything you’ve just read only applies to you if
### VIP lane: robots only
<figure>
<img alt='What Google sees' src='what-google-sees.jpg'/>
<figcaption>
<p>What Google sees: the Googlebot gets shown directly to the content.</p>
</figcaption>
</figure>
If you want to regain your lost 5 seconds, all you have to do is to pretend that you’re a robot. The easiest way to skip Forbes’s doorslam is to set your browser’s user agent to pretend that it’s the Googlebot:
<pre class='single-string'><code>Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
......@@ -49,18 +62,18 @@ And, boom!
No doorslam, no ad, no pithy quote, no three-second countdown. No sir, that crap’s just for the lowly humans.
### “Stop protecting yourselves on the web!”
<figure>
<img alt='What Google sees' src='what-google-sees.jpg'/>
<img alt='Forbes’s blocker blocker which resulted in people getting infected with malware' src='blocker-blocker.jpg'/>
<figcaption>
<p>What Google sees: the Googlebot gets shown directly to the content.</p>
<p>Forbes’s web site used to ask people to turn off their web malware blockers.</p>
</figcaption>
</figure>
And if you think all this is bad, it was actually worse before.
Forbes used to detect tracker blockers like Better and block them so you couldn’t get past their doorslam unless you stopped protecting yourself from trackers and malvertising. So people did. And what happened? [They got served malware](http://www.extremetech.com/internet/220696-forbes-forces-readers-to-turn-off-ad-blockers-promptly-serves-malware).
![Forbes’s blocker blocker which resulted in people getting infected with malware](blocker-blocker.jpg)
Forbes used to detect tracker blockers like Better and block them so you couldn’t get past their doorslam unless you stopped protecting yourself from trackers and malvertising. So people did. And what happened? [They got served malware](http://www.extremetech.com/internet/220696-forbes-forces-readers-to-turn-off-ad-blockers-promptly-serves-malware).
While Forbes no longer appears to be blocking content blockers, [Wired](/sites/wired.com) still does. (Note: [Better blocks Wired’s blocker blocker](/sites/wired.com)).
......
......@@ -6,7 +6,7 @@
## A breath of fresh air
Indymedia is unique in the [Alexa Top 500 News sites category](/sites/alexa-top-500-news/) in that it doesn’t track people. They are a non-profit news organisation based in the US, and you can <a href='https://indymedia.org/or/static/support.shtml'>donate to them here</a>.
Indymedia is unique in the [Alexa Top 500 News sites category](/sites/alexa-top-500-news/) because it doesn’t track people. They are a non-profit news organisation based in the US, and you can <a href='https://indymedia.org/or/static/support.shtml'>donate to them here</a>.
In appreciation for their authentic practice of journalism and rejection of the behavioural advertising business, we award Indymedia our Cloud of Fame award.
......
......@@ -85,7 +85,7 @@ Statistics by [Better Inspector](https://source.ind.ie/better/inspector) based o
### Remove blocker detection
This script detects tracker blockers and prompts people to stop protecting themselves from trackers by turning them off. Needless to say, this is not acceptable as it violates [respect for human rights](https://ind.ie/ethical-design).
The Atlantic’s web site detects tracker blockers and prompts people to stop protecting themselves from trackers by turning them off. Needless to say, this is not acceptable as it violates [respect for human rights](https://ind.ie/ethical-design).
```mson
- trigger:
......@@ -97,7 +97,7 @@ This script detects tracker blockers and prompts people to stop protecting thems
### Hide blocker message
This currently won’t display because the blocker detection script itself has been blocked but, in case they change the script, etc., hide the visual message also.
The Atlantic’s blocker message won’t display because the blocker detection script itself has been blocked. In case they change the script, this hides the visual message also.
```mson
- trigger:
......@@ -110,7 +110,7 @@ This currently won’t display because the blocker detection script itself has b
### Remove Cookie notice
We block cookies on trackers and the trackers themselves. [Out of respect for human effort and experience](https://ind.ie/ethical-design), remove the cookie notice.
We block cookies on trackers and the trackers themselves. [Out of respect for human effort and experience](https://ind.ie/ethical-design), we remove the cookie notice also.
```mson
- trigger:
......
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