AdDetector Alerts You To Sponsored Posts And Native Advertising

Usually it's not too hard to spot a sponsored post -- also known as an advertorial -- on the sites you visit, but it's becoming increasingly more difficult to recognise such articles without reading the fine print. If you're after a more obvious way to highlight this kind of content and your browser of choice is Chrome or Firefox, you'll want to give an extension called AdDetector a whirl.

Created by Google engineer Ian Webster, the open-source add-on will insert a red banner above any article it believes is sponsored. As Martin Brinkmann over at gHacks explains, the extension looks at the page's source code, including JavaScript and content URLs, to intelligently determine if a story is suspect.

Unfortunately, because of its manual approach, it only works for a handful of sites including the New York Times, Forbes, Mashable, Buzzfeed and Gawker, among others, though the source code is freely available, allowing anyone to add their own rules.

If you'd like to learn more about native advertising, comedian John Oliver did an excellent segment on it for Last Week Tonight.

AdDetector [Ian Webster via gHacks]


Comments

    If only it worked on LifeHacker "advertorials"!

    So when will it become available for lifehacker?

    Not that it's all that difficult to spot them already... An article about Optus deals surrounded by yellow Optus ads to the point where you can't touch any section of the iPad screen without hitting an active link kinda gives it away...

      Advertorials are very clearly labelled as such.

        You may think so but they are not.

        It may say Advertorial in the category but the format of the ads are identical to the regular articles except for the absence of the comments section, so its very easy to not notice (especially if you dont read the categories or by lines).

        It's often when i notice there are no comments that i find out it was an ad (sometimes i think comments on the ads would be handy though). I think you go to extraordinary lengths to make them look as close to regular content as you can get away with like with http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/08/reminder-get-a-further-20-off-the-dick-smith-ebay-store-from-10am-sunday/

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