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Username in flash variables for Russian campaign, obnoxious page takeover ad; interview stats 
9th-Dec-2009 11:31 am - Username in flash variables for Russian campaign, obnoxious page takeover ad; interview stats
Skittish Eclipse
afuna caught this tidbit, where there's a Russian ad campaign on a certain journal that will be passing the viewer's username. It's unknown what the campaign is for, however, or if this username is getting passed to a third party service or some internally managed flash.

You can see the involved changelogs here:


There have been many, many reports of a Best Buy page takeover Flash ad, and I've just managed to confirm this ad's existence myself while using my test plus account at Wednesday 1:35AM Pacific. It has sound, and starts upon page load instead of something user initiated like a click. The top of the video has text that's like "CONTENT SPONSORED BY". This is notable because:

* Unlike previous instances of aggressive ads, I have not yet seen marta or others in that capacity tell people this ad would be taken down. I have not heard of anybody reporting it getting any kind of answer back. Additionally, a support request I've seen come in this morning about "pop-ups with singing and other audio are extremely annoying" ended up becoming private, so I don't know what they were told.
* The run of the ad has lasted for days now, and is still occurring without being taken down. Most other ads doing annoying things like this have been taken down by this time.
* This is no fly by night malwarish crappy video remnant that's slipped through the cracks, but a slick ad campaign by a major company.

All of this suggests that this time, the annoying ad may be running with the sanction of LiveJournal. Posts I've caught about this on Icerocket are strongly encouraging the use of Adblock Plus, making this something of a Pyrrhic ad campaign for LiveJournal.

[personal profile] charmian pointed out this article, Google translated from Dutch, which says that 40% of LJ visits come from the US, and in the US 50% of revenue comes from subscriptions.
9th-Dec-2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that the Best Buy commercial issue is being pointed out in many places. I think there was a natter about it in comments at lj_maintenance, too (someone recommended I use Adblock, too.)
9th-Dec-2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
Ads like this often get complaints but I usually don't report them to the community at this point because they are usually ads slipping through the cracks that get taken down. This one is unusual for the reasons mentioned.
9th-Dec-2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
in regards to the russian campaign. If you have screenshots or text in russian, post them here - I'll translate
9th-Dec-2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The journal being used for the ad campaign is ! It's hard to get any more information about it until it starts, and I don't think it has yet.
10th-Dec-2009 08:54 am (UTC)
The journal being used for the ad campaign is !

is...? drugoi? sekvo?
10th-Dec-2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
...yes. Sorry, I got my site syntax mixed up again!
9th-Dec-2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
...I use adblock, and used to buy a paid account for years, but lj lost my confidence because of the ads (and because I have not gotten comments in months), so I no longer waste money here, and have opened accounts elsewhere instead...
10th-Dec-2009 06:29 am (UTC)
This does not shock me, the LJ of years go will never come back.

I really despise sound in ads which is why I have my sound off at all times unless I am going to use it where I know that this cannot happen.

10th-Dec-2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
I switched to plus as I want to keep the page styling and a few features when my paid expired, and I don't want any more money going to LJ on my behalf at the moment.

I do use Flashblock, but not adblock, so LMK if you want me to keep an eye out of owt. I'm guessing the Best Buy thing'll be US user targetted, or got hit by Flashblock, haven't seen anything that annoying yet.
10th-Dec-2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if it's only targeted for US, too. But, I think it's done in Flash and that Flashblock would block it. All hail Flashblock!
10th-Dec-2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
The Best Buy ad is a new kind of ad, and is run by us. The auto-sound has been in the process of being disabled, and should no longer play as of now. We're working out the bugs in that process, so we're sorting through any technical issues right now.

I don't know a lot about the other issue, but have been assured there is no information passed to third parties, or violations of the privacy policy. It is a photo contest, run on the Cyrillic side of LJ. The information is passed to drugoi, who is running the contest. He's a SUP employee and one of the most popular users on the Cyrillic side. The contest is being run here.
11th-Dec-2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for the information!
11th-Dec-2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Almost all ad-related requests get moved to Ad Feedback, which is a private category. The only ones that don't are "help, ads have messed up my style", iirc.
11th-Dec-2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Indeed; I ran into the ad in my test journal, was concerned about the apparent autoplay (I didn't know at the time whether it was autoplay because I was fumbling around on the page, and was concerned about bad-behavior ads slipping through the cracks), reported it in my test journal, and then moved it directly to Ad Feedback myself as a matter of course to save someone else the work.
11th-Dec-2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
I got the ad when I went to log into my old basic account today at work, and had to wait for it to finish running before I could log in. I sent off a complaint to support. This is why I no longer pay LJ and give my money to dreamwidth instead, and I loved having a paid account at LJ and loved when I could promote the site. They know an ad like this is going to piss off even people who aren't likely to complain about ads because it is a time waster--how stupid.
17th-Dec-2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
Same here - I'd forgotten to log in to my permanent account and it popped up when I went to visit a community and I had a pretty visceral you have got to be kidding me reaction. It's the sort of ad that I hate most on other sites, and now it's here on LJ. I'm beginning to seriously consider using my dreamwidth as home base...
(no subject) - Anonymous - 2009-12-19 07:35 pm (UTC)
19th-Dec-2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Nonono, what is saying is that she saw it while she wasn't logged in.
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