Is it me or has anyone else noticed these in-text ads, it's like they've been added overnight (literally)? I was on SO yesterday, and there was not a trace of any in-text ad; I logged in today and find there's an advert armageddon.


Stack Overflow advert invasion

Can someone please explain what's going on here, I mean, are these ads legitimate, or is my internet connection hijacked or something?


The ads are from CouponDropDown.

  • 19
    Did you accidentally install a toolbar or other plug-in in your browser? Jul 8, 2013 at 14:21
  • 1
    stackoverflow.com/questions/17528500/… @GeorgeCummins. But yeah, local issue. probably a browser plugin or something similar.
    – Bart
    Jul 8, 2013 at 14:22
  • 24
    This is most certainly not something that we at Stack Exchange do. Look for a plugin/toolbar or some proxy that is inserting these.
    – Oded
    Jul 8, 2013 at 14:22
  • Good to know, i'll have a more proper hunt through my pc, thanks for the clarification :)
    – Sam
    Jul 8, 2013 at 14:23
  • 1
    Yep, status-norepro here too.
    – Undo
    Jul 8, 2013 at 14:40
  • Inspect the advert element and see whether you can glean any useful information from it. Disable all your addons anyways and reopen Chrome. Check for proxies. Are you on a different network than usual? Malware is strange sometimes; run a full scan anyways. View Source is also probably a good way to differentiate between a rogue addon and something external to the browser. And even if you haven’t installed anything new recently, did you update any extensions?
    – Ry-
    Jul 8, 2013 at 14:47
  • This is likely result of a malware or adware infection. There are some sites that do "keyword ads" but SE is not one of them.
    – tombull89
    Jul 8, 2013 at 14:50
  • 1
    +1 for "advert armageddon" Jul 8, 2013 at 15:40
  • @michaelb958: Wow I hadn't noticed that. I now feel compelled to post this link: neopets.com/games/game.phtml?game_id=204 Also I am going to play that now. Jul 8, 2013 at 15:45
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn I had forgotten that Neopets existed... Jul 8, 2013 at 15:46
  • @Sam you remember what it was? Apr 22, 2016 at 7:49
  • @ShadowWizard, just some sneaky Chrome extension IIRC.
    – Sam
    Apr 22, 2016 at 8:29
  • @Sam well, DroidDev (you might know him from the Tavern) got similar problem so I wondered if it's the same cause. Apr 22, 2016 at 8:41

3 Answers 3


As far as I can tell, it is this virus:

Global Consumer Survey virus is classified as an adware which is used for commercial purposes by spammers. This application can integrate with Firefox, Chrome and Internet explorer or other famous web browsers but whats more troublesome, it can infect your computer without your knowledge. When you download free-ware programs from Internet, you are most likely to get infected by this kind of malware.

Once infected, you,ll see Global Consumer Survey pop-ups on your screen that will ask you to answer a few questions to complete an online survey. As we know, those are paid surveys that will earn profit for the creators of “Global Consumer Survey malware”, while you,ll get no advantage. Apart from displaying spammy popups on your computer, Global Consumer Survey virus is used to track your web interests and to collect your personal information for hackers. You should not ignore Global Consumer Survey popups appearing on your system, take immediate action to stop this malware.

Full removal instructions under the link, but it's not CC or FDL, so I will not dare to copy-paste.

Edit in response to OP edit: It seems you have both CouponDropDown and GlobalConsumerSurvey - unless they somehow joined their efforts, that is.


Alternatively or in addition to rogue add-ons it may also very well be adware that snuck those links into your browser from outside it. You'll want to run a scan.


For me this was caused by something called "ArcadeYum".

It was in my list of Google Chrome Extensions.

Disabling it and deleting it fixed the problem. enter image description here

  • Oooh a super secret tab!
    – bjb568
    Nov 8, 2014 at 20:41

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