Three days ago, I wrote:

Yeah I'm aware that "a tool to manage ad experience" is currently being developed, but as long as it's not available, I'll keep on reporting these. I'll also keep on intentionally refreshing until I get an inappropriate ad to report, because I find it to be a useful way to vent. Constructive I don't know, but useful I think so.

Today's case of study is Ania Krosinka, a Playboy model spotted on Biology. Well, the ad itself links to an article about how she's running for Parliament, but some inattentive ad designer set one of her Playboy shots as the ad's thumbnail instead of her official campaign photo.

On the bright side, the bike isn't inappropriate, if of probably little relevance for Biology readers.

girl in bikini riding a bike

  • 85
    Well, it's... biology, if you could call it that.
    – user474678
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 22:18
  • 9
    How on earth are such degrading ads consistently showing up. Are they even reviewing them before they go up? Also, get an adblocker, no point giving SE more money for this nonsense.
    – undefined
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 2:06
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    Actually in all seriousness I'm grateful you are finding these no one anywhere should have to look at them
    – undefined
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 2:07
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    I thought SE had an internal review process for all of their ads. Is that not the case?
    – ohmu
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 2:21
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    Not any more - they're testing out various external ad providers, who uniformly seem to lack any sort of standards. They used to be really good about this >< Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 3:53
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    Ads are not fed to sites on an B2B basis from the company the ad promotes. They're fed from larger middlemen, basically ad reps or other form of ad aggregators that manage the 1 at a time stuff. I doubt very much there's any chance for each ad to be approved by a site any longer. The best they can do is issue warnings to the supplier. But honestly, no one thinks ill of a site because of its ads in this day and age----its expected that the weird ones are going to slip through. This is a non issue. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 4:04
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    @tgm1024 Having the text "How do I tell students at a school I volunteer at to stop flirting with me?" on the sidebar was a huge issue for SO - they felt it had to be removed instantly and permanently because it made the site terribly unwelcoming. Surely ads for sex shops is even less welcoming... Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 4:42
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    @ChristianRau it's called irony. Of course that picture is just mindless clickbait...
    – Jenayah
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 4:44
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    On the upside: I do like this series of posts, your humor and I'm looking forward to the next installment because surprise: this won't be the last one.
    – rene
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 5:43
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    Related: Are ads supposed to be related with the site I'm on? so you will see every kind of ad in every site until the tool is released which seems to take forever to happen
    – CaldeiraG
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 7:59
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    @tgm1024 "no one thinks ill of a site because of its ads in this day and age" - Not true at all. There are dozens of times before I used ad blockers where I followed a link to an article, saw trashy ads (viagra etc) and thought no, this is just some trashy blog or conspiracy site, I'd be wasting my time reading this article. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 9:31
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    Dang that URL to the ad has 2,590 letters in it :o Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 23:27
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    Who would have thought that having an AdBlocker enabled came with these disadvantages?! Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 23:24

2 Answers 2


Every time you post one of these, I think:

The Twitter/HNQ incident around this time last year was caused by the question title, "How to approach a friend about his girlfriend asking to sleep with me?" and "How do I tell students at a school I volunteer at to stop flirting with me" appearing on the sidebar on top of each other, in that order. That text was considered so awful that an immediate change had to be made so that there was no chance of any similar question appearing from that SE site. Now, however, SO wants to run ads, so they feel it's ok to show bikini babes, lingerie ads, etc., because they'll take each one down when/if it's reported.

Text on the screen that refers to flirting requires immediate action so that it can't happen again, but it's ok to keep an ad system running that shows sex shop ads and online scams because the bad ads can be removed when they're reported.

To me, this is the most hypocritical thing SO has been doing lately.

  • 52
    I guess this needs someone with a lot of twitter followers to complain about it before SO stops playing whack-a-mole... Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 2:03
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    @JourneymanGeek While writing this, I was wondering what would happen if someone pointed the Twitter complainer to all the inappropriate ad posts here... Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 2:07
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    Do you suppose it's possible for everyone to dial their indignation down a notch for the next few months? The visceral finger pointing has reached an all time high and the solution is not buried in the hunt-and-seek-for-garbage technique. It's in simmering the hell down. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 4:07
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    People would "simmer the hell down" if the inappropriate ads disappeared as a stopgap measure until a good filtering solution could be found. We know this is possible because those ads weren't always there.
    – Solveit
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 4:28
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    @tgm1024 Self-righteous indignation is among the most powerful forces in the universe. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 4:39
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    "the most hypocritical thing" - for me it's only #2. Number one is what they did to Monica: kicking their best moderator out in the name of "inclusion". Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:29
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    Twitter driven development.
    – Raedwald
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:31
  • @Ward I just did. Doubt she'll reply, but who knows. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:34
  • @JourneymanGeek we should open a twitter account name \@meta_se and follow it.
    – aloisdg
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:45
  • @user568458 I have a lot of complaints about how SE handled this whole mess but, for what it's worth, I know for a fact that they did, actually, consult with at least one LGBTQ+ user, possibly more. Which is not to say the way they presented their FAQ was in any way good. Only that this particular claim is not valid.
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:50
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    @terdon I'd say consulting one person is not consulting a community, and the responses and concerns that LGBT+ users have posted since have been ignored like everyone else's, but okay, I'll change it to "without widely consulting" Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:53
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    @JourneymanGeek You jest, but that's actually true. If we could get some talk in channels SE actually listens to (Twitter, Medium, etc), about how they scapegoated the LGBT+ community for unfairly sacking a popular volunteer, bought out a corporate-pinkwashing Code of Conduct without widely consulting the LGBT+ users they claimed to be saving, then took no action when LGBT+ users reported it actually increased problems and hostility, and this was all to distract from making money from blatantly sexualising, arguably sexist adverts... Wow, they would act instantly Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:54
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    @Ward "While writing this, I was wondering what would happen if someone pointed the Twitter complainer to all the inappropriate ad posts here..." - please don't. Many foolish wizards are tempted to summon demons to do their bidding. They think they will be able to control the demon and harness its power to do good, and perhaps they sometimes succeed. But then, sometimes they fail, and then there's a rampaging demon running around tearing off people's limbs.
    – Mark Amery
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 11:22
  • @user568458 she is not random person. By deliberately affecting Stack Exchange actions, she put herself in a position where I consider it legit to involve her in Stack Overflow issues. Worst case she can block me on Twitter. I didn't use any offensive words. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 12:24

Thank you for flagging this, we have removed the ad.

  • 20
    Thank you being responsive and removing the ad. Every time I see someone post an inappropriate ad they've seen, a staff member responds within a day that it has been removed. Is there anything being done proactively to prevent these sorts of ads from appearing in the future, or is there only a reactive response to individual ads as they are reported?
    – David K
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 16:03
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    We are actively working on additional monitoring and tooling. More to come very soon. I spoke more about it here meta.stackexchange.com/a/334949/156631
    – Sean Bave
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 16:17
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    Can you try to do better than responding in 18h? Clearly this is not good enough
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 16:18
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    @SeanBave If you don't have a working system for quality control of these ads, you shouldn't be showing these ads. Why not roll back to the old system until the new system is fit for purpose? Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 20:37

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