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Here is an image of an ad I just got on the Biology SE site:

enter image description here

The ad is for a potency treatment like Viagra, though it really looks like a run-of-the-mill medical scam to me. There are lots of promises how it's so much better than the other stuff, and no clinical trial or anything resembling evidence in sight.

So this ad is not only depicting an illustration of a scantily clad women, it's also trying to sell some potency medication that is unlikely to do anything except draining your wallet.

Is that the kind of ad we want on SE sites?

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    Is that the kind of ad we want on SE sites? If I upvote, does that mean "yes"? :) – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 at 19:20
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    I must say, the staff is working very hard to ensure that the whole of network users blacklist the network sites in their ablockers. I'm glad I did that a long time ago. – 286110 Oct 15 at 19:29
  • You do speak German, right? – rene Oct 15 at 20:53
  • @rene yes, I do – Mad Scientist Oct 15 at 20:56
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    Just as you think it's not going to get worse than a legit sex shop...we get potency scams. Please, porn next, preferably as sexist as possible. – Chris says Reinstate Monica Oct 15 at 20:57
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    At least it is correctly targeted then ... ;) – rene Oct 15 at 21:07
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    It puts the "Official FAQ on gender pronouns and Code of Conduct changes" just above the add in a complete different light :-) – Alex Oct 15 at 21:29
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    ...on a more serious note, I can't have such advertisements popping up at my work, so I will have to keep the Adblocker on. – Alex Oct 15 at 21:33
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    Mostly, how is a company that claims to be inclusive and not gender-discriminatory believable, if they let these ads in without checking them preemptively? One of these ads, seen by hundreds of people, undoes a lot of compulsory pronouns changing work. – Sklivvz Oct 15 at 21:56
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    Shall we keep such ads' title in a series Jenayah started? Makes searching easier.. otherwise I would have to search them using "we will take this down immediately" – ankii Oct 15 at 22:23
  • “unlikely to do anything except draining your wallet” - don’t forget the possibility of untested “medicine” having harmful side effects. – Andrew Grimm Oct 16 at 7:34
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Yuck. This isn't really my area, so I don't personally have an update regarding the ad project (hopefully one is forthcoming), but I wanted to at least pass on what I've seen elsewhere to answer your question:

Is that the kind of ad we want on SE sites?

Apart from obviously reporting this stuff as you did here, Sean Bave provided an update I found useful I thought worth quoting here:

Thank you for flagging this.

My name is Sean Bave, I am the General Manager for the Advertising business.

These ads are absolutely against our policies, we will take this down immediately and remove the advertiser completely. We have actively excluded dozens of categories of ads, this is a case of a bad actor trying to get around the restrictions we have put in place. More importantly, though, it is not our intention to leave it to our users to police the ads, that is not fair to our community. We appreciate your help in flagging this, but you should not have had to in the first place. We are actively working very hard to put better monitoring, flagging, and other controls in place.

Our goal is to give the community more direct control over the ad experience while using better automation and working with our advertising partners to completely restrict bad ads. In the coming weeks, I will be updating the community in much greater detail about our approach to advertising, the controls that are available to individuals, and the additional protections that we are putting in place. I understand that this is all talk until we deliver, and intend to do so as soon as I can. 

Original Post: Kind, courteous, inclusive, intolerant of bigotry, racism, etc. Fine, I agree. Now what about my feelings as a mod?

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    Thanks for posting this reminder, Robert. Is there any update on the status of those updates Sean promised? It's been almost a week since he gave that answer. And with these posts popping up daily, I think the sooner we hear something new (even an update on when we'll hear something new!), the better. – scohe001 Oct 15 at 20:12
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    @scohe001 Unfortunately, I have no insight into that end of things. – Robert Cartaino Oct 15 at 20:14
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    Thanks for the honesty :) – scohe001 Oct 15 at 20:15
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    Judging from the lack of response from the ads team, looks like they finally gave up the hopeless battle against bad ads and now just let them live. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 15 at 21:15
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    @Shadow I doubt it. It says in the update, "In the coming weeks, I will be updating the community in much greater detail..." so I'm not sure why you'd jump straight to "nobody cares"... except maybe to vent a bit. I totally get that -- I hate seeing that stuff too -- but in light of someone stepping up to keep us refreshingly and openly apprised, it's just not constructive. – Robert Cartaino Oct 15 at 21:21
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    Robert, the problem is that these ads are up for almost a day before anyone takes care of them. This is unacceptable: before, they were vetted and that solved the problem. But this... this is like having the site down and no one on call. If the Ad team wants to be responsive -- already a degradation of service -- at the very least the should be working over the clock, providing a proper service. – Sklivvz Oct 15 at 21:53
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    @Sklivvz Yeah, I've always wanted a way to wrap our voting culture around ads like we do with posts; a way to get users more mutually engaged in the process. Not sure what I would do with that information (gauge applicability to the site? indicate personal preference for the product? genuinely provide feedback to the advertiser? whatever), but if we're going down that road of serving ads through 3rd-parties, that sure would be a nice feature to have now: down-vote to oblivion. – Robert Cartaino Oct 15 at 22:07
  • That's actually a good idea, Robert. – Sklivvz Oct 15 at 22:14
  • @RobertCartaino That is only useful if we the users can stop the adds before they go out to all users. – user151019 Oct 15 at 22:55
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    @RobertCartaino Has anyone internally made the point that this new ads system is not yet fit for purpose and is damaging the reputation of the site, and should therefore be taken down and replaced with the old system until it is fit for purpose? – user56reinstatemonica8 Oct 21 at 5:12
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    @user568458 - I think we need to wait for someone to tweet about it. Then it'll be panic stations. – Richard Oct 21 at 6:43
  • @user568458 I don't know. I don't have any insight into those discussions/processes. – Robert Cartaino Oct 21 at 11:50

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