This post is in reference to the following blog post: Report this Ad [beta] provides more control over your advertising experience
To start off, a quick introduction of myself; my name is Jascha Drel, Product Manager for Advertising at Stack Overflow. In this role, I am part of Teresa Dietrich’s organization.
Our team is continuously making improvements to the ads experience on our sites. One of the changes we’re excited about sharing is the new Report this Ad feature now available on some of our sites. We want to continue to give our communities more native control over their ad experience. We needed a quantifiable way to receive feedback and this feature will allow that.
We enforce strict guidelines on the types of advertisers we work with but cannot fully control what is shown due to how advertising delivery works. However, being able to hear from our users about problematic ads will be a huge benefit as we can address those problems faster and with more accuracy. The Report this Ad feature will allow us to quickly see and investigate ads reported by you which matters to us because we want to hear your thoughts.
Furthermore, this new feature ensures that the members of our communities have a built-in way to report ads they consider problematic when we test any new ad formats/solutions.
We are launching this feature on 5 sites initially (Server Fault, Database Administrators, Arqade, Game Development, and Unix & Linux) to get a good understanding of what we can expect in terms of numbers of reports whenever launching this to the entire network. Prior to launching it network-wide, we’ll share general results we’ve seen here.
What happens once an ad is reported?
All reports will be consolidated into a dashboard that the team will look at several times per week to spot irregularities in terms of the total number of reports, report categories, and on an advertising campaign basis. We will not be replying to individual reports, but we will reach out to our advertisers, to share feedback or notify them if the ad being reported does not fit our guidelines. We may also evaluate our policies in response to large numbers of reports not covered by them. Since we don’t have a baseline for the number of ads that are going to be reported using this new feature, we will consider reevaluating the process if the current process doesn’t scale.
We’d like to share an update on the progress of this feature:
- We've launched this feature on 5 SE sites (Server Fault, Database Administrators, Arqade, Game Development, and Unix & Linux) initially for logged in users only, and for anonymous users afterward.
- The report this ad button was shown several million times (of which roughly 65% paid ads and 35% house ads). We showed several dozens of different ad campaigns.
- So far we have received 0 reports. We've tested the feature several ways, found some minor bugs (which have been/are being fixed), however, in the vast majority of the scenarios the feature works well (we’re happy to be proven otherwise).
We’re currently graduating this feature and are releasing it network-wide this week. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions/comments.