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Should ads that mimic StackOverflow UI be allowed?

I've noticed lately that advertisers have been making their ads very closely resemble stack overflow styles (for example, AtalaSoft makes their ad look like an accepted stack overflow answer, with almost the same color and complete with tags, etc...). I think Startups.com also has something like this.

Anyways, it's really annoying, and doesn't allow me to ignore advertisements since I will subconsciously identify the advertisement as an accepted answer or something else important.

It is however, very noticeably affecting my experience on the site. I would suggest some type of authentication process for ads (though I'm assuming you certainly have this).


1 Answer 1


Ugh, I was not aware of these. The ad sales weasels will have to be disciplined.

I have modified them in the meantime:

http://ads.stackoverflow.com/ads/stack-dotimage2.png http://ads.stackoverflow.com/ads/stack-dotimage-most-upvoted.png http://ads.stackoverflow.com/ads/stack-dotimage2.png

Edit: Policy update on these sorts of FUI (fake UI) ads:

I’ve updated the guidelines to disallow styles that mimic SO/SU/SF or look like question/answers.

So there should not be any more in the future.

  • 17
    Exactly. Don't they know you can only have at most five tags to a question?
    – random
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 10:47
  • 3
    @random: Also, "barcode reading"? Spaces in tags? I mean, come on!
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 10:53
  • 3
    Jeff you da man, glad you guys really care about the integrity of the site. Core user value is always worth more than an extra buck today. Kudos.
    – ajhit406
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 11:15
  • 5
    Who would have thought that marketing guys would want people to read their message without the inbuilt subconscious/mental ad-block erasing it from the page? Madness I tell you ;-p Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 11:33
  • 18
    I love how Jeff has no idea what ads run on his own site because they are only shown to the n00bs. ;P
    – user27414
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 11:37
  • 1
    This is the first time I've seen those. Anyway, Jeff, sales weasels need supervision. You don't want one who won't push to get a sale, but those who are allowed to push too much can cause a lot of harm. Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 13:50
  • 5
    can there be a reputation for advertisers? maybe if ads are voted up or down enough the good advertisers will come to the top? You can give the high reputation advertisers a discount to encourage good behavior, maybe. Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 14:53
  • @Crhistopher Mahan: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/34181/…, but it only covers the sidebar ads.
    – perbert
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 20:36

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