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Why was this Stack Exchange site (Ask Different) and others suddenly filled with ads? It wasn't so before. It's annoying trying to navigate through the ads, which fill the page when I open a question. There are more on other sites too.

ads

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    Can you provide a screenshot with a red rectangle around the ads you are concerned about?
    – Ramhound
    Commented May 7 at 21:32
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    Able to reproduce in a private window. Commented May 7 at 21:36
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog and OP, as far as I could remember, there have always been those banner ads for anonymous users and users under a certain reputation threshold. You can disable those banner ads once you reach that threshold and attain that privilege. Perhaps the OP was more accustomed to a site where they had that privilege. Commented May 7 at 23:06
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    You only have 111 reputation in Ask Different so you don't have that privilege. Commented May 7 at 23:11
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    @CaveJohnson Another case I've seen is if a user with the privilege gets suspended on such a site: due to their reputation being 1, they'll suddenly start seeing ads for the period of their suspension. Commented May 7 at 23:29
  • @CaveJohnson Why were there no ads in other communities where I don't have enough reputation?
    – Andy K
    Commented May 8 at 0:38
  • I found this question which has an answer from you and where I don't have any reputation: arduino.stackexchange.com/questions/78532/…. On first page load there was no banner ad, but when I refreshed the page, a banner ad showed up. Maybe sometimes the ad provider does not have an ad to show in that space. Commented May 8 at 1:14
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    In any case, I think it's not unexpected for an ad to show up there if you don't have the privilege to hide it. But it seems to not always show up. Commented May 8 at 1:14
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    @AndyK RE: "Why were there no ads in other communities" - it's possible that SE aren't running ads on all sites
    – Robotnik
    Commented May 8 at 1:36
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    Related: We're testing advertisements across the network: "For several years we've had advertising solely on technology-related sites" and Ask Different is categorized under Technology sites. Commented May 8 at 5:01
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    Also, based on my experience, ads on SE are kind of targeted, so depending on the circumstances, users may see the same ads, different ads, or no ads at all. Commented May 8 at 5:02
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    Note that a freehand red circle would be preferred over a rectangle
    – cocomac
    Commented May 8 at 6:32
  • Well since it is specific to one site now, it's off topic here and you should ask it instead on the per-site meta. Commented May 16 at 6:43
  • While it might not apply this time: if you use any kind of ad blockers, JavaScript access controllers like NoScript etc. and you see something like this happen, it's worth checking if the site started serving ads from a different domain. Commented May 20 at 17:52
  • Another possibility: you are using an ad blocker and in the continuous battle between advertisers and blockers the advertisers won another step.
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented May 21 at 7:21

1 Answer 1

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No bug here.

As announced back in May 3, 2023:

We are going to be introducing middle sidebar ads, which have been on the main Stack Overflow site for years, to some of the tech sites including Ask Different.

If you didn't see them before, there might be few possible causes:

  • You just didn't notice, and they don't always appear, don't know the exact algorithm.
  • You used account with more reputation, when you reach 200 you get the reduce ads privilege.
  • You checked other sites, this isn't enabled on all SE sites.
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  • stackexchange.com/privileges says that when you reach 200, you get less ads on the right hand side of the screen.
    – Andy K
    Commented May 28 at 21:51

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