Beta-testing a new feature.

I’ve had the plugin that I’ve been talking about for Freethought Blogs mostly-done for a few weeks now, and I’ve had it installed on the live server for that time with no ill effects. Tonight, I managed to get the final pieces of the puzzle out of the way, and it’s ready to go live.

However, I never like to go into production without a slow rollout, with only the bravest of the brave testing out the features and making sure things are kosher. So, here we are.
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One tip of a spam marketing

I know if you’re like me, you’re getting sick of the proliferation lately of “this video was banned” ads showing up on Google Ads remnant advertising, like the kind we rely on here at Freethought Blogs to keep our lights on. They only show up if you’ve opted out of more targeted advertising by Google, and they only show up if a site doesn’t have a specific ad sell — and at the moment we’ve got, to my knowledge, a few ad buys, but not a ton. So we’re seeing a normal level of background remnant network ads, as odious and mistargeted as they tend to be (especially if you’re one of those aforementioned opt-outs, like me).

But there’s something weird about these newer ads, the ones with the offensive pics of women practically falling out of their tops and the tagline suggesting these viral videos were banned by Google (the very ad seller they use) — the ones exhorting a new secret trick that you need to see before The Establishment ruins it for you. If you dare click through, it turns out they’re using one weird a new tactic, one you might have seen before with those “One Weird Tip of a Flat Belly” ads. Alex Kaufman explains:

I clicked on my first ad, which promised a cure for diabetes. Specifically, I hoped to “discover how 1 weird spice reverses diabetes in 30 short days.” The ad showed a picture of cinnamon buns. Could the spice be… cinnamon? Maybe I would find out. The link brought up a video with no pause button or status bar. A kindly voice began: “Prepare to be shocked.” I prepared myself. As “Lon” spoke, his words flashed simultaneously on the screen, PowerPoint-style. As soon as he started, Lon seemed fixated on convincing me to stay until the end. “This could be the most important video you ever watch,” he promised. “Watch the entire video, as the end will surprise you!”

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Buy the new iPad from XS4ALL to “upgrade” your lover

Tired of your current bed partner? If you buy an iPad from XS4ALL, you’ll be able to switch her it out for some other model! It’s super easy when human beings are simply-manipulated objects!

Bra-fucking-vo. Slow clap. Marketing a super-expensive computing toy to men who think the women in their lives are replaceable bed-warmers, because they’re the only demographic with disposable income — the misogynist asshat is evidently, after all, the fastest-growing privilege group.

I only wish this was a case of “this ad would never fly in THIS country”. We both know damn well it would probably spike their sales here. And my blood pressure.

Sacrelicious slash ad

Via Copyranter, here’s a (probably parody) ad for United Colors of Benetton that’s bound to raise some hackles.

Funny how a campaign built around the idea of reducing levels of hatred in our society has this absurdly ironic tendency of drawing so much controversy. And it’s not like this stuff is unprecedented — just search the internet for “slash fiction” and you’ll find that absolutely nothing is sacred and absolutely no fictional universe can get away without gay fan fiction. It’s like a corollary to Rule 34.