YouTube, your ads suck

I checked in on my latest video, and the first thing I see is an ad stuck on the beginning, an ad for this nonsense:

It was cheaply made and cheesy, with bad audio and bad lighting and bad video, of a guy going on and on about how this beanie will block 3G, 4G, and 5G electromagnetic waves because it has silver threads woven into it, and how those waves will fry your brain and make you nauseous and sick and cause cancer and who knows what else. It’s pure quackery. Google must be desperate if they’ll sell ads to these kinds of cheap charlatans, and market snake oil to the kind of audience that would watch my cheap & cheesy videos.


  1. kingoftown says

    I know it sounds ridiculous, I mean why pay $59 for this when a tin foil hat works just as well? But will your tin foil hat protect you against werewolves?

  2. sqlrob says

    They have been desperate for ads for a long, long time with obvious scams that they apparently still haven’t been able to filter out after all this time.

    Get your free PS3 here – It wasn’t even out yet
    Download Star Wars Episode 1 here – It was in theaters

  3. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin is currently developing the Adshole™©, which she claims will be a video so strongly-attracting to scams all ads will flock to the video, leaving other videos mercifully ad-free (bar a few for responsible causes from the likes of, say, AI, SPLC, several penguin charities, and the WHO, etc.). She claims the ads, once flocking there, will stay stuck there due to the power of herd instinct and specially-crafted super-powered Internet electrons.

    Factsbork will probably ban it as “news” in Ozland.

  4. Larry says

    kingoftown @ #1

    Well, I suppose you could further line the beanie with a layer or two of foil but that might look stupid.

  5. chrislawson says

    Hmm. As a rule of thumb, holes in a Faraday cage should be smaller than the size of the wavelength you want to block. Most 5G operates at around 1-10 mm wavelength, which means the garment should narrow down to <1 mm diameter at the neck.

  6. says

    You Tube has been hitting me with ads for something called “Lions not Sheep” these days. It’s better than getting bombarded by ads from Epoch Times I guess.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    Silver threads – do they mention how silver is prone to oxidation, and may turn your skin blue?

  8. Bruce says

    I wonder if the “silver” is silver-colored aluminum, or silver-colored nonmetal plastic?
    Also, why don’t we see medical distress due to cell, Wi-Fi, TV, and radio waves for decades in all humans who don’t live all day in silver human-sized hamster balls?

  9. AstroLad says

    Can I get this in a package deal with a Faraday cage for my wireless router? Make it a threesome with a box of aluminum foil to wrap around my cell phone when I use it.

    I made the mistake of looking at a couple of the wireless cages on Amazon when I heard about them before Christmas. Got the irritating “We think you might like” emails for weeks. The few seconds laughing at the maroons was not worth the time wasted deleting the emails.

  10. says

    What if I want a hat to keep out 27 megahertz waves, because the guy down the street has an old CB linear amplifier he likes to crank up occasionally? Or one that keeps out 600 kilohertz waves, because the local country station has its transmitter a couple hundred meters from my house? It’s sad how unimaginative these guys are.

  11. davidc1 says

    To be fair ,americans will buy anything to cover their heads .I remember when skylab was due to crash ,the news showed someone in America selling hats that would protect them from the debris ,and sillier still some people were buying them .

  12. microraptor says

    It’s been a long time since I even used YouTube without running an adblocker- the way they crammed ads into the videos made them nearly unwatchable.

    My problem with YouTube is how it keeps recommending alt-right content.

  13. blf says

    @12, Said hats worked: No-one wearing one, at any time, was ever hit by any Skylab debris, at any time. This is still true even if you wore the hat only after it failed to return from orbit and nuke Ozland.

  14. blf says

    @13, “My problem with YouTube is how it keeps recommending alt-right content.”

    It hasn’t been doing that to me, instead, what the algorithms decide I want to watch is fact-free “sciencey” rants… — despite no history whatsoever of doing so !

  15. davidc1 says

    @14 Same with the Tiger rock a door to door salesman sold me ,twenty years without being eaten by a big striped pussy cat .
    Best £100 i ever spent .

  16. betterkevin says

    Woo ads don’t imply desperation….just that the woo people are willing to pay, and the platforms don’t care. The latest CopperFit ads for masks show that quite well

  17. Tethys says

    Oddly enough, there is an appropriate verse in Norse sagas.

    Quoting Loki in disguise as a troll-woman;

    I never much liked that son of a grey female dog, let Hel keep what she holds.

    ~ the gray dog is a synonym for what we still call a female dog

  18. says

    Same thing with Fakebook. I saw an ad for what looked like avery good face mask so coughed up some cash and ordered a set for my family. When they arrived they were nothing like the advertised masks and totally useless. I reported the ad for it to Fakebook but they don’t have any way to give details of the scam or provide feedback. The scam ads have appeared multiple times since and I have given up reporting them. Zuckerberg is obviously more interested in money from advertising than protecting the public from the dangerous and defective crap he advertises.

  19. John Morales says

    Wow! I cannot imagine ever clicking on an online ad, except by mis-clicking accident. Can’t say I have any sympathy for those who do, and thus perpetuate the system.

  20. garysturgess says

    Y’all have false advertising laws there, yeah? This ad is making very specific claims. Someone should buy one, set up a simple test to prove it doesn’t block 99% of 3G, 4G, or 5G waves (one would think the easiest way is to stick your phone in it, and then have someone call you), and then sue the company for false advertising. Sue Google too – they may not have any responsibility for content, but the ads they surely do.

  21. John Morales says

    Look, Gary. It’d pretty simple.

    I don’t want unsolicited ads. I don’t click on them, because that is to support them.

    Anyone who clicks on ads (or, worse, then buys whatever is advertised via those ads) supports the system.

    So I get ads I don’t want, because people like you click on them and buy whatever.

    If everyone were like me, there would be no ads.


  22. Ridana says

    I dump YouTube’s cookies daily, so it seems to have no idea what to recommend to me until I watch something. Then it will recommend something like what I’ve watched that day, sometimes even the very video I watched. It doesn’t matter where I watched the video, on YT or embedded, it will grab at any straws it can. It’s kind of funny to watch it flailing.

  23. rrutis1 says

    I know it’s silly but when I was getting ads for one of the countless fitness/diet systems on youtube I took to shouting at my phone “that I will never ever buy anything from company xxxx” (there were several). I don’t think it worked but I felt better, and the look I get from my wife is priceless!

  24. lumipuna says

    The coolest and most bizarre YT ad I’ve ever seen was recently posted by the Nordic teleoperator company Telia, apparently to promote public acceptance of 5G and other “futuristic” technology. Unfortunately, it’s in Finnish, but you might find the visuals/music soothing in a meditative way.

    It’s an 8-minute long essay written and read out by Finnish author Tuomas Kyrö (who also poses in the visuals), pondering on the history and impact of information transfer technology, which he describes as the most unique and important human trait compared to other species. It starts from the evolution of speech and goes on to writing, printing press, electronic information transfer and eventually 5G and other fancy stuff. Curiously, the end note isn’t exactly upbeat, but more like “Our human life is destined to be ever more complicated, more intertwined with technology, more challenging. We’re in for a strange ride.”

  25. lumipuna says

    (Obvious warning: Watching anything 5G related on YT will give you strange recommendations.)

  26. blf says

    As a reminder that paid-for “click here” ads are not the only form of advertising on the WWW — or, if you include e-mail campaigns and spam, the Internet (broadly speaking) — Tobacco giant bets £1bn on influencers to boost more lung-friendly sales:

    Flashing an ice-white smile for her 50,000 followers on TikTok, a fresh-faced young woman pops a flavoured nicotine pouch into her mouth, as one of Pakistan’s most popular love songs plays in the background.

    More than 3,000 miles away, in Sweden, another social media starlet lip-syncs for the camera, to a different pop tune. The same little pouches, made by British American Tobacco, appear in shot.

    Critics say that such viral videos, even if they aren’t paid-for adverts, are the consequence of a global marketing push designed to offset dwindling cigarette consumption by recruiting the nicotine consumers of the future.

    BAT has embarked on a £1bn campaign that harnesses the popular appeal of social media influencers, pop stars and sporting events.

    According to a wide-ranging report by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, it has also attracted younger adults, non-smokers and even reached the eyes of children.

    An employee of a public relations firm engaged by BAT in Kenya was so concerned about the bureau’s report into its marketing practices that they offered a reporter a bribe for inside information about it.


    BAT makes much of how such products are helping adult smokers switch to less harmful alternatives, under the slogan A Better Tomorrow.

    By 2023, the company expects to be targeting 500 million nicotine consumers with £100bn [sic (I assume the Grauniad means million, not billion)] a year to spend. Products other than cigarettes are driving much of that growth.

    [… S]uch products are far from risk-free and the trend for promoting them via social media and popular influencers is causing concern.

    Lyft [brand name of one of the poisons –blf] has no tobacco in it but does contain nicotine, making it an over-18s product. Yet multiple TikTok videos feature Swedes who appear to be of school age using them. The hashtag #lyftsnus has nearly 13 million views.

    In the US and Europe, BAT has told regulators that nicotine products are intended to help adult smokers replace cigarettes. That’s somewhat at odds with a slide from a 2019 presentation to investors, entitled Nicotine consumer pool continues to grow.


    The company certainly seems to be after new nicotine users, rather than just people quitting smoking.

    Its marketing campaign for Velo [another poison brand –blf] in Pakistan, using the hashtag #openthecan on Facebook[factsbork] and Instagram, used 40 influencers, garnering more than 13 million views.


    One 17-year-old in Pakistan told the bureau they were offered a free sample without being asked for ID.

    On an official Velo social media account, another Pakistani man confided that Velo was his first dalliance with nicotine. The company responded, saying it was so excited.


    Taylor Billings, of Corporate Accountability, said social media campaigns were bound to reach a young audience. “The tobacco industry is too well resourced for things to be a coincidence,” she said. “They are not accidentally placing shiny adverts on a platform that have a vast percentage of its users as Gen Z or young millennials.”


    BAT’s own investor presentations show that at least half of users of nicotine pouches and vapourisers are “new entrants”.

    During a video update on BAT’s progress, Paul Lageweg, director of new categories, boasted of the appeal of nicotine pouches among adult Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials.

    [… more, including the attempted bribe…]

  27. kaleberg says

    If Faraday cages work, how come you can call your phone in a microwave? I tried this with my old phone, and it rang for calls and got texts just fine. (If you try this, do NOT turn on the microwave while your phone is in it.) I’m sure it has to do wavelengths and resonances and so on, but now I have doubts about how effective an aluminum foil hat would be blocking CIA transmissions to my brain. I’ll have to learn more about the black arts and see what they say in the ARRL Antenna handbook.