June 15, 2012
New "Bad Ad" Initiative Launched By StopBadware: The Ads Integrity Alliance — Which Includes Facebook, Google, Twitter and AOL — Aims To Shut Down Advertisers Promoting Counterfeit Goods and Malware
Spam, in all of its incarnations, is obviously a headache for email users, but spam and its associated malware are an even bigger pain for Internet companies like Google. In 2011, Google said it disabled more than 130 million ads and 800,000 advertisers that violated its policies on its own and partners' sites, including ads that promote counterfeit goods and malware, PC World reports. The problem is that when Google or another website shuts one down, that scammer often simply tries to advertise elsewhere, said a Google policy exec, while stressing the need for an industry-wide effort. And Google's cyber-colleagues apparently feel the same way — Facebook, Google, Twitter and AOL have now joined an alliance that has been set up to counter "bad ads," said StopBadware, the promoters of the alliance. The Ads Integrity Alliance was launched Thursday. The alliance, which also includes the Interactive Advertising Bureau in New York as a charter member, has outlined general plans to develop and share definitions, industry policy recommendations and best practices. It also plans to share information about "bad actors," and share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies. "No individual business or law enforcement agency can single-handedly eliminate these bad actors from the entire Web," Eric Davis, Google's global public policy manager, said in a blog post. Since 2006, StopBadware has enabled many websites, service providers and software providers to share real-time information in order to warn users and significantly eliminate malware on the Web, Davis added, the PC World article reports.
StopBadware hosts the Badware Website Clearinghouse which lists websites identified and examined by partners such as Google as containing or linking to malware and related software, which the organization calls "badware." The nonprofit organization started as a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, PC World reports in the article by IDG News writer John Ribeiro.