Report a problem with Ad content

Looking to report a problem with ad content on SourceForge.net? Our policies and instructions for reporting are detailed below. Submit a ticket at: https://sourceforge.net/p/forge/blockthis/

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SourceForge ACQA

Since 1999, SourceForge has provided a range of free services to Open Source software development projects, including Git SCM, ticketing, and download delivery. One way that these services are funded is through advertising appearing on the SourceForge site. Oversight is provided by SourceForge’s Advertising Creative Quality Assurance (ACQA) team.

Advertisements on SourceForge include direct-sold ads and indirect ads from ad networks like Google AdX. All direct-sold ads undergo direct pre-launch review by the ACQA team. Quality assurance around indirect ads is provided by the ad network (e.g. Google). End-user ad concerns are surfaced for review by the ACQA team.

We aim for advertisements to provide value to us, our advertisers, and our end-users. We want to continue funding the operation of SourceForge services in a minimally-intrusive way. We want our advertisers to find good value in using SourceForge to reach the Open Source community. And we want our users to have awareness and purchasing opportunity for products that are of value and interest.

Our advertising practices are conducted in line with the Slashdot Media Privacy Policy as seen at: http://slashdotmedia.com/privacy-statement/

Opportunities to change which ads are shown to you are detailed at: http://slashdotmedia.com/opt-out-choices/

What constitutes an acceptable ad?

Slashdot Media’s advertising guidelines align to industry standards and the standards of our partner networks.

This means ads may not contain “(i) pornographic, adult, or mature content; (ii) violent content; (iii) excessive profanity; (iv) illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia content; (v) sale of tobacco or tobacco-related products; and (vi) sale of weapons or ammunition (e.g., firearms, firearm components, fighting knives, stun guns).” REF http://www.google.com/doubleclick/adxseller/guidelines.html

Most ads must also comply with IAB Ad Standards and Creative Guidelines, REF http://www.iab.net/guidelines/508676/508767

And in the case where ads relate to download offers, they must be not display in a way that could be confused with SourceForge download buttons:

  • The ad must not have a button containing the word "download"
  • The ad must not have a green button

Google uses its own criteria, procedures, and tools to identify and disable ads which distribute malware. For more information on these controls, see https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1308246

Our handling of non-compliant ads

SourceForge’s Advertising Creative Quality Assurance (ACQA) team provides primary handling of all ad creative review, whether occurring before a new direct-sold ad is launched or when an end-user reports concern regarding an ad.

To help ensure successful and timely mitigation of concerns:

  • End-user issues are reported to a public ticketing queue on the SourceForge site
  • Our ACQA team commits to review of all new tickets within one business day
  • Our ACQA team aims to deliver response on all tickets within three business days; direct-sold ads are within our direct control, but indirect ads from partner networks may require coordination that necessitate an increased timetable for resolution
  • Where our ACQA team determines an ad is non-compliant with our standards, they will work to expeditiously remove this ad and notify the complainant of this action
  • Where our ACQA team determines an ad is compliant with our standards, they will notify the complainant of this determination
  • Where our ACQA team has determined an ad is compliant with our standards, additional oversight is provided by the SourceForge Community Team, who will evaluate the concern independently and may drive discussion within our business about possible changes to our ad standards

How do you report an ad which doesn’t meet our standards

We aim to be flexible in accepting problem reports using a range of different identifying information for problem ads. We are able to act fastest when we are provided clear, accurate information with the initial problem report.

Our preferred reporting formats are listed first; please provide one or more:

  • The “creative id” and/or “line item id” variables listed in Chrome Publisher Toolbar, REF https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-publisher-toolbar/omioeahgfecgfpfldejlnideemfidnkc?hl=en
  • A .HAR file for the page and a brief description of which ad you believe is non-compliant (see instructions below for .HAR production)
  • The ad call located within the page source (see instructions below for page inspection)
  • The click-through URL for the ad (http:// or https:// destination reached after the ad is clicked)
  • A screenshot of the ad on the page (see instructions below for screenshot creation). Screenshots are the least useful way to identify a problem ad.

Your report should be submitted at: https://sourceforge.net/p/forge/blockthis/new/

Questionable ad creative may also be reported to Google directly when a blue “Ad Choices” carrot icon is shown overlaying the ad. To report an ad with the Ad Choices icon, click the icon to visit the Google Ads troubleshooting page, and scroll down to the “Leave feedback on the ad you just saw” section of the page.

How do I create a screenshot?

Screenshots are not the best way to report ad problems, as they require our staff to walk through a larger amount of data to visually identify the ad. We prefer other methods (see above) which more directly identify the ad, however screenshots are quite easy to produce on nearly any platform, so we continue to accept them as a reporting method.

How do I inspect page contents?

Process is the same for users of Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer:

Right click on the ad and click “Inspect Element”. When reporting the ad, provide us the HTML for the entire <DIV> which contains the ad. This <DIV> begins above the ad and ends below the ad with </DIV>.

How do I identify the click through URL for an ad?

Right click on the ad and “Copy Link”. Where the “Copy Link” option is not shown, the ad may be using Flash or other display technologies. Please use another method, e.g. screenshot, for reporting these ads.

How can I use Chrome Publisher Toolbar to identify an ad?

The Chrome Publisher Toolbar (for the Chrome web browser) is one of the fastest ways to identify an ad. Add the Toolbar to your install at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-publisher-toolbar/omioeahgfecgfpfldejlnideemfidnkc?hl=en

After installation, click on the plugin icon in the upper right hand corner of the Chrome screen (horizontal lightning bolt) and authorize to a Google account as Google DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). You do not need a Set “enable ad overlays” to “Yes”, and you will begin to see ad position detail in Chrome.

How do I produce a .HAR file?

.HAR (HTTP Archive) files contain a complete dump of page calls, including ad calls. This is one of the fastest and most complete ways to provide us actionable information about problem ads.

Google provides instructions on how to produce a .HAR file using all major browsers.
REF: https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/har_analyzer/

How can I help keep my machine safe from malicious ads?

http://www.anti-malvertising.com/tips-for-everyone

Can this be made easier?

Our 2015 relaunch of the SourceForge BlockThis initiative has aimed to expand transparency and document existing policies and process -- this sets the tone for continuous improvement. Feedback on improvements for our policies, processes and technology approach is always welcome on the SourceForge Community Voice forum at https://sourceforge.net/p/forge/discussion/communityvoice/


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