The FBI finally agrees with culture jammers. Online advertising has gotten so bad that the FBI now suggests everyone should make use of tracking blocking software, also known as ad blockers. During the last big consumerism celebration in December, the FBI noticed malicious actors paying for ads to solicit unaware consumers to spend money on their products (many times the products were fake or didn’t exist). The easiest way to defend oneself against these malicious online attacks is simply to use an ad blocker like ublock origin.
Ad blockers are also tracker blockers which gives you further protection from profilers. Stay safe online and block people from following you around the web.
Ads are often placed at the top of search results but with “minimum distinction” between the ads and the search results, the feds say, which can look identical to the brands that the cybercriminals are impersonating. Malicious ads are also used to trick victims into installing malware disguised as genuine apps, which can steal passwords and deploy file-encrypting ransomware.
One of the FBI’s recommendations for consumers is to install an ad blocker.
As the name suggests, ad blockers are web browser extensions that broadly block online ads from loading in your browser, including in search results. By blocking ads, would-be victims are not shown any ads at all, making it easier to find and access the websites of legitimate brands.
Today the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released data that proves the world has rapidly warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, and is now careening toward 1.5 degrees. They are calling it a red alert for the planet. Obviously this isn’t good news.
The oil industry along with the oil-consuming automobile companies spend billions every year telling us to spend more to kill the planet. This should stop. Over at the National Obseror they ask a very simple question: “are we letting fossil fuel companies sell us our own demise?” They propose an all out ban on adversting oil and gas consumption like we did with tabacco.
A debate has been going on for years about the effectiveness about advertising and how the exposure to ads makes us feel. We now have an answer. Advertising is effective and makes us wants things we otherwise wouldn’t and that makes us unhappy. This is good because it provides us with a simple solution: get rid of ads as much as possible.
So ads make us want what we donâ€™t or canâ€™t have?
The idea here is a very old one: Before I can decide how happy I am, I have to look over my shoulder, consciously or subconsciously, and see how other people are doing. Many of my feelings about my income, my car, and my house are molded by my next-door neighborâ€™s income, car, and house. Thatâ€™s just part of being human: worrying about relative status. But we know from lots of research that making social comparisons can be harmful to us emotionally, and advertising prompts us to measure ourselves against others. If I see an ad for a fancy new car, it makes me think about my ordinary one, which might make me feel bad. If I see this $10,000 watch and then look at my watch, which I probably paid about $150 for, I might think, â€œMaybe thereâ€™s something wrong with me.â€ And of course nations are just agglomerations of individuals. Now, in this paper we donâ€™t prove that the dissatisfaction is coming from relative comparisons, but we suspect thatâ€™s what happening.
A doctor has decided that he has had enough about misleading labels on food and wants to spread the word about how harmful bad labelling can be. Check out this video for exactly why this is a problem and what you can do about it.
I’d been asked by the food industry to give this talk at an industry breakfast, but 3 days prior to the event they got cold feet and dis-invited me. The good news is, the internet’s a much larger audience than a room full of food industry folks who likely wouldn’t have cared much about what I had to say in the first place. So here’s my take on what the food industry can do, why they’re not going to do it, and what we can do about it.
This post is really only for people sending in messages about new products, companies, press releases, etc.
For those of you in the PR field or for people who want to send in news about their local event, I’m changing things up. The volume of press releases and the like sent to me has gotten overwhelming (this has been the case for sometime now, I’m just doing something about it now).
The only way I will read your PR (or whatever) is if you send it to the NEWcontact at ThingsAreGood.com email address. Anything sent to a different @thingsaregood.com email address will be ignored.
In fact, I’ll likely not respond to most press releases as I just get too many.