Keyword advertising

Via Matthew L


33 thoughts on “Keyword advertising”

  1. “That’s a computerised algorithm operating with no human oversight.” Aye, the sort that will soon be driving cars near you.

  2. Be reasonable – how many of you really thought something like this might happen.

    Oh hang on – Islam, hmm everything’s on the table now…

    I think a lot of this stuff is only as successful as it is because we don’t have people on our team as sick as the muzzies have got on theirs, so it’s not getting predicted.

  3. I think the reason we are losing is that our political class deems it their job to manage us, not to represent us. Hence we are punished for the slightest infraction of their rules, while their favoured groups go largely free from scrutiny. Hang the politicians and their rules, then we can get down to business.

  4. I agree with Lawrence on this point.

    @ JuliaM
    Some human being created the algorithm (or an algorithm which created the algorithm). We must not let ourselves become enslaved by incompetent and/or unquestioning computer programmers. We should encourage Geeks to question the stupid instructions that they receive.

  5. The Inimitable Steve

    JuliaM – Trucks didn’t even exist during the time of Muhammed (PBUH) so how can this attack be linked his peaceful religion?

  6. I assume the msm are falling over themselves to interview Moslems who ‘ fear reprisals’ despite there never having been any.

  7. When/if ISIS is finally defeated, their soldiers will be terrified of reprisals and as they will be people fleeing from a war zone in fear of their lives it will (according to what I read from SJWs) be our duty to welcome them with open arms.

    I do hope the SJWs have a spare couch for them to sleep on.

  8. Be reasonable – how many of you really thought something like this might happen.

    Inappropriate machine-selected adverts have been added to news stories many times in the past, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the algorithms to be tuned.

    On the other hand, a bit of outrage clicking probably does wonders for the impression rates, so it may be a net win to leave it as is.

  9. @BIW – uhuh,

    ‘ads should be tuned’, yeah, like we have to look out for stories of folk being murdered by using a truck as a weapon.

    Hmmm… without help from Islam, not likely to happen is it?

  10. @ Gareth Too
    If I wrote a program(me) that failed to throw up an error message when it divided by zero (or, in the old days when the product/dividend exceeded the maximum size of the value that could be stored in a cell so you got N-2^n instead on N) that would be recognised as gross incompetence.
    To write a program(me) that attaches adverts to news stories that set the product in a massively unfavourable light is gross incompetence, whether or not *you* recognise it as such.

  11. @John
    as an engineer I’ve written many a program, large and small. Some are running today providing clean water to folk who don’t know anything about water supply other than the taps in their homes.

    Divide by zero, beyond the end of the array or mismatch data type errors are a piece of piss cf judgements of how dark or light a news story is.

  12. Divide by zero, beyond the end of the array or mismatch data type errors are a piece of piss cf judgements of how dark or light a news story is.

    It’s not that hard to match on “deaths”, “terrorism”, “bodies” etc and flag a story up for manual checking.

  13. @BIW, so terrorism was mentioned at last? I’ve not gone back to the news for every grisly detail, I think I’ve got the core of it now.

    Deaths and bodies mentioned next to vehicles is normally going to be due to road traffic accidents. A tyre advert then might come across as ‘I told you so’ at worst.

    Just so we’re on the same page – I’m expecting the ad targeting is completely machine driven without human vetting to keep the costs down.

  14. That’s why I said “manual checking”. Some would pass the check, some wouldn’t.

    Just so we’re on the same page – I’m expecting the ad targeting is completely machine driven without human vetting to keep the costs down.

    Yes, I agree. And as I said above, the outrage clicking is probably a nice little earner that means it’s a net win to leave things as they are.

  15. @ Gareth Too
    OK, I was citing examples that I expected a non-programmer would recognise since I didn’t know that you wrote program(me)s (and I haven’t written a program(me) since August ’66) – but the whole purpose of keyword advertising program(me)s is to attach ads to news items that will enhance, not reduce, their value. So any program(me) which chooses to exclude context is negligent.

  16. @John,
    my whole point was about how much work to put into the job.

    Under what conditions would you expect some murdering fuck to be able to keep the pedal down after having crushed eighty plus innocents under his truck.

    Didn’t happen in our society, we had to import a different society to come across those conditions.

  17. @BIW ad serving happens so often and so fast there is no possibility of human intervention.

    Try to consider how many web pages were opened since you started reading this, each (commercial) one had ads served with it where a machine considered what it knows of the reader and what its machine level intelligence can glean of the story.

  18. Some of the more robust discussions on ARRSE end up with Muslim dating site ads at the bottom of the page.

    Less offensive (and a not particularly readily offended audience) than this mishap, but still an algorithmic fail.

  19. @Gareth Too

    ‘Be reasonable – how many of you really thought something like this might happen.’

    I predicted precisely this on here not that long ago. I thought a widespread stabbing intifada was more likely, but that may yet come. Mind you, France has had both of the above on smaller scale in recent months – I’m not claiming to be a seer.


    One of the saddest things on ARRSE, which I visit infrequently, is the way in which those threads devolve so quickly to schoolmarmish scolding of anyone who doesn’t hold to the PC line. I don’t know anyone who served in Iraq or Afghanistan who came back thinking ‘What we need over here is more of what they’re drinking over there’ – I do know a lot of people who felt very sorry for ordinary Muslims trying to live their lives, but that’s a different thing.

  20. @ Gareth Too
    Well I just wasn’t brought up to expect that sort of thing: when I was young even the bullies would face a little kid one-to-one if challenged. Some reports say that some people hung onto the doors (probably trying to open them) to stop him (my sort of people except that I shouldn’t celebrate Bastille Day ‘cos there was only one prisoner left in the Bastille when they stormed it).
    I couldn’t have forecast this – I was claiming that a program(me) to enhance the value of ads should link to positive news items so it wouldn’t advertise Usain Bolt’s shoes if his laces snapped and he tripped over one.
    You are more up-to-date than I. so have a better grip on what is possible, and I may have got the cost/benefit analysis wrong, but if I have they should not run that sort of advert-maximising program(me).

  21. @john
    as ever it’s a cost benefit analysis, but funnily enough I find these cockups comforting.
    When we (or others) have computers that can read as well as humans and draw context as accurately we’re in a different world.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Every bit of extra logic to stop this happening costs money. Will the cost to the ad company or to the company whose product was being advertised outweigh the programming cost? Probably not. It’s distasteful but otherwise a non-issue. It’s the sort of managerial decision that happens all the time. Even if the algorithms in smart cars aren’t as robust as they could be, to drive a truck into a group of people enjoying a fireworks display takes a meticulously-engineered piece of programming, an evil algorithm called Islam.

  23. In my experience, these algorithms for placing adds just seem to advertise the very thing I just looked at. Genius.

  24. The advertiser is winning no matter what because you’re looking at it. I hardly ever notice adverts, in fact I actively ignore them. So if that advert had been displayed when I was viewing a story on the Nice massacre I wouldn’t have noticed.

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