FurAffinity recently pushed out an advertisement update policy. And many are asking "Why?".
Here is a quote from the update post:
"We've enabled mature third party ads on submissions which contain adult content. These ads will also show up on any page where adult content is visible (such as in a thumbnail). The system was recently updated to detect whether a page has general-rated content or contains adult material, and displays ads accordingly."
Now, obviously this did not work as intended as it was showing up when SFW was turned on. However their sentence above passively explains why they wanted to attempt this in the first place.
I didn't get it either, until I thought back to a tweet I made on the first of this month:
It's hilarious seeing plain-vanilla ads on FA. "This picture of a hypnotized canine in a crap filled diaper brought to you by Geico."— Tantroo_McNally (@Tantroo_McNally) June 1, 2015
Apparently I was not the only one to see that there would be a conundrum with trying to allow 'serious business' to advertise on pages where the artistic work is very risque. So in order to try and mitigate the damage FA tried to act preemptively (assuming some advertisers didn't already request their ads be removed from the site). What they decided to do was create an algorithm that could detect if there was any iota of porn on the web page, and if so put up adult ads instead of the general ones.
It may have been an okay plan if two things were considered:
1) If the algortihm were tested so that it actually worked- My guess is that the "SFW" algorithm, along with other code that pieces together a page, takes items and searches for "Is this adult?" "Yes" "Is Safe Mode on?" "Yes" "Then remove the item". The ad algorithm probably also searches for adult items in the same manner. It may take place before the "Safe Mode" check is performed though. So basically any main page will be treated as if it contains adult work, regardless of the Safe Mode status.
That's just a theory though. Regardless of the reasoning, it's clear that the new ad scheme was not thoroughly tested to make sure that adult ads displayed on adult pages, and general ads displayed on general pages.
2) If the adult advertisers were more targeted/Professional - Yes, furries like porn. But, no, that doesn't mean they don't have standards. Furries are well aware of how the dangerous lures of sin are used to infest computers with dangerous software. They have a discerning eye for ads that are 'traps'.
So if they do want to impliment adult advertisment, after handling problem 1 of course, they need to give us some good quality businesses. Don't give us places that just want to lure you with sex to infest your browser. Give us legitimate businesses, intra- and extra-fandom which sell adult items, or hook up sites, or whatever. Give us the Real McCoy, not phony baloney.
Speculation on FA's Future based on events up to this point
Fur Affinity has back pedaled on the adult ads for now. Basically making any page that FA sees as adult (which are a vast majority of its pages, considering it over-detects) display no advertisements. Ironically, in trying to find a way to defend its revenue from puritan advertisers, its current revenue took a good deal of damage.
This is the second time an ad implementation back fired to the point of withdrawal. I'm sure at this time IMVU is having some remorse on the incompetence of the FA team in creating and securing them a stream of revenue. Though, it also makes me wonder if Dragoneer pushed for this or if IMVU did.
I don't think Dragoneer is ignorant enough to know that furries would welcome the adult ads that were so un-targeted with open arms. To be so obtuse on how furries would react on this it would require not knowing the audience that furry is, or desperation to the point of not thinking clearly.
Either the clock is ticking for Dragoneer and so he blundered, or the clock has already struck the hour and Fender is now the property of IMVU staff. They'll just keep the purple dragon around for sake of appearances. But that's just speculation at this point. Time will tell how accurate this assessment is. On thing is certain though, if the attempts to garner ad dollars keeps backfiring like this, someone is going to get the boot, the question is weather it will be just Dragoneer or the entire website.
Until then I'll try to update my more personal opinion journals here. I will be continue to post to FA, but just my Monthly update journals, which will link to off-site works. If things do continue this way, it's my duty to expose others to other places where they can find me. Because when it is too late, it'll be too late.