Don’t like annoying ads on Retraction Watch? Here’s how to keep them turned off

logoDear Retraction Watch readers: In recent months, since we switched to Google AdSense, we’ve heard from a number of you that you find some of the ads on our site annoying. Here’s a secret:

We do too.

In the middle of last month, in response to a few more complaints about ads that were auto-playing, we disabled all ads, because we aren’t aware of any way to limit just the irritating ones. We decided, and we hope you agree, that harming the user experience that much wasn’t worth the revenue.

Some of you have asked why we need to run ads at all, given the recent generous grant from the MacArthur Foundation. That’s an excellent question. While the grant provides enough for salaries for our staff, it does not cover other costs that we incur. This year, for example, we are converting to non-profit 501(c)3  status, which cost several thousand dollars, only part of which was covered by last year’s contributions. There are conferences we’d like to attend, and reporting trips we’d like to take, to learn more about what’s happening around the world and to uncover new stories. We would like to hire an intern again this summer, and there are of course some hosting costs for the site.

All of that means we put the advertising dollars to good use. But we don’t need to raise those funds from advertising. So here’s our offer: If we can raise $1,000 per month from reader contributions, we’ll keep Google AdSense — and its annoying auto-play ads — turned off. (We may at some point add classifieds and other targeted ads that won’t use auto-play.)

We hope that sounds like a good deal, and appreciate any contributions you can make. Just as we did at the end of last year, we’ll provide an accounting of how we spent them.

Retraction Watch will remain freely available for everyone, as always. We are deeply grateful to our readers, tipsters, and other supporters, whether you are able to make a financial contribution or not. But if you’re able, please contribute now and keep those annoying ads turned off.

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6 thoughts on “Don’t like annoying ads on Retraction Watch? Here’s how to keep them turned off”

  1. For readers, installing AdBlock on FireFox will get rid of most ads not only here but everywhere else. Not that one shouldn’t donate to RW one way or the other.

    The autoplay stuff certainly played on my site, Funny about Money. The Scandinavian girlie ads were the final straw…I demonetized the thing. Adsense doesn’t pay enough to make it worth junking up your site and annoying readers.

    1. Are there really people out there in 2015 NOT using Ad-Blocker software? I hope they’re not the same scientists reviewing my grants and papers, because they’re clearly stuck in the dark ages.

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