Launched in 2012 with AOL, Facebook, Google, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and Twitter as founding members, the Ads Integrity Alliance, an initiative of StopBadware, is a resource for online ad platforms seeking to strengthen the ecosystem’s capacity to protect users and publishers from bad ads: those ads that are deceptive or harmful.
Online advertising helps to make the web a platform for commerce, innovation, and expression. It provides information about products and supports websites by presenting consumers with ads tailored to their interests.
Ads that deceive or harm consumers undermine the online ecosystem by threatening the trust that people place in known websites and the advertising infrastructure that supports those sites. Such bad ads harm consumers directly by delivering malware, directing them to scams, or trying to sell them counterfeit goods. They create these harms by exploiting the trust that consumers place in online advertising networks, often in violation of those networks’ policies against such harmful behaviors. As a result, bad ads hosted by any network reduce consumers’ trust in online advertising as a whole, and therefore weaken its ability to support the Web as a platform.
No individual actor can effectively address the harms that bad ads create. Bad ads that one network identifies and blocks can reappear on another network, where they can continue to harm consumers and weaken the online advertising ecosystem.
The Ads Integrity Alliance helps to address this problem by providing a forum where industry leaders can share their expertise. By combining their efforts to fight bad ads, Alliance members can more completely and more cost-effectively protect consumers from malware, scams, and counterfeit goods, and reinforce trust in the online advertising ecosystem.
StopBadware makes the web safer through the prevention, mitigation, and remediation of badware websites. It began as a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University before spinning off as a standalone nonprofit organization in 2010. Corporate partners include Google, Mozilla, Verizon, PayPal, Verisign, and Qualys. For more information, please visit our website.