"Advertising is not well.
Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement
emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement
clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising
—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil
that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale
about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 3, 2014 -
ISPs often don't say why a website is blocked and court orders are rarely voluntarily published. So when sites are blocked, it's really hard to find out why.
is here to help ISPs make it clear why websites are blocked and to encourage courts to publish blocking orders. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar
on Aug 15, 2013 -
As this research report will show, North Koreans today are learning more about the outside world than at any time since the founding of the country. North Korea is consistently ranked by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders as the country with the least free media in the world. This ranking reflects the country's complete lack of an independent domestic media, its legal restrictions against accessing foreign media and the harsh punishments it metes out against citizens who violate those restrictions. Yet, since the late 1990s the information environment in North Korea has undergone significant changes. Although the media environment remains extremely restricted by international standards, North Koreans' access to outside media has grown considerably over the past two decades. Many inside the country continue to develop new ways to access information while avoiding the ever-present risk of detection and punishment.
posted by DiesIrae
on Dec 11, 2012 -
Iran has a conflicting relationship with the internet. On one side, a large portion of the population are online
, and even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a well-publicized blog
in 2006 (though it now seems to be offline). Then there was Iran's internet revolution
in 2009, when there were country-wide internet censorship that was countered by use of web proxies
. Later that same year, a company affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps purchased a majority share in the nation's telecommunications monopoly
. The fact that IRGC was involved with a for-profit company was not news, as IRGC has long been involved in Iran's economy
, but their role in communications was more troubling. The latest news causing a stir is a "halal" internet
for Iran, "an internet that conforms to Islamic principles, to improve its communication and trade links with the world
," according to a quote from head of economic affairs with the Iranian presidency, Ali Aqamohammadi. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on May 31, 2011 -
The British Government wants to ban porn from the internet.
The move would force ISPs to block all pornographic content unless users had 'opted in' (providing a handy list of people who wish to view pornography) and is said to be motivated by a desire to combat the early sexualization of children. There is no word on how 'porn' is to be defined.
posted by unSane
on Dec 20, 2010 -
A new documentary chronicles the rise and fall of Insex.com, one of the early websites. (NSFW)
Co-directors Anna Lorentzon and Barbara Bell look at Insex, the people behind it, and the forces that ultimately brought it down. The stuff that Insex did tends to make even hardcore kinksters flinch a bit. However, as one reviewer points out, they at least put the activities into context
, showing the performers both in the scenes (which include drowning and suffocation--some of this stuff may really hit some triggers for some people), as opposed to the notorious anti-porn documentary, The Price of Pleasure
, which showed sex and kink without exploration of the performers' lives offscreen. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that they ultimately were shut down not by obscenity laws, but by federal authorities who used the PATRIOT Act
to claim that hardcore porn funded terrorism.
posted by Stochastic Jack
on Sep 8, 2009 -
With the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on Thursday, China's ever-vigilant censors have stepped up the reach of the "Great Firewall," blocking Western sites like Twitter, Flickr, and (just one day after its launch) Microsoft's Bing. via [more inside]
posted by infini
on Jun 3, 2009 -
New Jersey Assemblyman Peter Biondi
didn't like that he
and his friends
are getting flamed
on the news portal NJ.com by people named, inter alia, "frenchtoast2." So he introduced a bill,
and that bill would require "operators of interactive computer services" to make members' real names available upon demand, and allow content providers to be sued for contributory defamation. And he saw that this was good.
And that was the first day.
posted by Saucy Intruder
on Mar 7, 2006 -
Google Blocks Abu Ghraib Images
I went to Google Images to search for it. "Abu Ghraib" brought up only photos of the outside of the prison. Not a single photo from the scandal. Next I searched for "Lynndie England", not a single picture. Next I decided to look for "Charles Graner" her boyfriend who was also prominently features in the pictures, nothing.
See for yourself
posted by destro
on Nov 6, 2004 -
Iran systematically filters political websites:
In contrast with what the Iranaian President had said
in the UN summit on Information Technology last year, the OpenNet Initiative
, in its latest bulletin, concludes that "Iran is indeed engaged in extensive Internet content filtering beyond just pornography, including many political, religious, social, and blogging websites.
"Most of these censored websites are Iran-specific; very little non-pornographic, "global" content is filtered from Iranian users. "
posted by hoder
on Aug 19, 2004 -
Bush orders guidelines for cyber-war
Is it my old age that makes me wonder what else might be in this secret directive as regards computers and the Net?
"First set of rules for attacking enemy computers studied."
Perhaps you support the president or you are the enemy (recall: you are with us or against us)....
posted by Postroad
on Feb 7, 2003 -
It is not a crime to look at bomb-making websites...
or so says Lieutenant Jason Ciaschini, police spokesman in Punta Gorda, where a Briton who was using a computer to look at bomb-making websites is now being held at Charlotte County Jail on immigration violations.
Florida police had evacuated the library and arrested him after he looked at bomb-making websites, and found suspicious liquids in his backpack.
"Looking up stuff on the Internet - everybody has freedom to do that,
" he also said.
posted by Blake
on Jul 30, 2002 -
Can the opening of a countires 'cyber-borders' contribute to the liberalisation (small 'l') of the society?
Iran has a rapidly increasing
population, as well as a rapidly increasing online percentage, they have sports sites
(they seem to like soccer), portals
and the 'IranMania'
Can un-censored access to the internet help build tolerance
posted by asok
on Feb 22, 2002 -
Corporate censorship in China
(via slashdot). I guess censorship and collusion in the repression of people is okay if you're making profits for your shareholders. An eye-opening look into the way that corporations are helping to facilitate censorship on the Internet in China. AOL and Yahoo's attitudes to what I thought were universal human rights is nothing short of sickening.
posted by pixelgeek
on Feb 18, 2002 -
John Ashcroft on web porn:
"I am concerned about obscenity and I'm concerned about obscenity as it relates to our children". I'm curious what those of you who are more on the conservative/libertarian side of things think about this. Are there special exemptions to the concept of free speech when it comes to this type of content? [more]
posted by owillis
on Jun 11, 2001 -
Most of us are familiar with stories about government suppression of the free flow of information on the Internet - e.g. China's crackdown on internet dissidents; France's tussle with Yahoo over online sales of Nazi memorabilia; and, fresh from yesterday's news, Iran's closure of 400 internet cafes
. But did you know there are no web servers to speak of in North Korea? That you need government permission to own a fax machine or modem in Burma? That Somalia has only one ISP? If you can forgive some of its design peculiarities, this Enemies of the Internet report
(by Reporters Without Borders) gives a pretty comprehensive rundown of the international state of online freedoms.
posted by varmint
on May 14, 2001 -