Patheos is called a multi-faith platform, however, it has an Atheist and a Pagan channel, making it a non-Christian blog platform in our view. At the same time, it does feature some Christian channels on it.
Evangelical Christian writers like Adrian Warnock, Roger Olson, Ben Witherington, Scot McKnight, to name a few, write for the Christian channel as well as myself.
You can think of Patheos as a secular TV channel that features some Christian TV shows.
Since I’ve been writing for Patheos the last three years, I’ve been able to share the Lord with atheists, agnostics, and those who don’t know the Lord.
So it’s been a great outreach medium. I know the same is true for Adrian, Roger, Ben, Scot and others evangelical Patheos writers on the platform.
Because Patheos isn’t an explicitly Christian platform (there are Atheist channels, Hindu channels, Jewish channels, Pagan channels, etc.), some of the ads that show up are not Christian.
However, according to Patheos, the ads that show up on our Evangelical blogs are supposed to be ads targeted at a Christian audience.
So you shouldn’t be seeing any offensive ads on this blog or any of the other Christian blog channels.
For some reason, several people have reported that they were seeing offensive ads on the Evangelical blog channels. So we asked Patheos about this and here’s what we’ve learned.
1. Patheos says you can eliminate offensive ads. Here are the instructions based on what one Patheos staff person told us:
Just about any and all problematic ads should be eliminated; the only reason people would see such is if they were using ad blockers or ad-filters on their computers and smartphones.
Patheos just programmed a new feature that confounds those blockers (which take revenue away from the site) and populates with automatic ads which we don’t have control over.
If people don’t turn off their ad-blockers and if writers do not copy the URL links to any offensive ads that appear AFTER that, Patheos cannot help them.
They will need to either stop trying to get content for free or learn to filter things on their own.
The site needs to make revenue, but Patheos is a non for-profit platform.
Ads are an issue and universal feature for all commercial websites (examples, The Blaze, The New York Times, etc.).2. This is an additional statement from the Patheos team:
“We have recently been testing technology that allows Ads to be shown to readers who have turned on an Adblocker technology. This technology allows us to show related content ads to anyone who is viewing the site with Adblocker enabled.
Unfortunately, some of these new Ad Block vendors are a bit wild and wooly, so we are ‘training’ them by blocking ad types and ad channels and etc like when we started with regular Ad Banks. But we are hard at work to ensure that we get it right!
We have deployed this technology across all of the blogs now and will continue to optimize it’s functionality.
We have a much greater control and therefore a higher quality of ad that shows on the site when adblocker is not enabled — and we hope that you will encourage your readers to help us by keeping the revenue model strong.”
3. If you’ve done all of the above to eliminate the offensive ads, and you are still seeing offensive ads on one of our Christian blogs, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve been told you should NOT be seeing such ads after the above steps have been taken.
Please understand that all of the Patheos Christian bloggers – including myself – have no control over the technological side of the blog platform.
The best we can do is put out a statement like this post and trust that the Patheos team will resolve any glitches in this area, if they still exist for some reason.