Apologies for the Evil Algorithms

Apologies for the Evil Algorithms September 27, 2012

So the way a site like this works, in part, is that it data mines the conversations for whatever is under discussion and then appears to dip into the pool of ads for whoever has bought ad space here, computes the algorithms, and then sticks up ads that the software guesses might be of interest to readers. Consequently, if you write things like “Planned Parenthood is an evil demonic organization that profits from child slaughter and I long for the day when it is extirpated forever from the earth’s surface” the algorithm sees “Planned Parenthood blah blah blah” and fishes an ad for Planned Parenthood out of the database and slaps it up on the right rail somewhere.

I have some, but limited, control over this, as do the rest of the Patheos Catholic bloggers, but we need your help. First, I don’t read my own blog on the site as you do, typically. I see it through the back door where I edit my stuff and read your comments. I suspect most Patheos bloggers do the same. So I miss the bulk of the ads that flash by while youse guys see them. So I am grateful when a reader gives me a heads up when, as one reader pointed out, the Patheos algorithmbot puts up an ad for Planned Parenthood. I don’t want such ads on my site.

However, to get rid of such ads, what I need above all is a screenshot of the ad to send to our webelves so they can locate it and tell the bot not to run it on my site. Other Patheos bloggers are in the same boat. So if you see something like a Planned Parenthood ad, please take a screenshot and send it along and I will alert the techies. Mucho obligado!

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