Google, Facebook, Twitter, AOL & IAB Alliance Aims to Stop Badware

ads-integrity-allianceGoogle has formally announced their participation in a new industry partnership called the Ads Integrity Alliance, backed by StopBadware.org. The alliance aims to develop policy recommendations and industry best practices to eliminate ads that promote counterfeit goods and malware, among other threats spread around the web by “bad actors.”

Other Ads Integrity Alliance charter members include Facebook, Twitter, AOL, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). StopBadware.org launched in 2006 and has since allowed service/software providers and websites to share information and warn users about viruses, phishing sites, and malicious downloads on the web. That organization is led by Internet veterans including Michael Barrett (PayPal), Vint Cerf (Google & ICANN), and Mike Shaver (Facebook).

The problem, says Google, is that when one company shuts down a bad actor, they simply advertise elsewhere. In the blog post announcement, Google’s Global Public Policy Manager, Eric Davis, wrote:

“No individual business or law enforcement agency can single-handedly eliminate these bad actors from the entire web. As StopBadware has shown, the best way to tackle common problems across a highly interconnected web, and to move the whole web forward, is for the industry to work together, build best practices and systems, and make information sharing simple.”

The alliance’s mission consists of three main objectives:

  • Develop: Establish industry policy recommendations for the worst types of bad ads, such as counterfeit goods, scams, and malware.
  • Share: Develop and share best practices for defining and policing of bad ads.
  • Educate: Share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies.

The Ads Integrity Alliance is seeking a part-time Program Manager and has launched a new website at AdsIntegrityAlliance.org. Earlier today, StopBadware also announced the alliance’s new Twitter account, @AdsIntegrity.

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In 2011, Google disabled the accounts of 800,000 advertisers that violated their own and partners’ policies. This new initiative is designed to share that information, allowing other advertisers to shut out or shut down fraudulent or spam advertisers.

Google released a short video in March, in which Engineering Director David Baker explains how they fight scam ads.

Want to get involved in preventing and eliminating badware on the web? StopBadware has several programs running, including BadwareBusters.org (novice to expert Internet users helping people with badware prevention and removal) and the Badware Clearinghouse, a database with over 779,000 URLs currently blacklisted by data providers.