The advertisements you see on Snopes.com are provided by Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other large-scale advertising exchanges. They are served to users based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: the content of a web page, your browsing history, and where you are located.
Snopes has little control over which ads display on your screen when you visit our site, but we do maintain aggressive quality controls to prevent misleading or “clickbait” ads from getting into the mix. Sometimes bad actors mask malicious ads and malware in order to bypass our quality controls and those of our partners. We are doing everything in our power to monitor this activity and block those bad actors when and if they get through.
We do our best to ensure the advertisements we carry on our site are as inoffensive as possible, and we filter out ads that advocate partisan political causes or candidates, flash excessively, contain adult material, play (non-user-initiated) audio, spawn multiple windows, automatically trigger downloads, install malware, or misleadingly claim visitors have won contests or report the presence of viruses or spyware.
However, with several million different advertisers rotating through our site on a daily basis, we can’t possibly preview every advertisement appearing on our site (and vet all the sites they link to), so sometimes we’re not aware we’re carrying an ad that violates these guidelines until a reader points it out to us. (Some advertisers deliberately change their names from month to month or furtively switch pre-approved ad copy in order to bypass filters and fool advertising agencies and webmasters who have previously excluded their ads.)
If you encounter issues with any advertising on our site, please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include as many details as possible (e.g., name of the advertiser, description of the ad, or a screen capture of the ad). Please note that without these details (especially screenshots) it is often difficult for us to identify a particular problem as many ads are geo-targeted to specific countries or regions of the U.S.; and if the geotargeting excludes the area where we live, we can’t see the ads for ourselves.