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Advertising and Computer Security Issues on TV Tropes

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We occasionally get reports of ads that trigger antivirus warnings or infect computers that are browsing the wiki. This FAQ is an attempt to consolidate all the information about such things into one thread. Please read the below before reporting any incidents.

This thread may also be used to report ads that violate our policies in other ways, such as being too "adult" or NSFW, automatically playing audio/video, etc.

    open/close all folders 
    The basics 
  • TV Tropes, as a site, does not contain malware. We are a text-and-image wiki; viruses and malware cannot be uploaded to or embedded in the articles. As always, however, beware of any external link that you don't recognize, since we cannot automatically screen edits or posts for malicious links.
  • 99.99% of the time, any suspected malware will be related to the wiki advertising.
  • TV Tropes does not directly control the ads that are displayed. We use third-party ad providers and we determine things like the size and placement.
    • We instruct our providers not to serve ads that redirect your browser, take control of the screen from you, forcibly scroll your screen, play audio without being clicked on, install malware, "pop up" or "pop over" your screen, or in any other way interfere with your browsing experience.
    • We have custom software designed to detect ads that do these things and automatically block them.
    • Malicious entities are constantly trying to sneak ads through the providers' networks in violation of these instructions. As providers have little incentive to proactively detect and block them, it's up to websites to report these sorts of problems.
    • We rely on our users to report ads that get through these measures.
  • Just because you see a particular ad doesn't mean everyone else sees it. Ads are customized by the ad providers to your location (by IP address), the content of the page you're viewing, and your browsing profile, which is tracking data accumulated by third parties over the course of all your internet browsing.
  • Just because you get a malware warning or infection that seems related to an ad on TV Tropes does not necessarily mean that it is caused by one of our ads. Pre-existing malware on your computer can intercept ads and replace them with malicious ones.

    What can be reported to our provider 
  • Ads containing malware, obviously.
  • Misbehaving ads, such as ones that load a pop-up or pop-under, redirect your browser to another page, hijack your screen or automatically scroll it.
  • "Adult" or NSFW ads. Scantily clad women alone may or may not qualify, depending on context, but we want this site to be work-safe.
  • Ads that automatically play audio — that is, the audio starts without you clicking on the ad first. Video ads are acceptable.
  • Note: Political content is not grounds for rejecting an ad. However, an ad that contains or implies hate speech, disinformation, or outright falsehoods may be objectionable enough to be blocked.

    How to protect yourself 
  • First and foremost, maintain current, updated antivirus software, and keep your operating system and browser up to date with all patches offered by the software vendors. This includes Adobe Flash, Java, and other rich media plug-ins. Turn on your software's automatic updates if they are not already on and act immediately when prompted to install them.
  • Never click on pop-ups purporting to have detected a virus, offering to "tune up" your PC, or otherwise inducing you to click on a link that you were not expecting. Any genuine message of this nature would come from your antivirus software and not from a web page.
  • Be careful clicking on external links. These are identified with a small icon next to them. Example: Google. TV Tropes does not endorse or control the content of external links and you open them at your own risk.
  • Never respond to any email or web page that asks for personal or financial information, including passwords, unless you have verified its identity. No reputable company will ever ask you for your password(s), other than to log in.
  • You may choose to opt out of having tracking information collected by ad providers. This does not stop malware but helps you maintain your online privacy. See here for additional information.
  • TV Tropes requests that you do not use ad blocking software while visiting us, as this site depends on advertising revenue to operate. If you do run an ad blocker, please add to its exception list, or consider donating to the site to have certain ads removed.

    What to do if you suspect a malicious ad 
  • We (or the ad provider) place a "Report advertisement" link next to most advertising frames. Clicking on this will generate an automatic report and is the best way to do so. If you cannot click on this link or do not see it, continue for more advice.
  • Try to identify the source URL of the suspect ad (see below). You can also use the target URL (if you are redirected), but note that this may be intentionally obfuscated by the ad provider to hide the source.
  • Identify the ad provider. Some ads have a small area that links to the ad provider's page (like Google or AOL). In other cases, you can tell from the referral URL or you can look it up in a search.
  • Go to the ad provider's contact/abuse page and fill out their form. Below are some links to common providers' abuse pages:
  • Scan your computer for viruses. If your antivirus software will not operate (many malicious programs attempt to disable your antivirus software), you can download a scanning tool on a known clean system and run it on your infected machine from a read-only CD-R or flash drive.
  • If you suspect that you've been tricked into divulging personal information to a phishing attempt or other fraud, change your passwords to affected sites immediately and contact your bank, credit card companies, and the credit bureaus to request a fraud alert.
  • Please note that TV Tropes cannot assist you with the specifics of maintaining your computer. That's your responsibility. You may request general help in the appropriate forums, but please don't post new threads in the forums dedicated to wiki operation (Wiki Talk, Frequently Asked Questions, etc.).
  • Sometimes, the wiki administration can get better results from the ad providers in dealing with malicious ads. If you can identify a malicious ad by referral URL, you can post the link in this thread, but please omit the "http" component so it doesn't create a hyperlink that someone might click on inadvertently.

    Identifying the source of an ad 
  • For image ads, right-clicking (or a long tap on mobile devices) should give you the option to view and copy the URL that clicking on it will send you to.
  • For Flash, Java, or HTML 5.0 ads, it may be difficult to identify the source or the URL by right-clicking. In these cases, you need to view the page source to identify the ad so we can report it.
  • In Internet Explorer, you can right-click in a blank or text area of any web page, and choose View Source from the context menu. Firefox also has this option. In Chrome, you can use the Inspect Element menu option, which interactively highlights the portion of the page whose code you are hovering over. You can use this to identify the ad frame and its source URL.
  • For embedded ads, there will be a "frame" element with a "src" parameter. Drill down until you get to the lowest level. All we need to identify the ad is the "src" URL from that frame.

    Ad-free subscription 
As of May 21, 2019, users have the option of purchasing a subscription to use TV Tropes without third-party ads (ads that we create and serve ourselves may still appear). Please see this thread for more information or to discuss the service.

Edited by Fighteer on Mar 22nd 2019 at 7:36:16 AM

SpookyMask Insert title from Corner in round room Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Insert title
Jul 9th 2019 at 11:44:40 PM

Yeah, I got exact same message from exact same bot

Time to change the style, for now
Berrenta Nice Hat from Texas Relationship Status: Can't buy me love
Jul 10th 2019 at 8:35:56 AM

A clickbait ad from Weekly Penny broke the boundary and:

  • The image covered up text
  • The text part is bleeding through the page contents.

chasemaddigan This is Unicorn!
This is Unicorn!
Jul 13th 2019 at 3:37:15 PM

EDIT: Nevermind, I'm not sure if it's an issue with ads or if its on my own end.

Edited by chasemaddigan on Jul 13th 2019 at 6:51:47 AM

Shadao Surprised Satoshi
Surprised Satoshi
Jul 17th 2019 at 8:32:44 PM

Got redirected to:,dd2df884-574f-4a2c-8f8c-ee9ae7ed62eb_oscar-tow-kexLyCDx,3,,AAJnpVzSguMfkhpUt9qFbBShsRWyvuLLBo_W5BpRly2eiQtSu3xkYlhxib36fzIGMOs3KS5kMwid38Nar-UqEh7LZ4LsYsg4VS7Z-0S-tGlWGu73ZjXgn6BpaoAbmCCe_dedwQD-hlNv0Ij9Dk8cUUbnRkV91tt_ZiWZESc0AuXiBodSmHHlPDlnMUAtuAvxaHGkPOPM-6cj8IGzlLUSmYb83xiv3FpOdNyLtwD0k7703SNGKY5FQQrvrUvkHkP2lmklYBGnmG034F9mN3TWvrwzz-3WtrhXQwKeGwFkVP_6tvfiDp-THqSUD-a4vmdB33F9kHwIsT2b6o0jntIrgYt-UqBXFeLpkTcmW5jWm7njNkHNSOx9FbVtSlS8QYjm6lk?browser=Safari&

Edited by Shadao on Jul 17th 2019 at 8:33:21 AM

Here's the Sink: Hate Sink Drafts | Hate Sink Dates | Hate Sink To Do Lists | Pending Write-Ups
SailorDione Relationship Status: The Skitty to my Wailord
Jul 20th 2019 at 11:04:14 PM

Same as Shadao, I notice it happens if I click the page. Though for me it opens up a new tab. And it once downloaded something onto my computer. Thankfully I deleted it and ran scan, but still. It's been happening the last few days...

Edit: Okay I have news there's new urls as it just happened again. (Alt Hn6x U3sjjy 25 K Iruynx9s M 9 H-xfhGLctzpFBrPPUSbC2xYPUeL7pV0ZjpA-kx2AbgtqIQ-Z Y6r PJ 6 Ie4x 29 UH 35_q-5VI2rN1psg88SPOIJg==?ci=wV78UG9P90QA1G2OH7U8K050&n3er=zK3Wtw==&uu=lIaJhrzOpHZ6hnh8d3qQfnd3hnU= F0n 3 Y Xhmwa3y XVS R3z 6 Z Nc 3 Slc D3e Z_DJkGJaIEjvU-D Gs Y 1 Q Ow E4w 3 BN-6f8ostwdN8nhpVt0Fdm3459XGrDb8wghKnw9zdjpW2ORmTRSEA==?ci=wAVH5NIPBVI7FG2O1LD94MBK&n3er=tKymzA==&uu=lIaJhrzOpHZ6hnh8d3qQen59iH0=

Edited by SailorDione on Jul 21st 2019 at 9:23:19 AM

Shadao Surprised Satoshi
Surprised Satoshi
Jul 21st 2019 at 9:34:13 PM

Same website strike here:

I also notice more frequent pop blocks occurring according to my pop up blocker.

Here's the Sink: Hate Sink Drafts | Hate Sink Dates | Hate Sink To Do Lists | Pending Write-Ups
Rotpar FUCKING COUCH BARD! from California Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Jul 29th 2019 at 3:00:34 PM

My Samsung phone keeps trying to download a "f.txt" file from the I'm not seeing any ads on the forums at the moment. It doesn't ask me to download the file, only if I want to redownload it.

"But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot you." - O'Brien, 1984
Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Aug 6th 2019 at 3:47:00 PM

I have gotten a full-page ad (pic) three times today on mobile (Android Chrome), including while trying to compose this post. It does not go away until I tap a very small x, and if I miss it follows the ad. This is exactly the kind of ad that makes people use Adblock.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero is just a man who knows he is free. R.I.P. "Grammie" Ruth Watson, 1927-2014
Theatre_Maven_3695 from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Charming Titania with a donkey face
Aug 6th 2019 at 6:59:38 PM

[up] Same here, including while trying to write this post.

bitemytail from Arizona Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Aug 7th 2019 at 2:35:45 PM

I got one of those annoying video ads that not only autoplays, but opens a popup in the corner of the browser when you scroll away from it.

It's an ad for Samsung, if that helps. I'm using Chrome on a desktop PC.

Health sure is versatile. It's possible to be both light-headed and dim-witted. At the same time, no less.
DarkStorm Darker Than You from The Land Of Milk and Fromage Relationship Status: I <3 love!
Darker Than You
Aug 7th 2019 at 2:38:13 PM

The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Livestream ad is an eyesore. It's constantly in motion, there's no way to stop it, it turns into a pop-up if you try to scroll down the page, and it's advertising a Livestream that's already done, so it just keeps repeating the intro loop over and over. Clicking on it doesn't stop it, it just tries to load a page I have blocked. Unlike most Google ads, there's no way to report it, either.

If you don't want people using Adblock, then don't have ads like this.

Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Aug 9th 2019 at 6:25:43 PM

Full-page ads on mobile are continuing to be a thing. Please resolve this.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero is just a man who knows he is free. R.I.P. "Grammie" Ruth Watson, 1927-2014
Berrenta Nice Hat from Texas Relationship Status: Can't buy me love
Aug 20th 2019 at 3:08:52 PM

I got autoredirected when off tab on desktop, then the page changed to an alert of a bad site asking for my info.

I think the URL it was sending me to was

Looking at my history, the URL led to

DrunkenRockLee Drunken Rock Lee from Konoha Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Drunken Rock Lee
Aug 22nd 2019 at 7:31:41 PM

Got redirected to Softonic for a download to Roblox, for some reason.

Crossover-Enthusiast The Absolute Mad Lads from somewhere doing something Relationship Status: Chocolate!
The Absolute Mad Lads
Aug 23rd 2019 at 2:50:38 AM

I dunno if it's ads or some site weirdness, but for the last three minutes I've had to deal with something caused my screen to scroll back up whenever I scrolled down. I just tried to use the search function while editing FanNickname.Pokemon. Getting to this thread to write this alone was a complete chore.

On a Kindle Fire.

Edited by Crossover-Enthusiast on Aug 23rd 2019 at 6:03:19 AM

Sep 4th 2019 at 6:54:28 PM

Ive been getting redirected too. Most recently, to here:

definitely a scam page. Been happening a lot recently. At least a couple times a day, and only on this site. scanned for viruses and the like on my end, and appear to be clean.

DrunkenRockLee Drunken Rock Lee from Konoha Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Drunken Rock Lee
Sep 6th 2019 at 6:04:46 PM

Kept getting a notification from Firefox on this website asking me if I want to open "t.txt", I have no idea where it's coming from. Guess until the ad engine switches to something less dangerous I'm keeping adblocker on for my computers safety.

Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Sep 11th 2019 at 8:28:36 PM

It's been more than a month and I'm still getting full-page pop-ups on mobile. I miss Fast Eddie.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero is just a man who knows he is free. R.I.P. "Grammie" Ruth Watson, 1927-2014
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