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By 14 June 2012 | Categories: news

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Web search giant Google, social networking behemoth Facebook, and popular micro-blogging site Twitter are joining forces within the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in an attempt to take on one of the most prevalent scourges on the web, namely malware or scams.

StopBadware has announced the launch of the Ads Integrity Alliance (AIA), an initiative to protect users from bad ads and maintain trust in the online advertising ecosystem, with charter members of the Alliance including all of these aforementioned firms as well as AOL.

Since 2006, StopBadware has enabled many websites, service providers and software providers to share real-time information in order to warn users and significantly reduce malware the likes of viruses, phishing websites as well as malicious downloads on the net.

The AIA will be led by StopBadware and will assist the industry in fighting spammers and scammers. In particular, it will:

  • Develop and share definitions, industry policy recommendations and best practices.
  • Serve as a platform for sharing information about ad abusers.
  • Share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies.
Google highlighted the issue of bad ads and spam in revealing that during 2011 it alone disabled over 130 million ads and 800 000 advertisers that violated its policies on its own sites and its partners’ websites. Examples of the ads that the search giant disabled includes ones that promoted counterfeit goods and malware.

“Bad ads reduce trust in the web and in online advertising. The web puts the world’s information at your fingertips and has given everyone a platform to speak, listen, engage and unite,” a blogpost by Eric Davis, Google's global public policy manager read.

“The growth that businesses generate from online advertising has enabled an enormous part of this platform. We think the web is worth fighting for, which is why we strongly support the Ads Integrity Alliance’s efforts to tackle bad actors who seek to damage it,” Davis concluded.

In related news, Facebook recently joined Google in warning its users about the impact of a DNSChanger botnet. Users of the social network with infected PCs who log into their Facebook account leading up the D-Day (Disconnection day, 9th of July), may just find a notification from Facebook advising them about the existence of the botnet.

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