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Advertising

Learn more about V0LT's extremely strict advertising ethical guidelines


Introduction

Advertising is almost always one of the main forms of monetization used by online projects that distribute content at no charge, and it's no wonder why. The advertising industry in the United States alone was worth over $493,000,000,000 in 2016. (Source). However, advertising on the modern web is plagued with ethical issues, not the least of which is tracking and privacy invasive advertising tactics. Thats why V0LT is extremely picky when it comes to sponsorship and advertising requests.


Criteria

If a company or organization falls into any of the following criteria, then any offers for advertising, partnership, or sponsorship deals are highly unlikely to even be considered.

  1. The ad is for a service or product that doesn't respect user privacy and/or freedom
  2. The ad uses JavaScript to function
  3. The ad has animations or videos embedded
  4. The ad is loaded from an external service
  5. The ad makes use of flashy colors or font to distract from the main content
  6. The ad is placed above, in the middle of, or over content
  7. The ad is for a product or service I wouldn't personally recommend

Rejected

Below is an (incomplete) list of companies who have approached V0LT, but don't fit V0LT's criteria for partnerships, advertisements, and sponsorships, listed in no particular order. Please note that a company's inclusion on this list doesn't automatically mean their service or product is bad, it simply means that they don't meet V0LT's extremely strict ethical guidelines.

  • Company: LearnDesk
  • Reasons For Rejection:
    • Website depends on Google scripts and trackers.
    • Website doesn't function in any useful capacity with JavaScript blocked.
    • The website loads over 6 third party services and scripts when loaded.
  • Company: Mac Informer
  • Reasons For Rejection:
    • The website uses several Google trackers on every page.
    • The service doesn't respect the GPLv3 license by redistributing V0LT software without including the source code or license.
    • They attempt to monetize the work other developer's software without any giving any earnings to original developers.
  • Company: Free Download Manager
  • Reasons For Rejection:
    • The website uses several Google trackers on every page.
    • They use intrusive pop-ups to prevent the user from leaving the site.
    • The service doesn't respect the GPLv3 license by redistributing V0LT software without including the source code or license.
    • They try to convince website administrators to install HTML code to import scripts from their site.
    • They attempt to monetize the work other developer's software without any giving any earnings to original developers.

Accepted

You may have noticed that there is a 'rejected' list, but not an 'accepted' list. This is simply because there have not been any companies to approach V0LT that fit all of it's ethical standards. Therefore, this section of the page instead describes how an accepted advertisement would look to you, the user.

An ad on a V0LT page would have similar formatting as the rest of the content in order to not be flashy or distracting, but would be clearly seperated from the content. In other words, it would not immediately steal your attention from the content that you clicked onto the page for, but once you did see it, it would be clear that it's an ad seperate from the rest of the page.

Unlike a normal ad, clicking an ad on a V0LT page would not take you directly to the product or service in the ad. Instead, it would take you to an intermediate V0LT webpage describing the good and bad things you should know about the service or product. From there, you could make a more informed decision before clicking through to the other company's website. Of course, if a product or serivce made it through V0LT's strict ethical requirements, then you're unlikely to see any significant on the 'bad' list. However, you should still check to ensure you're ok with any potential compromises you may make by using the company's product.


Contact

If you're a company interested in working with V0LT, feel free to get in touch using the information on the Contact page! Please be aware that (as explained above), I'm extremely careful with who I work with. Even if your company's product or service meets all of the criteria detailed above, if I wouldn't personally recommend your product, I won't endorse it on my site. However, at the same time I realize my criteria are very strict, and I'm hestitant to speak out against a company unless they severely violate several of the ethical criteria the V0LT stands for.