F**k this s**t!

One of the companies that advertises on Something Awful is Vibrant Media, the "In-Text Advertising Leader." They're the folks responsible for making those little tiny green links appear under random keywords such as "bathroom window," and if you click on their link, you go to a page for Microsoft Live which helps you search for bathroom windows. It's very useful in the fact that finding a search engine is really difficult work, and only the seasoned Internet veterans know how to locate one of these mythical "search engines." Also, it should be noted that their little green word links only appear to people who don't have a forums account, or are not logged in; this is supposed to be motivation for folks to get a forums account. The IntelliTXT and interstitials (which we don't currently have) are used to generate revenue from folks who otherwise would not give us a dime, and would continue to leech bandwidth from us.

But seriously, I have absolutely no qualms with their ad service, unlike the more grouchier and stinkier Linux users out there. I think that, a majority of the time, their service hooks relevant keywords and associates a useful ad for it. And even if it doesn't, oh well, it's not like a little green line is impossible to not click on. There isn't some embedded Javascript which employs a complex gravitational pull to tug your mouse towards the link, then summons a 400-pound titanium robot to break through your wall ala "Heartbeeps," smashing down your mousin' button and forcing you to visit the sponsored website for Peloponnesian legal assistance. It really doesn't bug me, and I find the service to be unobtrusive as possible.

Unfortunately, a couple weeks ago I saw our revenue from using the service drop by 50%. This confused me, since it was such a significant drop-off in less than a day, and to the best of my knowledge, everything was the same on our end. So I shot them an email and asked what was up. Turns out some new advertiser joined their company, and he had a list of demands that must be met before he would give them wheelbarrows full of money, forbidding advertising on any pages with curse words, descriptions of violence, and - here's the kicker - discussion about "accidents." Naturally I had no idea what the hell he was going on about, so I asked if they could send me an email saying exactly what horrible words were off limits and would trigger their ad program to skip a page. Here was the reply I received:

Hi Rich,

Unfortunately, I can’t provide you a full list but fucker, fuckers, fucks, shit isn’t actually on it but shits and shitting are so more the verbs than nouns, anything terrorist related, nothing violent whatsoever in terminology (stabbed, stabbing, slayed, slaying), sexual offence, sexual predator(s), rape, raping, rapist, puss, pussy, prostitute, pornographic, pornography, porn, porn site, pedophile, mother___(s), handjob, hate crime, homophobic, cunt, cunts, domestic abuse/violence.

Hope that helps..

Heh. I got a business development manager, some dude in a suit and tie, to send me that email. I know that I caused somebody to spend their work time writing the words "fucker, fuckers, fucks, and shit." This is undoubtedly the crowning achievement in my life.

So let's summarize what is now considered "taboo" and what is deemed "acceptable and fit for human consumption" here on Something Awful, according to the nice ladies and gents at Vibrant Media. With these guidelines in mind, it's only a matter of time before our revenue jumps back up to normal.

WHAT WE CAN AND CANNOT WRITE ABOUT, ACCORDING TO OUR ADVERTISERS

BAD: Having sex with people or other boring objects ("I was fucking Mildred when Betty walked in and asked where I placed the wood glue"), going to the bathroom ("Mildred started shitting blood when Betty began pouring wood glue down her throat").
GOOD: Exclamations of extreme annoyance ("Oh my god is that my grandma's hand sticking out of the concrete? FUCK!"), discussions about particular bowel movements ("I left grandma in the port-a-potty so she could take a shit; I had no idea it would tip backwards into the construction zone").

BAD: Talking about terrorists ("Man, I sure hate terrorists").
GOOD: Talking about anything not related to terrorists ("Gosh, I sure do enjoy this Archer Farms white sandwich bread which, to the best of my knowledge, was never directly involved in an act of terrorism!")

BAD: Anything violent whatsoever ("The Slayer concert was awesome!")
GOOD: Anything passive whatsoever ("I fell asleep on my couch and woke up covered in foam. Now I lack any sensation in my thighs").

BAD: Sexual relations with people who are not your wife ("Man I was totally sexually offending that prostitute from the pornographic porn site, when suddenly this pedophile jumped out of a wooden crate and began raping my pussy!")
GOOD: Talking about your penis a lot ("My dick started to wax nostalgic about my favorite Live CD, 'Birds of Pray'. THEN I BEGAN TO FORNICATE WITH MY WIFE, TO WHOM I'M HAPPILY MARRIED").

BAD: The all-encompassing "mother_____(s)" ("I was minding my own business at the Border's bookstore when this ugly motherbarn(s) jumped out of the manga section and began beating me with a copy of Trigun. Naturally he was no match for my Hanzo steel").
GOOD: Ummm, I'm not really sure what the opposite would be here ("There I was, holding a copy of Trigun when some ugly motherHIGH INTEREST VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE(s) walked into me and demanded all my wall scrolls. I was going to totally tell him to go back to GBS, but then he started waving around a TV antenna and causing a commotion, so I left").

BAD: Crimes based on hate ("Man, I sure hate crime!")
GOOD: Crimes based on love ("Man, I totally love crime!")

BAD: Not liking homosexuals ("Greg started getting an itchy, red rash around his anus later that night. It turns out he's homophobic").
EVEN WORSE: Not liking homosexuals, but pretending to ("Greg decided to try a couple more times, just to make sure he was homophobic. After the third handjob, he still couldn't tell").
GOOD: Thoroughly enjoying homosexuals ("Penis penis penis penis penis").

BAD: Talking about vaginas ("When my girlfriend's cunt started bleeding, I assumed it was her period. Turns out she had a Lionel F3 diesel 2383 Santa Fe toy train stuck in it").
GOOD: Not talking about vaginas ("When my girlfriend's head started bleeding, I assumed it was because I beat her with a Lionel F3 diesel 2383 Santa Fe toy train. Turns out her skull was having its period").

BAD: Abusing somebody in a highly domestic fashion ("Bitch didn't have dinner waiting for me when I got back from work, so I really smacked the shit out of mom that night. I domestically abused the crap out of her until she was shitting cunts").
GOOD: Abusing somebody you are not married to, outside the house ("Bitch was going 'blah blah blah' and complaining about the same old crap over and over again, so I started smacking the crap out of that meter maid").

Hope this helps.

- Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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