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If you can't tell editorial from advertorial, there's a browser plug-in for that


Google product engineer Ian Webster believes sponsored articles should be more easily identifiable (as they should be!), so he built the AdDetector plug-in in his spare time to make that happen. More and more publications turn to sponsored content or native ads these days (even Tumblr does it), but some of them just add disclaimers at the very bottom of the page or small, easy-to-miss bylines. Webster says the problem is that bad native ads depend on you, readers, not knowing that they're, well, sponsored. So, he designed the plug-in to plaster large red banners on paid article pages whenever it detects unfortunately small sponsored disclaimers, in order to boost transparency on the web. He also hopes that by making paid articles more obvious, sponsors would make an effort to put out better content. You can install AdDetector (and make sure this post wasn't sponsored) for Chrome and Firefox from Webster's website.

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