What is going on in the SE network

Many sites in the tech category suddenly got a Meta post saying that their main sites will be getting some huge and very colorful ads in their sidebars on May 10th. For example, this post on Quantum Computing Stack Exchange.


These ads have been the subject of serious privacy concerns due to SO trying to provide user data to international mass-surveillance companies in the past.

The announcement about these ads was also made to us with no choice given about whether or not we want such ads, and seemed to hide the fact that these ads will be visible to everyone, including high-rep users who don't usually see ads.

Concerns were also raised about these ads pushing down Hot Network Questions and other related questions.

People have also pointed out that SE lives because of the voluntary work that users lke you and me do so it's disapponting that "community ads" have been put on pause.


Fortunately it doesn't seem that science sites like MMSE are affected (yet), which is the way I think it needs to before science sites or other academic, education, or research-related sites. However, if the thought of putting these ads on our site arises, please have a discussion with us first.

Let's discuss alternatives

Please do not do this without our consent or approval, and let us have a discussion about how we can help provide revenue for SE in the best possible way for everyone. We did offer SE a lot of money in 2019 but they didn't answer for almost a year, at which point it made sense to revisit the discussion: Do our users want, or not want, this site to be sponsored?. Now that we've not only made it out of Area 51 but also made it out of Public Beta on our own merits, one of the benefits of site sponsorship, which is accelerated graduation out of Area 51 and out of "Public Beta", is no longer appealing, but I would be happy to discuss other ways in which we can generate revenue for the company that hosts our site, if what we get back is worth it. There is an open source and not-for-profit Q/A community but it doesn't have the same large following and years of reputation that SE has (but also doesn't have the same type of baggage that SE has, for example: Stack Overflow is doing me ongoing harm; it's time to fix it!).



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