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    This is a great example of why I say I don’t care when people say killing web advertising will kill content.

    As far as I can tell, this is an unsubstantiated claim that hasn’t been investigated, from some guy on Reddit, which betanews read and published just to be sensationalist and get page views.

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      Killing web advertising won’t kill yellow journalism, either. It predates the web by over a hundred years, and it’ll outlast the web by another hundred years.

      As long as your readership numbers (subscribers or ad impressions, doesn’t matter) is your business, sensationalism will also be your business.

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        yellow journalism

        gentle reader: this is the technical term for “fake news” and its history. it’s very educational to learn about, particularly the old Hearst ways in the 1910s-1940s.

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          “Fake news” isn’t yellow journalism, but nobody can remember what fake news is anymore.

          Fake news was a very specific phenomenon: it was fraudulent websites with logos and names that were deceptively similar to news outlets (eg. abcnews.com instead of abc.com) that were reporting the most outrageous and completely fabricated Onion-like articles. They weren’t just twisting the truth, editorialising, giving a slant, or selectively reporting things. They were completely lunatic fabrications, like “Osama Bin Laden rises from the dead thanks to secret monkey formula”. They arose around the 2016 US election.

          But the name “fake news” was so catchy and vague enough and Trump didn’t care what it meant, and he just started using it. He wasn’t elected by fake news, you’re fake news, all the media is fake news.

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            You know, you’re right, I had blurred the distinction. But, I’d argue that the yellow journalism & rampant deception in the Hearst rags was very close to the same phenomenon, although manifested in a tabloid source instead of a deceptive source.

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        Totally agree. Tar and feathering companies that are trying to do the right thing feels like exactly the wrong way to go from where I sit.

        It’s easy to fling FUD around, and ultimately anything you do on the web is trackable in some way or other. I use DDG because they value my privacy. i’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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          I actually view what happened as a good, positive thing. Many companies abuse browser fingerprinting at the expense of their users’ privacy so if Company A is obviously collecting this information then it’s right to challenge it if they do not explicitly say how they are using/not using it. I would prefer not to automatically grant the benefit of the doubt when so many companies now fulfill the doubt.

          The approach to challenge it could have been different, and less “pump our reader numbers”-like as GP mentioned.

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            The approach to challenge it could have been different, and less “pump our reader numbers”-like as GP mentioned.

            Yup. This is exactly my point. Rather than pillorying DDG how about reaching out and asking why they’re doing $thing?

            There is such a thing as constructive dialog with companies, especially companies with a living breathing human on the other end like this one.

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        I believe they are actually using the api for the intended purpose, I used them on a site to optimize code sample displays inline (I just couldn’t get it to be perfect wit just css) but there’s nothing I see on the ddg website that couldn’t be done without scripts at all - so many websites use javascript when you don’t really have to. (Though, to their credit, they do offer a functional non-script experience, just on a separate page.)

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          I wondered about this while reading the article.

          I’m not familiar with the “Canvas DOMRect API”, but the insinuation in TFA seems to be that just using the API is enough for a site to be considered a fingerprinting tracking site? Is that true? Why do browsers even include it?

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            Why do browsers even include it?

            Basically any information you can get about a browser can form part of a fingerprint, which is one of the things that makes fingerprinting so hard to counter. In this case the API lets you get the geometry of the browser (window size primarily I think), which while unlikely to be unique on its own, could be quite discriminating, and could form part of a fingerprint. It’s an API with a completely reasonable innocent normal use, though.

            There’s some information about fingerprinting using canvas on this on this website.